TALENTED teenagers and career switchers in the North East are being encouraged to start a career in the NHS as part of a new national campaign launched by Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock.

The campaign targets Occupational Therapists, Paramedics, Podiatrists, Diagnostic Radiographers, Therapeutic Radiographers, Orthoptists, Physiotherapists, Prosthetists and Orthotists. The campaign also targets all nursing roles.

Students training towards the careers highlighted in the campaign will benefit from the new £5,000 annual maintenance grant to help with their living costs.

In the North East, 225 more people joined the NHS as Allied Health Professionals in 2016/17 than five years previously - a 21.5 per cent increase. The biggest increase was in the number of new paramedics - 237 per cent more.

However, the North East employed just 0.7 per cent of the country’s podiatrists, the lowest amount across all regions, and just 2.7 per vent of the country’s Diagnostic Radiographers. No Orthoptists, Therapeutic Radiographers or Prosthetists graduated in the North East in the period 2012/13 until 2016/17.

The Government is taking action to encourage people to train in these vital roles.

As well as the £5,000 grant, extra payments worth up to £3,000 a year will also be available.

These will be for people studying in regions or specialisms that are struggling to recruit, and for people with childcare responsibilities.

This new funding package will benefit around 100,000 students every year.