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Anger at 'cringeworthy' proposed ads for nurse recruitment campaign

Nurses have expressed outrage at ‘outdated stereotypes' used in proposed adverts for a recruitment campaign after they were released in error.

Nurses have expressed outrage at ‘outdated stereotypes' used in proposed adverts for a recruitment campaign after they were released in error

hull nhs
Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust Royal Infirmary. Picture: Alamy

Nurses have expressed outrage at ‘cringeworthy’ proposed adverts for a nurse recruitment campaign, saying they perpetuate 'outdated stereotypes’.

The adverts, which were never used, were drafts that were released to Health Service Journal in error by a design agency, and the trust involved, Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust , said it had rejected them as soon as it saw them.

One advert features a nurse with the caption: 'Before lunch, Izzy made Roy's heart flutter. It'd stopped for ten minutes',

A second said: 'As soon as Emma looked at John she knew it was serious. A full fracture of the tibia.'

Online response

Dozens of nurses commented on the adverts on Nursing Standard’s Facebook page.

Maria Turnbull said they were offensive to the profession, while Vanessa Giniiw-Ikwe Willow commented: ‘Sexualisation of nurses. Way to go! Public does not respect nurses as it is. We are belittled. Assaulted. Threatened. Poor, poor judgement here.’

Steph Louise wrote: ‘Cringeworthy is the best word to describe this.’

Bonnie Grenham added: ‘This attitude would not have cut the mustard in the '70s, when we were a respected profession. Why would this advert attract thoughtful, intelligent professionals into the job? For heaven’s sake, haven't we got enough to contend with without perpetuating outdated stereotypes.’

Diane Hamilton wrote: ‘This is beyond disgusting and very highly offensive, and don't dare insult us further by quoting an admin error – nurses are intelligent and certainly not stupid.’

Released in error

Hull and East Yorkshire NHS Trust said the adverts were prototypes that had been 'immediately rejected', and surfaced after they were sent by design agency Strawberry to Health Service Journal without approval.The trust said the adverts featured newly qualified nursing staff they were ‘proud’ to have working in their organisation.

Trust executive chief nurse Mark Wright said: ‘We would like to reiterate that the campaign wording which sparked the debate related to prototypes that were never used. When they were presented to us we rejected them immediately. They have never been used alongside images of the nurses concerned in any advertising campaign run by Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust.

‘The visuals that were used in the media and social media were released to the Health Service Journal in error by our design agency, Strawberry, without our knowledge or approval. Strawberry has apologised unreservedly for this mistake, which is deeply regrettable.’

Strawberry chair Jonathan Leafe said: ‘On behalf of Strawberry, I would like to apologise to the individual nurses concerned, to Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, and to anyone who has been offended by the campaign visuals in circulation that were not meant for publication.’

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