BMI Healthcare

Using insight to help a private hospital recruit a tough audience

To remain one of the country’s biggest and best private healthcare providers, BMI has to recruit the industry’s top talent. Our in-depth qualitative research revealed the insight that helped them find the hook to attract NHS theatre nurses to a new career in private care. 


BMI Healthcare is the largest provider of medical services in the UK, offering treatments to private patients, insured patients and NHS patients nationwide. Their hospitals and clinics see 1.5m outpatients and 276,000 inpatients every year.

The wide range of surgeries they offer requires a highly qualified, dedicated and engaged theatre nursing staff, split into three specialist areas: Anaesthetics, Recovery and Scrub.

BMI wanted a recruitment campaign that would set them apart and attract the best theatre nurses away from the NHS and over to private care. 


We conducted a series of qualitative interviews with existing BMI staff and NHS theatre nurses to understand how their roles differed; and what motivated existing staff to pursue a career in private healthcare.

Our research revealed that theatre nurses felt most valued in teams where everyone was treated equally; and when employers gave them a chance to realise their ambitions. They were a dedicated bunch and expected a lot from their career. 

The main reasons theatre staff gave for coming to the BMI from an NHS background were the variety of work; better hours; being made to feel an important part of the wider team; and also being given a chance to shine. 


These insights inspired our press campaign, ‘Our theatre. Your stage…’ – a play on words that says everyone plays a vital role in a BMI theatre, nobody gets overlooked, and every person enjoys their time in the spotlight.

Using dramatic lighting synonymous with the theatre and focusing on the key roles available, we showed that, like actors in a play, all theatre staff work together as part of a team to deliver the best performance and outcome for patients at BMI.