‘Then, Now, Always’ is the most successful instalment of the ‘We Are the NHS’ recruitment campaign. Communications were launched during the COVID-19 global pandemic. Using real people, patients and situations, emotive messaging featured the NHS past, present and future to drive positive awareness of the institution and consideration for NHS careers. A CRM database of warm prospects for NHS roles was grown. The campaign delivered a 35% uplift in UCAS nursing applications versus the 25% rise in a control group, and recruited an additional 3,218 nurses, saving the NHS £248 million in freelance nursing costs.