Casting call for ‘hospital patients’ was for NHS recruitment advert

27 September 2021
What was claimed

A casting call looking for actors to play “hospital patients” suggests there aren’t enough genuine patients in hospitals.

Our verdict

The NHS has confirmed that the job advert was for actors to feature in an NHS staff recruitment campaign.

A screenshot of a job advert from a casting agency which asked for adults aged 18-80 to play the role of hospital patients has been widely shared on social media. The posts include captions such as “Why would we need paid actors for the NHS??? I thought the hospitals were overwhelmed” and “we are hiring patients now”. 

NHS England told Full Fact that the advert was to cast extras for a new “We Are the NHS” recruitment advert.

Talent Talks, the casting agency which advertised the roles, told Full Fact it was “shooting an advert for the NHS where we need passers-by, doctors, nurses, patients and even nightclubbers and runners (athletes) as well as patients (waiting in a waiting room)”.  

It added “The patients aren’t real patients, the same as the doctors aren’t real doctors. Its [sic] simply acting”.

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