19th July 2019

Image: Welsh Healthcare Science Associate Framework Published.The new Higher Apprenticeship for the Healthcare Science Associate has recently been approved by the Welsh Government and is now available for use in the health sector in Wales.

The framework was developed by Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW) and NHS healthcare scientists and professionals representing the different disciplines in healthcare science (HCS), along with other stakeholders including professional bodies, training providers and awarding bodies. Technical expertise was provided by the Welsh Healthcare Science Network.

Skills for Health who, as the Sector Skills Council are the Issuing Authority for Welsh apprenticeships for the health sector, project managed the framework development. Dawn Probert, Senior Consultant with Skills for Health said ‘Skills for Health were very pleased to be involved in the development of this new apprenticeship framework and work in partnership with the Welsh healthcare science sector who can utilise this route to both attract, retain and develop staff in this diverse area of work’.

The HSC workforce of NHS Wales is rich and diverse and holds a key role in the patient pathway, as they are involved in over 80% of all clinical diagnoses that directly impact upon patient care. Healthcare scientists provide diagnostic, rehabilitative and therapeutic services in over 50 different scientific disciplines areas. These include; nuclear medicine, clinical, diagnostic, rehabilitative and therapeutic services from conception to end of life, in job roles within hospitals, general practice and other settings in the healthcare sector and across all areas of HSC.

Based on recent figures approximately 1400 support staff currently work in HCS within NHS Wales, assisting the registered HCS workforce and performing a wide range of routine technical and scientific procedures. The clinical scientific environment determines the context of the HCS Associate work and role. The associate role at level 4 of the Welsh Health Career Framework will now be able to undertake training via the apprenticeship framework and study a new HCS diploma, recently accredited for use in Wales, as well as enhance their literacy and numeracy skills.

This new framework has been developed to meet the needs of the HCS workforce in Wales and supports the broad vision of the sector to develop an increasingly skilled, flexible and effective workforce whilst maintaining high quality and safe care for patients.

Liz Hargest, Education Development Manager with HEIW said ‘This is an exciting development demonstrating true partnership working between NHS Wales, Welsh Government and Skills for Health. This Framework will be part of a suite of resources available to managers to support them in the development of their staff. This Framework will facilitate support workers careers and build on the high- quality services already delivered to individuals by this workforce, with learners achieving accredited, transferable knowledge and skills’

The framework has been published on the Apprenticeship Framework Online and is available to view here now.

Here at Skills for Health, we are the UK’s leading authority on Apprenticeships in the health sector, contact us today to ensure you make the most of your apprenticeship opportunities and funding.