Recognising the important role that clinical academics play in the NHS, and the absence of a clear pathway, HEE wanted to develop a ‘multi-professional Clinical Academic Careers Framework’ for the benefit of patients.
HEE published a ‘Clinical Academic Careers Framework’ in 2018 as a key objective from their previously published Research and Innovation Strategy. The framework aimed to streamline existing schemes and coordinate their development, whilst maintaining the flexibility to meet the needs of the different professional groups.
The framework is intended to enhance the understanding and planning of individuals seeking a clinical academic career in research and education. It outlines funded integrated clinical academic career programmes for healthcare professions.
The opening paragraph in that framework reads:
The opportunities to introduce the advances and innovation in medical science, diagnostics and treatment spanning all areas of healthcare including biology, physics, engineering and physiology for the benefit of patients and healthcare services have never been greater.
The programmes are divided into two:
- Integrated Academic Training (IAT) Programme for doctors and dentists in training (funded by the Department of Health and Social Care and managed by the NIHR)
- Integrated Clinical Academic (ICA) Programme for other regulated healthcare professions including healthcare scientists (funded by Health Education England and managed by the NIHR)