An innovative degree apprenticeship that is accredited by the National School of Healthcare Science has been recognised at this year’s Advancing Healthcare Awards. The Healthcare Science Practitioner bachelor’s degree, which can be completed through the traditional academic route, has also been offered through a flexible, part-time, vocational training route by accredited universities and NHS trusts since September of last year. Both routes result in a BSc in Healthcare Science which is accredited by the School and approved by the Institute of Biomedical Science.
The degree apprenticeship being offered by Staffordshire University, in partnership with the University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust (UHNM), has received the ‘Inspiring the Future Biomedical Science Workforce’ award. This was the first healthcare science degree apprenticeship of its kind and will soon be followed by many other courses as more higher education and training providers are accredited. Nearly 20 trusts from across the country were involved in the creation of the degree apprenticeship standard which was approved for delivery just over a year ago.
Graham Wilson, the School’s Professional Lead for healthcare science apprenticeships, said: “It is fantastic to see the Healthcare Science Practitioner degree apprenticeship being recognised and I congratulate Staffordshire University and UHNM for their work in creating such a pioneering programme. We know that the NHS is going to need a large, highly-skilled healthcare science workforce in the future which is why widening access to training and higher education opportunities is so vital. It is very encouraging to see this innovative approach to healthcare science education being recognised so early in its delivery.”
The award follows another prize given for the level 6 apprenticeship at the Chief Scientific Officer’s Healthcare Science awards. That event, attended by the Princess Royal, saw Staffordshire University’s Biological Sciences Department receive the ‘Excellence in Education Delivery’ award. Graham Wilson added: “As an end-point assessor for these apprenticeships, and others at level 2 and 4, the School will continue to play a key role in their development and implementation. We are delighted with the interest shown so far and look forward to promoting degree apprenticeships in healthcare science in the coming years. Well done to all involved in achieving this much-deserved award.”