Apprenticeship Investment in Clinical Engineering
Time: 2:30 pm - 2:50 pm
Date: 5.10.22 PM
The role of Clinical Engineering in support of the NHS came into sharp focus during the COVID-19 Pandemic and has shone a light on this essential profession. There is a shortage of Clinical Engineers and an ageing workforce with fewer and fewer recruits. The industry is having to move quickly with an ever increasing portfolio of connected devices and interfaces to the Electronic Patient Record (EPR). These skills are moving Clinical Engineering into greater depth with Trust ICT departments and detailed knowledge of software. The MHRA requires all staff to be appropriately trained.
The investment from the NHS and private sector companies into Apprenticeships for Clinical Engineers is now paramount. The focus into ensuring succession planning; greater ICT skills; the implications to cyber security, knowledge of Net Zero Carbon and other sustainability related issues will mean a shift in the knowledge base of Clinical Engineering. Attracting more recruits and raising the status of the personnel working within it is an import shift post-pandemic. Putting the clinical back into Clinical Engineering; the training of clinical colleagues on key equipment e.g. ventilators; whilst recognising that there multiple levels of opportunity, including attracting young people who have practical skills and can see a route into the profession with support from structured courses.
Raising the profile; paying the appropriate levels for the skills and joint collaboration between the NHS and Private Sector companies that have access to the Apprenticeship Levy, give opportunities help plug the emerging gap in this profession, and provide a long-term career path.
There are a multitude of routes from entry level 2; through to degree level; all with established recognized providers. A number of organisations like RCT IHEEM and IPEM are investing in this approach. The Private Sector are also using Social Values funds to invest in these careers.
- Caroline Finlay Chief Operating Officer - MTS Health