Return to work scheme launched for AHPs and healthcare scientists


A new campaign aimed at attracting former allied healthcare professionals (AHPs) and healthcare scientists back into practice has been launched by Health Education England (HEE) this week.

Allied Health Professionals (AHPs) and Healthcare Scientists who used to work in the NHS will be given support and advice – including signposting to catch-up courses and funding – so they can renew their registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and can return to patient care and diagnostic services in healthcare settings. Universities run a range of returner courses, such as the University of Derby’s Return to Occupational Therapy course, and there are often remote learning options.

The campaign, run with support and funding from the Government Equalities Office which works with the Department for Education, aims to have 300 people registered on the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) by 2018/19.

Lapsed registration is not a barrier

Professor Lisa Bayliss-Pratt, Chief Nurse, Health Education England said: “There are many fantastic former healthcare professionals with lapsed registration that have years of knowledge and experience as members of the therapeutic and diagnostic caring team. We need you.

“If you are passionate about making a difference to patients, service users their families and careers then this opportunity will be of interest. If you are a highly compassionate individual who would like to return to the profession that you left – this is definitely for you. We will be with you every step of the way from helping you to find a returner programme that is right for you, through to sourcing placements as well as completing your assessments.”

The return to practice programme is open to all, regardless of how long you have been out of practice, but you must have done your original training in the UK.  It is not about retraining or sitting exams, but about updating skills. Funding includes Up to £1,000 in academic support and £500 in ‘out of pocket’ expenses, including childcare costs.

Allied Health Professionals include a range of therapeutic and technical clinical support occupations such as physiotherapists, occupational therapists, dietitians and paramedics. There are over 50,000 healthcare scientists (HCS) working in the NHS and public health services. Their role stretches across the whole innovation pathway from academic and translational research, to patient-centred service transformation. Healthcare scientists work in more than 50 specialisms (laboratory (pathology) sciences; physiological sciences; medical physics and clinical engineering and bioinformatics.

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