Modernising Scientific Careers
Education and training changes for the whole healthcare science workforce
A regional overview...
What is Modernising Scientific Careers (MSC)?
MSC is a UK-wide education and training strategy for the whole healthcare science workforce in the NHS. It introduces a clear and coherent career pathway and structure for the healthcare science workforce. MSC covers every step of the career pathway and includes education, training and workforce planning.
Why is MSC happening?
In short, MSC is happening because we need a modern workforce for a modern NHS. This means liberating the role of the healthcare science workforce. The current training and employment of the healthcare science workforce is too diverse with a large number of routes through education and training. Pathways sometimes aren’t clear and it is often difficult for people to find their way up the career ladder.
MSC will mean a level playing field for healthcare science staff to gain access to different levels and types of training. In the past we have often seen historically based decisions on how and where training was offered. MSC will open up more opportunities to all of the healthcare science workforce staff groups for training across different specialisms, which historically has not always been the case.
Why is MSC important?
MSC is important because it will ensure flexibility, sustainability and modern career pathways for healthcare scientists, fit to address the needs of future NHS.
It will have major implications for all NHS organisations and in the north east it will impact on around NHS 4,000 staff. It will change commissioning for a number of training programmes to a new education system, including training to become a healthcare science assistant\associate, practitioner or scientist within life, physical or physiological sciences.
What's happening in the north east?
In the north east, the first phase of MSC (developing the education provision) is now well on the way to being complete. The second phase is now beginning in earnest, to prepare the NHS to help in the training and development of these staff. The third phase, providing employment opportunities and ensuring appropriate recruitment to the NHS will impact in the summer of 2014 when the new graduates qualify.
Key achievements so far include:
- In September 2011, Sunderland University started to deliver the new practitioner degree which includes life sciences (blood, cellular and infection sciences) and physiological sciences (audiology and cardiology).
- Newcastle, Sunderland and Northumbria Universities have been awarded contracts for STP programme in physiological sciences - cardiovascular; respiratory and sleep sciences, gastrointestinal physiology and urodynamic sciences (the only programme in England) and for physical sciences - medical physics.
- 50% of local trusts now have a named MSC lead.
We also have regional leads in post for each of the three healthcare science streams– life, physical and physiological. Their job is to act as the conduit between local NHS trusts, the SHA and the universities. They provide expert advice and guidance on all things MSC and use their significant service experience to help everyone involved in MSC strike the right the balance between service and educational requirements and individuals’ CPD needs.
To find out more about each of our science stream leads, click here.