AHCS March blog

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31 / 3 / 2015 8.52am

Hello everybody and welcome to my latest blog.

As ever, this has been a busy time, there is always a lot going on in healthcare science.

I recently attended the Chief Scientific Officer’s annual conference, listening to the speakers at that event - all leaders in their own fields - confirmed the progress that has been made in what are, particularly for me, some really key areas. These include a much wider recognition, indeed acceptance, of the need for the scientific profession to speak with ‘one voice’ - something the Academy for Healthcare Science, with professional bodies, works to promote. I believe that ‘one voice’ for the scientific profession, when it is focussed, clear and representative, is amplified and therefore more effective. Healthcare scientists really do have so much to say, it felt to me that all the delegates at the conference, as well as the eminent speakers, were thinking as a coherent profession. This can only be to the benefit of patients. It would also seem that, if this is the case, there is real hope for faster progress in achieving more recognition and empowerment for our healthcare scientists.

The conference also mirrored the Academy’s position on the need to encourage and facilitate scientific representation on NHS Boards, Governors Councils and as Executive Directors, and Non Executives. Scientists have so much to offer NHS leadership. I am glad that this is attracting more attention so that the expertise of this workforce is fully utilised. It was acknowledged that there is a clear link between effective and sustained communication activity about and between sciences/ scientists, success and visibility, and the influence of its leaders. It seems to me that there has been more media coverage in the last six months about scientific and medical advances than ever before, so the appetite is clearly there. However, scientists contribute so much to the success of the NHS yet they do not have the same profile or kudos as other clinicians. I am glad that that seems to be changing and that the Academy – and you as employers – have a part to play.

Sue Covill, Director of Development and Employment at NHS Employers was quoted in the report recently published by the Professional Standards Authority (PSA) “Accredited Registers" saying “NHS Employers supports Accredited Registers. We recommend that all employers recruiting health and care practitioners should look for the Accredited Register mark as a sign of quality”. Read the report on the PSA website.

Clearly it is important for practitioners to be registered as this does offer that assurance of quality and commitment to high standards, to both employers and patients. The Academy’s accredited register, also mentioned in the PSA Report, offers a way of improving patient care and safety, and, raising the profile of those health care scientists, who are not currently on a statutory register.

I hope all employers take every opportunity to inform their scientific workforce of the programmes available through the Academy to support them in this.

As always, for more information on the Academy and the programmes we offer, including registration and equivalence, and to view the presentations from the Chief Scientific Officer’s annual conference please visit our website www.ahcs.ac.uk .

Until next time …

Janet Monkman
Chief Executive, Academy for Healthcare Science

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