Health Education England awards funding to support digital health course
Health Education England has given digital innovation in the future workforce a boost with the injection of funding to support a new generation of digital health professionals.
The Baker Dearing Education Trust has been awarded £52,000 to support a new generation of digital health professionals.
The funding will allow the trust to employ a project manager who will develop more resources to be used across the Digital Health Pathway course.
The Digital Health Pathway is a two-year course for 14–19-year-olds that began in October 2021 at 10 University Technical Colleges across the country.
The aim of the funding is to ensure that the courses have enough resources to be able to expand the Pathway to more University Technical Colleges.
The Pathway began last year as a project aimed at delivering more hands-on learning for students looking for a career in computing and health sciences by working with local employers so they can gain experience working on real-life problems.
Patrick Mitchell, Director of Innovation, Digital and Transformation at Health Education England, said: “The Digital Health Pathways Project has shown to be a fantastic way for young people to gain skills and experience to set them up for a career in digital health.
“We hope that the funding being made available to the Baker Dearing Educational Trust will allow for the resources to be developed so many more young people around the country can have the opportunity to gain digital health skills in this way.”
Simon Connell, Baker Dearing Educational Trust, chief executive said: “We are absolutely delighted to be working with Health Education England on this new digital health education pathway for 14- to 19-year-olds.
“There is a great need for a pipeline of homegrown talent into our healthcare sector to ensure patients continue to benefit from a world-class health service. In a modern NHS, improving health outcomes and preventing ill health is as dependent on our mastery of data as it is our access to the latest medicines.
“Young people are also keen to pursue careers in this area. Which is why this project will help encourage talented UTC students specialising in digital and health disciplines to consider careers with the NHS.
“An array of employer-led projects, competitions, and expert masterclasses is intended to demonstrate the sheer range of amazing opportunities within the NHS for young people with the right digital skills.
“The fact that ten University Technical Colleges will be leading on this work is especially gratifying as it builds on the work that UTC staff have already committed to developing digital health education pathways.
“We are grateful for Health Education England’s support as we think their input into the NHS, combined with our network of UTCs and ability to develop reliable and useful evidence will mean we can develop a successful digital health education pathway.
“We are looking forward to getting started.”
Chris Low, CEO of the Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park and co-chair of the Digital Health Pathways steering group, said: “We are delighted to receive this support from Health Education England who are leading from the front by backing this transformational skills programme for young people.
“The focus is squarely on equipping the future workforce with the digital skills needed by the NHS and the wider health and care system.
“We have ambitious plans to build on this programme and this vote of confidence from HEE makes us determined to extend our positive impact on future skills challenges.”