Health Education England has awarded funding to the Baker Dearing Education Trust to support the next generation of digital health professionals.
The organisation will use the £52,000 to employ a project manager who will be responsible for developing more resources which will be used across the Digital Health Pathway course.
The Digital Health Pathway is currently offered at 10 University Technical Colleges across the country. It is a two-year course for 14–19-year-olds which aims to deliver hands-on learning for students interested in careers in computing and life sciences. Students gain experience working on real-life problems through working with local employers.
With more resources, it is hoped the pathway can be expanded to more University Technical Colleges.
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.”
The Digital Health Pathway includes employer-led projects, competitions and expert masterclasses to help showcase the opportunities that exist within the NHS for people with the right digital skills. The Health Education England funding will help expand what it can achieve.
Simon Connell, Baker Dearing Educational Trust, chief executive said: “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.”
Health Education England CEO, Navina Evans, revealed at a panel discussion at HETT last month, that having a digital expertise workforce was key to tackling the workforce crisis.