Let’s shine a light on the opportunities in allied health professions

Higher education can open the door to a variety of important and rewarding specialist healthcare roles, but these opportunities are not always well understood.


Rakesh Patel

Dear Ed, I have read your article with interest and wondered if you were aware of the plight of the Modernising Scientific Careers Practitioner Training Programme (PTP). These HEE courses are 3 years and include compulsory UNPAID and UNFUNDED 50 weeks placements. Mostly the students follow a career in AHS in the NHS. One of the largest barriers for attracting students on this course is the 12mths or so unpaid work and unfunded placement. For some reason the 'Learning Support Fund' available to other AHP is not available to the PTP students, yet the course is arguably more challenging and the curriculum set and restricted by HEE. There is a level of unexplained discrimination that is of concern. It is also rather shameful as students who have pursued this calling, can suffer significant hardship, there are cases that students have had to use food banks. Their health has been affected disproportionately, mental health is a concern that has been growing and particularly so in this group of students. Given the above, universities are seriously considering the viability of PTP courses, many have ceased. The implications are a workforce shortage and future problems given the ageing population. I have raised this directly with the National School of Healthcare Science, but progress is slow and I sense it should be higher on their agenda. So I would have to say that a huge problem with recruitment to AHP is the injustice in funding that exists and hope that perhaps you can investigate this and publish a reply. Thanks Rakesh

28 Oct 2018 - 1:59PM

Paul Illingworth

Great initiative and would like to get involved in these developments. Surprised/disappointed that as Head of Leicester School of Allied Health Sciences which includes AHPs I have not been approached directly. Is there a way this can be facilitated going forward please? Paul

28 Oct 2018 - 7:21AM

Elaine Buckley

I very much welcome this focus on the broader healthcare workforce, not only does the range of professions provide interesting opportunities for prospective students of all ages and backgrounds, once becoming an AHP there are many different career pathways to follow. As a physiotherapist of 37 years I have had clinical, managerial and academic careers.

26 Oct 2018 - 12:27PM

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