HEE tries to bring back ex-medical professionals to bolster NHS workforce

Health Education England (HEE) has launched a major new campaign today aimed at bringing professionals back to the workforce after their licenses have lapsed.

The plan, developed alongside the Department for Education, involves targeting former allied health professionals (AHPs) with support and guidance in order to smooth the process of re-registering with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

It is not expected to bring in major numbers of staff, but will capitalise on the experience of people who have worked in the industry before who have different skills from newly-qualified staff.

“There are many fantastic former healthcare professionals with lapsed registration that have years of knowledge and experience as members of the therapeutic and diagnostic caring team,” commented Professor Lisa Bayliss-Pratt, chief nurse at HEE.

“If you are passionate about making a difference to patients, service users their families and careers then this opportunity will be of interest.

“If you are a highly compassionate individual who would like to return to the profession that you left - this is definitely for you. We will be with you every step of the way from helping you to find a returner programme that is right for you, through to sourcing placements as well as completing your assessments.”

AHPs work with all age groups across specialities in a range of surroundings including hospitals, people’s homes, clinics, surgeries and schools, and offer a range of therapeutic and technical clinical support occupations such as physiotherapists, occupational therapists, dietitians and paramedics.

This development represents HEE’s latest efforts to improve the workforce, following the release of the draft of its 10-year workforce strategy last month, which is looking to create a long-term staffing plan for the first time in almost 25 years.

Focusing on retention, the strategy concedes that spending on new workforce production has reduced the ability to invest in current staff, which needs to be collectively worked on to improve the situation for employees.

It has been widely welcomed by healthcare leaders, with health and social care secretary Jeremy Hunt also crediting the plan for providing a long-term approach to an issue that has previously only been looked at in the short-term.

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