Health Professions: Recruitment and Training

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered am ar 4 Ebrill 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Rachael Maskell Rachael Maskell Labour/Co-operative, York Central

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if she will take steps to (a) recruit and (b) train more (i) medical physicists and (ii) clinical engineers.

Photo of Andrew Stephenson Andrew Stephenson Assistant Whip, Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

The number of Scientist Training Programme (STP) trainees in Medical Physics and Clinical Engineering has tended to increase, with larger increases in recent years. The number of Higher Specialist Scientist Training (HSST) trainees has remained fairly constant. The following two tables show the number of trainees in the Medical Physics and Clinical Engineering STP each year since 2011, and the number of Medical Physics and Clinical Engineering trainees in HSST each year since 2014, respectively:

Year

Medical Physics STP

Clinical Engineering STP

2011

61

8

2012

60

14

2013

67

13

2014

72

18

2015

72

8

2016

66

9

2017

73

20

2018

76

16

2019

86

13

2020

77

17

2021

83

25

2022

103

12

2023

118

21

2024

117

15

Note: The data for 2024 is subject to change, and without the Wales numbers.

Year

Medical Physics HSST

Clinical Engineering HSST

2014

14

1

2015

29

1

2016

26

2

2017

23

2

2018

12

2

2019

15

4

2020

16

0

2021

15

2

2022

11

N/A

2023

17

2

2024

8

2

Notes:

- the data for 2024 is subject to change, and without the Wales numbers; and

- data is not available for the year 2022.

The NHS Long Term Workforce Plan sets out the future National Health Service workforce requirements, and includes healthcare science figures, though this is not broken down into Medical Physics and Clinical Engineering workforce targets. The plan assesses that education and training places for healthcare scientists need to increase by 20 to 34%, reaching between 930 and 1,039 places by 2033/34. The ambition set out in this plan is to increase training places for healthcare scientists by 32%, to over 1,000 places, by 2031/32. We will work towards achieving this ambition by increasing training places by 13%, to over 850, by 2028/29.

The workforce plan also sets out the ambition to retain up to 130,000 more staff across the NHS over the next 15 years, through measures to improve staff’s experience of working in the NHS. This applies to all NHS staff groups, including medical physicists and clinical engineers.

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