We welcome the chance to elevate the role of healthcare science and the vital job its workforce is doing, says the chief executive of the Academy for Healthcare Science

The profile of healthcare science and its importance to the delivery of healthcare was given a boost by a great article in HSJ earlier this year, “The role of NHS scientists under the microscope”.

‘Healthcare scientists can take centre stage as the source of innovation and technological advancement that will transform medicine’

Authors Professor Malcolm Sperrin, Therese Crawley and Professor Berne Ferry, themselves eminent scientists, clearly state the case for the expansion and development of the NHS scientific workforce and the consultant scientist role.

The Academy for Healthcare Science is at the forefront of efforts to elevate this vital area and its workforce to take centre stage as the source of invention and the route for innovation and technological advancement that will help to transform medicine and change people’s lives.

The academy is the overarching body working across all disciplines to provide “one united voice” for the whole healthcare science workforce, addressing areas including recognition, reputation and regulation.

Promoting the profession

Recognition is about raising the profile of healthcare science and its workforce so that is widely understood as central to successful and safe care and treatment.

Reputation involves clarifying and promoting the role and impact of healthcare science and its innovations, and establishing common values and standards.

Finally, regulation requires providing an effective governance framework and protection for patients, with the academy seeking to ensure that the whole profession is regulated and recognised in the same way as doctors and nurses.

‘Science and technology have never been more integral to people’s lives’

Science and technology have never been more integral to people’s lives, or more widely adopted. It is time to ensure that the great work of scientists in healthcare and their contribution to the effectiveness of the NHS is clearly identified, understood and respected.

The professional scientific leadership committee will support the academy in its ambitions, particularly around coordination, promotion, influencing national policy, implementing innovation and effective governance. Its first aims are to secure dedicated time for professional activity, training and continuing professional development for scientists, to clarify the benefits of scientific leadership within NHS trusts, and encourage the increased visibility and presence of healthcare scientists on healthcare provider boards.

All current and future healthcare scientists are invited to visit our website for more information about the academy and its various strands of work, including registration, equivalence and education and training.

Janet Monkman, chief executive, Academy for Healthcare Science