The 55,000 strong healthcare science workforce of the NHS and its related bodies, the Health Protection Agency and NHS Blood and Transplant, represent the largest group of scientists in a single employment sector in the UK. Their vast scientific knowledge and skill base stretches across some 45 scientific specialisms encompassing biology, genetics, physiology, physics and bioengineering. This knowledge lies at the foundation of the profession’s crucial and often unique role in:
- providing complex and specialist diagnostic services, analysis and clinical interpretation
- offering direct therapeutic service provision and support
- introducing technological and scientific advances into healthcare, and undertaking research, development and innovation
- providing performance and quality assurance, risk management and clinical safety design and management
- teaching, training and providing a specialist consultancy and clinical advice service to other clinicians with respect to all of the key functions above.
The healthcare science workforce plays a critical part in delivering healthcare. More than 80% of all diagnoses are reached with a contribution from healthcare scientists.
This document highlights some of these roles.