Health Education England (HEE) is to merge with NHS England and NHS Innovation (NHSEI) in a move which will see radiography and other allied health professionals (AHP) training come under closer government control.
The plans, which will also see the integration of the digital organisations NHSX and NHS Digital into NHSEI, is part of health secretary Sajid Javid’s plans to achieve more direct control of the health service, removing the current arm’s length relationship of the various bodies.
However, scrapping HEE as a separate body is likely to raise concerns about the funding of NHS training, made more acute after the Chancellor Rishi Sunak unexpectedly failed to specify ring-fenced funds for the organisation in last month’s budget.
Charlotte Beardmore, executive director of professional policy at the Society, said the move will not affect SCoR’s immediate work with HEE.
‘We will continue to work with HEE and NHSEI whilst the change is being planned, and that we will continue to work hard to ensure that the radiographer's voice is heard as the structures change. It’s important we continue to influence and ensure our profession is recognised and supported, and the appropriate growth and development of the profession goes on in order we can provide excellent care for patient,’ she said.
Radiography training is currently overseen by the AHP Team at HEE, headed by physiotherapist Beverly Harden. It is not clear at this stage how the integration plans will affect the team.