WMG at the University of Warwick has launched an exciting new fusion science degree, accredited by the National School of Healthcare Science as part of Health Education England, and is designed specifically to train people for a brand new, and first of its kind health role within the NHS – Digital Healthcare Scientist.
The BSc degree, which has been developed in partnership with University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Trust, will be open as both a full-time undergraduate course, and a Degree Apprenticeship.
Graduating students will be eligible to apply for membership of the Academy for Healthcare Sciences under the new heading of Digital Healthcare Science. This represents the formation of a new healthcare professional and a new branch within the Academy, the first for many years.
The course has been designed with the aim of augmenting the existing workforce in the NHS and breaking down silos, adopting a fusion science approach: taking into consideration aspects of digital science, academic and professional development, clinical decision making, physiological science and behavioural science. Students will learn in an integrated way, applying knowledge, and ensuring that no subject is taught in isolation from any other.
Four fusion sciences: Behavioural Science, Healthcare and Physiological Sciences, Digital Healthcare, and Shared Clinical Decision-making, will be interwoven throughout the programme giving students a breadth of scientific training.
Professor Ed Peile, from the University of Warwick comments:
“Rarely do patients and health service users have a single problem. They have multiple, often complex, problems affecting their health and wellbeing. Thus, the help they need is not confined to a single discipline. They need broad, holistic, scientific professionalism.
“The ‘Fusion Science’ approach developed here is specifically designed to ensure that the new Digital Healthcare Science workforce can meet these needs”.
Tim Jones, Executive Director of Workforce & Innovation at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Trust comments:
“This is an exciting new degree which will help us train people for a significant new role in the NHS. University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Trust is also offering six full-time undergraduate students the opportunity for a paid summer vacation placement at the end of the first year of study.”
Berne Ferry, Head of the National School of Healthcare Science, adds:
“The National School of Healthcare Science has been closely involved in initiatives to develop a health workforce fit for the digital future. This includes the use of digital technologies and computer science in all areas of healthcare from artificial intelligence and bioinformatics to patient-focused apps and devices. We are delighted to see universities such as Warwick working quickly and responsively with the health service to develop exciting new programmes to meet these needs.”