Evaluation of the Strategic Interventions in Health Education Disciplines programme
There are over 350 careers in the NHS. Given this scale, how can some of the smaller and less well-known professions attract students to study to enter their profession either in the NHS or private practice? This is the question that the Office for Students’ Strategic Interventions in Health Education Disciplines (SIHED) programme has worked on since September 2018. The programme looked at all allied health professions but with a particular focus on four: therapeutic radiography, prosthetics and orthotics, podiatry, and orthoptics.
It delivered a range of interventions including commissioned research, Challenge Fund projects delivered by higher education providers, and a national media campaign; ISeeTheDifference.
SQW’s evaluation designed data capture systems and worked with delivery partners to embed these. We then created, collated and analysed evidence from all course providers and other partners in the sector. Our evaluation report (published June 2021) is available here and from the Office for Students’ website. In it we describe the programme’s key achievements in terms of networks created and enhanced, innovations fostered by the delivery partners, and its reach to young people, parents, teachers and others who might be thinking of a different career move.
An important legacy of the programme is its support for the mobilisation of those already working in the profession to share their knowledge and passion for their job as careers ambassadors or champions. This, along with the continuation of the media campaign is the subject of our final year of evaluation work.