Strategic Interventions in Health Education Disciplines programme legacy evaluation

From 2018 to 2021, the Office for Students funded the £3m Strategic Interventions in Health Education Disciplines (SIHED) programme to support student awareness of, recruitment to and success in, four small and vulnerable allied health disciplines: therapeutic radiography, prosthetics and orthotics, podiatry and orthoptics.

The programme was delivered by a range of partners including the College of Podiatry, the Society of Radiographers, the British and Irish Orthoptic Society, the British Association of Prosthetists and Orthotists, and Universities and Colleges across England. Programme interventions included a marketing and communications campaign and website ‘ISeeTheDifference’, outreach officers engaging with schools and colleges and upskilling alumni and professionals to become ambassadors for their professions, understanding student demand, and funding innovations by universities with a view to identifying and sharing good practice.

SQW was commissioned in September 2018 to provide a three-year evaluation of the impact of the interventions and programme as a whole, generating formative learning throughout programme implementation. The evaluation report was published here. In 2021 SQW was commissioned by the Office for Students to conduct a one-year follow on evaluation, to explore the legacy of the programme. The findings from the one year on evaluation have been published and are available here. The one year on study found that the programme continues to have an effect, with campaign resources still being used, sustained student interest in the allied health professions, and continued desire amongst partners for joint working. Continuing collaborative efforts to raise awareness, share learnings and innovations, and maintain resources will however be key to sustaining the programme’s legacy longer term.​​​​​