Support for allied health professionals after a career break

Allied health professionals to get support back to practice following career breaks.

A programme has been announced to help allied health professionals get back to work following a career break.

Returning physios are among those who will be helped back to practice   Picture: iStock

The Department for Health will build on the existing return-to-practice scheme for nurses and run a returner programme with Health Education England (HEE) for 300 allied health professionals, including physiotherapists, podiatrists, dietitians and radiographers. The scheme will include education, re-training and tailored support. It is hoped returners will be ready to practise within 12 months.

Skills refresher

The Come Back return to practice programme for nurses, which began in 2014, has helped 2,445 people return to employment.

The allied health professionals programme will aim to give people who have taken career breaks the opportunity to refresh their skills and build professional networks.

According to research by the consultancy PwC, addressing the financial loss experienced by people who have taken career breaks could provide a £1.7 billion boost to the UK’s annual economic output. For women, that could increase annual earnings by an average of £4,000 per person.

Gender pay gap

The career returner programme is part of a government attempt to tackle the gender pay gap. By next April, it will require all employers with 250 or more staff to report their gender pay gap and bonus gap.

HEE director of nursing and deputy director education and quality Lisa Bayliss-Pratt added: ‘We are extremely pleased to be able support allied health professionals back into our NHS as we know they contribute expert skills across the whole health and care system.

‘Clinicians of all backgrounds returning to practice have a vital role to play, as they tend to be more experienced and highly skilled.’

A spokesperson for HEE told Nursing Standard the programme was still in an early stage and recommended monitoring its website to see when details of how to apply are advertised.

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