Apprenticeship to train radiographers in the independent sector is launched

A community diagnostic centre in Somerset is said to be the first independent facility in the UK to offer conventional apprenticeship training to student radiographers, in a partnership between Rutherford Diagnostics, Somerset NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Exeter.

In order to address the growing skills shortage facing the sector, the new model means that apprentices are able to take part in a three-year BSc (Hons) in Diagnostic Radiography and Imaging through the University of Exeter. As well as their studies, they will be based between the independent Rutherford Diagnostic Centre Somerset and Musgrove Park Hospital, which is an NHS hospital.

The degree-level apprenticeship means that in addition to the academic support provided by the university, trainees will have a significant amount of work-based learning via employment in a variety of healthcare environments throughout the course. Making this possible through Rutherford Health gives the trust the added value of increasing its potential workforce capacity through additional skilled work-experienced graduates.

Hannah Pickard from Devon will become the first apprentice to be trained through this initiative at Rutherford Health. She said: “I wasn’t actually aware of the apprentice scheme when I applied for my job, and only learned about it a few months later. I was delighted to be accepted onto the course by the University of Exeter and I feel really lucky to have the opportunity to study while also working in both an acute care and private setting.

“I’m really excited to get started. I have a lot to learn, but it’s an area of medicine that is close to my heart and I already know from my time working in this space that there is never a dull moment. I find radiology fascinating – there’s so much you can do.”

This new apprenticeship model runs in addition to the existing programme that the NHS trust runs at Musgrove Park Hospital, which is now in its third year.

Picture: Hannah Pickard from Devon is the first recruit to the new apprenticeship scheme.

Published on page 8 of the April 2022 issue of RAD Magazine.

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