A new blended learning program for Anesthesia Associates will be launched at University College London and Lancaster University, Health England (HEE) announced today.
Anesthesia Associates (AA) are highly qualified medical practitioners who work as part of a team under the direction and supervision of a consultant anaesthetist.
The blended learning programs will be available from early 2023 and, combined with the AA’s new national funding model, this commissioned development will support the growth of the AA workforce over the next two years.
University College London has been commissioned to develop a program covering London, the South East, South West, Midlands and East England, while Lancaster University will cover the North West, North East and Yorkshire and the Humber.
The blended learning program for Associates in Anesthesia is one of the Medical professions – uses a combination of learning approaches supported by proven, virtual and augmented digital technologies.
Online, remote access to the program will make it more accessible to those who cannot learn in traditional ways. This approach will help expand access to training, encourage participation, and support the growth of the anesthesia workforce.
Patrick Mitchell, senior health professions officer and director of innovation, digital and transformation for Health England, said:
“We are delighted to announce the successful award of this important programme.
“This new blended learning program will provide a wider national reach for education provision, make learning more accessible and widen participation. In turn, this will play a vital role in expanding the workforce pipeline and will ultimately support the achievement of the goals set out in the NHS Long Term Plan, helping to ensure continuity of quality care.’
Professor David Walker, Professor of Perioperative Medicine and Anesthesia at UCL’s Department of Surgery and Interventional Sciences, said:
“The MSc in Anesthesia here at UCL is delighted to receive university funding which will enable us to consolidate what promises to be an excellent course.
“This is an opportunity to work closely with HEE, the Royal College of Anesthetists and the GMC to ensure the growth and development of this much-needed healthcare professional group.
“We hope to bring our expertise in healthcare program development to create an engaging and exciting course and look forward to working with students and clinical leaders from across the UK in the near future.”
Head of Lancaster Medical School, Professor Marina Anderson, said:
“At a time of such pressure on our NHS, there is an urgent need for innovation in our healthcare workforce to support the best possible health care for the nation. HEE’s initiative to train more anesthesia professionals across England is part of other work to deliver excellent, effective and fair care. Lancaster University Medical School is delighted to be working with HEE, the NHS Partnership Trust and the statutory bodies on this important undertaking.”
In the coming weeks, HEE regional offices will be contacting NHS trusts with further information about applying to the programme, registration and start dates, as well as help to link up with other initiatives.
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