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A bold strategy

IBMS Chief Executive David Wells on the vital role of the IBMS and its qualifications for the future of the workforce.

I’m writing this in the build-up to what I’m certain is going to be an outstanding IBMS Congress 2023. The event always reminds me how central our workforce is to healthcare, and our patients.

It seems apt that the first major piece of work we’ll be promoting after its Congress launch is our IBMS Long Term Biomedical Scientist Workforce Plan – a comprehensive and ambitious response to the NHS Long Term Workforce Plan, and the first from the healthcare science community.

Our bold strategy puts into perspective just how capable and adaptable the biomedical scientist workforce is and how, with the right recognition and support, the IBMS could help the profession to deliver a substantive increase in capacity and expertise.

The biomedical scientist workforce represents a safe and effective solution to many of the problems our services are facing because it can work collaboratively through integrated training programmes that exactly meet the needs of our highly specialised services. What’s more, the IBMS has the experience and the infrastructure to support and upskill the biomedical scientist (and clinical scientist) workforce in a manner that is safe, efficient and meets nationally recognised standards.

We need the government to recognise this, and then support and pay more towards making sure that IBMS Accredited students and graduates can access the training and experience they need to register and register faster. We also need them to enable more biomedical scientists and clinical scientists to take our specialist, higher and advanced qualifications to support gaps in other pathology professions.

IBMS qualifications and our whole approach to training is cheaper than alternatives because, as a charity, we don’t have a profit motive and we work with the profession to deliver exactly what is needed. The IBMS is run by our members, our qualifications are built by our members and our training is done by our members. A better future for the biomedical scientist workforce cannot be achieved without us.

When UK health systems recognise biomedical scientists as the key health service workforce we are, it will follow that IBMS qualifications are acknowledged as the key to furthering our development and meeting the expanding demands across pathology and genomics. When we get there, we will be rightfully proud to contribute even more substantially towards the future delivery of safe and effective, high-quality patient care.

David Wells Chief Executive

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