Health Minister Robin Swann has today announced a significant increase in the number of undergraduate training places for Allied Health Professionals.
Commencing in September, an additional 40 training places will be secured from Ulster University across the pre-registration training programmes for Physiotherapy; Occupational Therapy; Speech and Language Therapy; and Diagnostic Radiography.
This expansion increases the annual intake across all the AHP programmes commissioned by the Department to 285 places.
Minister Swann said: “Since becoming Minister of Health I have been clear on my commitment to ensure that Health and Social Care has the workforce it needs to continue providing excellent care and deliver on the future transformation of services. Each Allied Health Profession makes a significant contribution to delivering on these objectives and I am delighted to announce this important investment.”
The decision to commission additional pre-registration AHP training places has taken account of a range of relevant factors, including: strategic priority; current vacancy rates; previous cuts in core commissioning numbers; service pressures; as well as the evidence gained through the Department’s recent programme of regional, strategic workforce reviews across all 13 AHP professions. Consideration has also been given to the ability of services to deliver quality training clinical placements for the professions in question.
The Minister concluded: “Allied Health Professionals provide vital services including helping to reduce the length of hospital stays, assisting in managing patient flow and discharge from hospitals, and supporting education in special schools. Bringing an additional 40 undergraduates through to training will have a significant impact on our delivery of services and I wish all well for the future.”