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News Report Page 13 of 17
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National Breast Imaging Academy training programmes will save lives and deliver millions in health savings

BY addressing significant breast imaging workforce shortages, the National Breast Imaging Academy (NBIA) is helping to deliver improved outcomes for patients and to save the health economy £50m over 10 years, according to an independent evaluation report.

The NBIA was established in 2018 to deliver new training programmes and tackle recruitment and retention issues across the breast imaging workforce in England. Funded by Health Education England (HEE) and hosted by Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, it has developed a Mammography Associate apprenticeship, Breast Clinician Credential, Radiology Fellowship and extensive e-learning resources for breast imaging professionals.

Analysis by Economics By Design predicts that between 2020 and 2029, these new initiatives will produce a £50 million saving to the health economy. The evaluation was undertaken by costing the initiatives against traditional practice, such as using agency and locum staff.

The evaluation authors concluded that:- "Although there are many stakeholder organisations with an interest in breast imaging, none have a unique mandate to initiate, facilitate, develop and implement solutions to the workforce problems. The initiatives promoted by the NBIA will each add significant value to the system, ensuring services for patients are delivered and that outcomes for women with breast cancer are improved. Alternative strategies would have been less efficient (even if they were achievable)."

Nerys Blake, Deputy Director of Diagnostics Workforce, Health Education England (Cancer and Diagnostics Programme) and NHS England (Diagnostics Programme) said:- "Health Education England (HEE) is delighted to have provided support for the National Breast Imaging Academy (NBIA) in their work to identify and address the current breast imaging workforce challenges. This collaborative work has enabled the NBIA to introduce a national breast radiology fellowship programme, develop and pilot a credentialed training programme for breast clinicians, establish apprenticeship programmes for different levels of the workforce, develop a suite of online resources to support breast imaging trainees and professionals (the 'Academy Online') and implement a campaign to raise awareness of opportunities and careers in breast imaging. HEE is extremely pleased to see the valuable work of the NBIA outlined in this report and we look forward to continuing our relationship with them in supporting the education and training development of the breast imaging workforce."

Dr Mary Wilson, NBIA Programme Lead, said:- "The NBIA has provided a national focal point to address the workforce issues in breast imaging, enabling trainers from across the country to work collaboratively. By supporting and developing new training pathways, we have already provided a significant uplift in the multidisciplinary workforce. This includes the 160 Mammography Associates enrolled to date, plus the 31 Radiology Fellows and 20 Breast Clinicians undertaking or completing their training. This is all welcome news for patients, in terms of tackling the backlog in routine screening appointments and speeding up referrals for diagnosis and treatment.However, to ensure our breast services are safeguarded for the future, and to further reduce breast cancer mortality, we need ongoing planned investment in trainers, trainees and training facilities across the country."

Full evaluation report can be found:- NationalBreastImagingAcademy.Org.

Think Wellbeing Talking Therapy Service to help students at St Helens College

Steven Simpson (right), from Mersey Care's Talking Therapies service, with Jeanine Williams from St Helens college.

STUDENTS are set to benefit from new funding received by Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust and St Helens College to improve mental health services in the area. The Trust aims to help 18 to 25 year old students with staff from Mersey Care's Think Wellbeing NHS Talking Therapy service in St Helens having already provided training to St Helens College staff on mental health and resilience, anxiety and depression. During the Pandemic, Mersey Care provided anxiety, depression and resilience training for students via recorded videos. Online groups will launch this month followed by 1 to 1 online clinics for students who are experiencing anxiety and/or depression.

Clinical Psychologist at Mersey Care, Doctor Samantha Fitzpatrick, said:- "As expected over the Christmas period, referrals were quieter than usual and now the service wants to focus on helping people in St Helens get into treatment very quickly. Anyone over 16 who is struggling with low mood, anxiety and stress can contact us to access support, the quicker they can be seen the sooner they will recover. Our aim is to help you change the way you feel by changing the way you think."

Principal of St Helens College, Simon Pierce, said:- "Positive mental health and wellbeing is a critical success factor to our students achieving their full potential at College, as we prepare them for their chosen careers. We are wholeheartedly committed to ensuring all our students and apprentices have the right support in place to enable them to be successful in work and life. Working with the Mersey Care service has provided an invaluable opportunity for our students to receive mental health training including wider access to local support services, and our College wellbeing team have already greatly benefitted from bespoke training to enhance the dedicated support we already provide."

Think Wellbeing, NHS Talking Therapy offers free, easy to access flexible therapy for all people registered with a St Helens GP with common mental health problems such as anxiety, stress or depression. The service can be contacted on:- 01744647100.

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