NHS England celebrates success of data apprenticeships


NHS England has recently celebrated the success of its Data and Analytics Apprenticeship Pilot - launched in partnership with Multiverse.

The new programme, which was launched as part of the Data Saves Lives strategy, has been praised by Ming Tang, Chief Data & Analytics Officer who expressed how “pivotal” it is for the Data and Analytics community.

31 NHS England employees enrolled on the 15-month apprenticeship programme to enhance their careers and capabilities through learning analytical and data science skills which can then be applied directly into their specific role with support from an expert coach.

NHS England also hired 8 new entry-level apprentices who are also undertaking the same course. The programme exists to create new routes into Data Analytics and Data Science roles within the NHS - widening participation and ensuring a diverse workforce that is representative of the communities the NHS serves.

Chief Data and Analytics Officer at NHS England, Ming Tang, said: “We’ve been on a huge journey during COVID, really demonstrating how data can save lives by using data more effectively to support decision making across the NHS.”

“The pilot objective of making sure our staff have the right skills has been achieved, with 100% of participants reporting that they now have the skills needed to excel in their role and are confident in sharing these learnings with colleagues.

“These skill sets go a long way in providing efficiencies to the NHS, with apprentices reporting a 24% efficiency increase when working with data after completing the programme. It has also enabled us to invest in our employees and their futures and is a fantastic opportunity for those looking to hone their data skills or reskill into a data role, as well as those at the very start of their career.”

Multiverse trains 170 NHS employees in data, project management and leadership programmes, in a wide-ranging partnership that helps the vital organisation grow its in-house skills.

Diversity is at the core of the programmes. 38% of apprentices are from an Asian background, while 50% have one or more ‘contextual flags’, indicating they may be a young carer, care leaver, a refugee, or meet an indicator of socioeconomic disadvantage.

Multiverse CEO Euan Blair added: “Our mission is to create a diverse group of future leaders. I could not be more proud of the fact that we’re working with the NHS to accomplish that - there is no group of people in the country that have shown more diligence, more care, and more resilience during what have been the hardest two years of many people’s lives.

“We design these programmes to be challenging and highly technical, so completing them successfully is clear evidence of excellence. I want to recognise the achievements of everyone who has been part of the pilot programme.”

How Christine used new skills predicted staff absences during COVID-19

Christine Wells, Analyst in the Chief Data & Analytics Directorate who was enrolled on the programme in December 2020 was able to use the new skills from the apprenticeship to predict staff absences during the Omicron wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Her line manager, Gavin Bell, said: “Staff absences have a direct impact on patient care, bed capacity, and further medical treatment provided to patients. In the early stages of the Omicron wave, it was vital to have estimates of staff absences ahead of time to assist with planning and staff development during the pandemic to ensure patient needs would be met.
“Christine developed a regression model to predict the number of staff absences ahead of time based on the number of patients admitted & diagnosed with COVID-19. This provides an early warning signal to anticipate staff absences due to the delayed presentation of COVID-19 once being exposed to the virus.”

Christine said: “Before joining the programme, I had no prior knowledge of Python but before long, I was able to develop and enhance my Python skills whilst also applying the content taught on the programme directly back into my role addressing business critical needs.”

Team Multiverse

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