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Joint Ambition: Improving the Transition of Disabled Health Learners & Trainees into the NHS Regulated Workforce

We have worked with the Disabled Students’ Commission (DSC) to produce this short joint statement. It reflects our joint ambition to help develop and promote support for health learners to successfully transition into employment in the NHS and wider health and social care economy.

This joint statement, which includes our ambition, has been shaped by the lived experiences of disabled learners, trainees, and colleagues within the NHS. We can all learn from reflecting on this experience and this guidance is about using our shared learning, to foster a new shared ambition for a new year.

We know that the transformation now needed, must be rooted in action that is supportive and in part developmental. We are committed to helping to build a future workforce that is reflective of our society and is genuinely inclusive and values led. That does mean pro-actively seeking to ensure that there is no sense of stigma associated with disability. Health learners must be able to declare they are disabled, both in education, as well as across training and learning environments and when they move into the NHS or health and social care workforce.

We know that there is help available to support reasonable adjustments, but we must address ways of making sure more people are aware of schemes like Access to Work. This also means working faster and going further in securing a better experience for all our learners. We know that the education experience, including how all our healthcare learners are treated, will have a direct impact on how inclusive and equitable patient care is now and in the future. This is why both the DSC; HEE and all of our partners are passionate about ensuring we have the highest quality learning environments.

We urge you reflect on this short guidance and to consider the ambition statement. We want people to join us over 2023 in not just thinking about the challenges, but also looking at ways we can work in partnership to respond to delivering a new ambition that is fair, equitable and truly inclusive.


Geoff Layer, Chair of the Disabled Student’s Commission

Professor Liz Hughes MBE,  Deputy Medical Director (Undergraduate Education), Health Education England.