[Skip to content]

College of Podiatry to take key role in new HEFCE programme to promote small specialist allied health disciplines

College of Podiatry to take key role in new HEFCE programme to promote small specialist allied health disciplines

The College of Podiatry has been working with the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and colleagues from three other specialist health disciplines, orthoptists, prosthetics and orthotics and therapeutic radiography, on the development of an innovative new programme to improve the sustainability of delivery of these vital health disciplines. The four disciplines have been identified as small, specialist and vulnerable – defined as very small or small and experiencing difficulties with student recruitment or retention.

HEFCE is funding the Strategic Interventions in Health Education Disciplines (SIHED) Programme, which is expected to run for three years, starting in 2017-18, with a budget of £1 million per year.

The SIHED programme aims to:

  • Increase awareness of allied health disciplines

  • Increase understanding of, and demand for, small specialist allied health disciplines

  • Strengthen and diversify the delivery of the small and specialist disciplines covered by this initiative

  • Develop a better understanding of the mature student market for nursing, midwifery and allied health.


HEFCE has awarded the College of Podiatry a significant grant to develop, deliver and manage key workstreams of the SIHED programme, including the development and delivery of a national communications and marketing campaign and the coordination of an outreach network. Three new fixed term roles will be based at the College of Podiatry’s London office – The SIHED Programme Manager, Programme Support Officer (0.5 FTE) and the podiatry Outreach and Communications Officer (0.5 FTE). Five outreach and communications officers (3 FTE), will be based at Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) or at the professional bodies of the allied health professional partners, will but will also work as a network to share and develop best practice.

There will also be a challenge fund offering higher education providers with finance for innovative approaches to delivering or recruiting to their courses.

The programme will also facilitate work-shadowing facilities specifically in orthoptics, and fund a co-ordinator to develop work placements and apprenticeships in prosthetics and orthotics

Steve Jamieson, Chief Executive of The College of Podiatry commented: 

'I’m delighted that we will be working closely with colleagues at HEFCE and our partner organisations to develop and deliver this innovative and significant programme. Raising awareness and building understanding of these vital health disciplines is critical if we are to continue to attract students, and so ensure the future health skills mix required to meet the needs of patients.'

Read more about the HEFCE programme: www.hefce.ac.uk

Notes to Editors:

For further media information please contact:

Liz North / Claire McLoughlin at The College of Podiatry on 020 7234 8648 or email ln@scpod.org or cm@scpod.org.

About HEFCE:

The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) aims to ‘create and sustain the conditions for a world-leading system of higher education which transforms lives, strengthens the economy, and enriches society’. 

About The College of Podiatry:

The College of Podiatry is the academic authority for podiatry in the UK, and an independent charity dedicated to foot health research, education and public awareness. The College is the public-facing and academic arm of the Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists – the professional body for the UK’s registered podiatrists. Podiatry is the field of medicine that specialises in diagnosing and treating diseases and disorders of the foot and lower limb.