NHS AI Lab and Health Education England call for healthcare staff to be trained in AI

New research has called for all health and care staff to be trained in using artificial intelligence (AI) in clinical practice.

A report published by the NHS AI Lab and Health Education England (HEE) has advocated for training and education for providers in how they deliver and develop AI guidance for staff.

The report, entitled ‘Developing healthcare workers’ confidence in AI (Part 2)’, is the second of two reports in relation to this research and follows the 2019 Topol Review recommendation to develop a healthcare workforce “able and willing” to use AI and robotics. It is also part of HEE’s Digital, AI and Robotics Technologies in Education (DART-ED) programme, which aims to understand the impact of advances of these technologies on the workforce’s education and training requirements.

In the previous report, the AI Lab and HEE found that many clinicians and staff were unaccustomed to the use of AI technologies, and without the suitable training patients would not be able to experience and share the advantages.

The new report has set out recommendations for education and training providers in England to support them in planning, resourcing, developing and delivering new training packages in this area. It notes that specialist training will also be required depending on roles and responsibilities such as involvement in implementation, procurement or using AI in clinical practice.

The training requirements for AI are split into five groups which are known as ‘archetypes’, which reflect the many roles that are currently undertaken within the NHS; they are called Shapers, Drivers, Creators, Embedders and Users. The report notes that individuals acting as each archetype will have different knowledge and skills requirements, and will require education to be tailored to their roles.

Patrick Mitchell Director Innovation, Digital and Transformation at HEE, said: “This latest report builds on the previous one to highlight the need for targeted training across the professions to truly unlock the potential of AI in workforce and service transformation going on today.”

Brhmie Balaram, Head of AI Research and Ethics at the NHS AI Lab, added: “This important new research will support those organisations that train our health and care workers to develop their curriculums to ensure staff of the future receive the training in AI they will need. This project is only one in a series at the NHS AI Lab to help ensure the workforce and local NHS organisations are ready for the further spread of AI technologies that have been found to be safe, ethical and effective.”

To read the report in full, please click here.

HTN recently interviewed Dr Hatim Abdulhussein, National Clinical Lead for AI and Digital Media Workforce at HEE’s Directorate of Innovation, Digital and Transformation, about his work with artificial intelligence. Find out more here.