Imagine going into work in the morning and finding that there were no guidelines for best practice, no codes of conduct and that staff in your department could not access standardised training or exams to demonstrate competence. There would be wide variations in the standards of patient care, the diagnostic accuracy of tests would be reduced and unprofessional behaviour might go unchallenged. Thankfully this is a world confined to the imagination because of the work of professional bodies like SCST. The work of professional bodies is not always immediately apparent to members or to the public, but it is the backbone of excellent patient care.
SCST is a charitable organisation which exists to promote excellence in cardiac science for the public benefit. To do this we need to ensure that all those working in cardiac science are members committed to the highest standards of practice. A vibrant membership will strengthen the work of SCST and strengthen the voice of the profession in discussions with other healthcare scientists and policy makers.
The healthcare environment is changing; many practitioners are facing increasing workload pressures, staff shortages and budget cuts. At the same time, there are changes in the way care is being delivered with diagnostic services extending into primary care, performed by a wider range of healthcare professionals with disparate training and education. We are likely to see an increasing number of patients with more than one long-term condition who have complex care requirements. Thankfully, we are a profession used to embracing change and I have no doubt that we can cope with these challenges.
Just as the profession must be flexible, so must the professional body. This strategic plan considers the views of members of Council, its subcommittees and members. We believe these aims will ensure that SCST continues to draw on the successes of its past while responding to the changing demands of the future.
President, Society for Cardiological Science and Technology January 2017
The Society for Cardiological Science and Technology (SCST) is the professional body for those working in cardiac healthcare science. SCST membership demonstrates that an individual is committed to the highest standards of practice and professional conduct.
SCST was established in 1948 with the aim of advancing the science and practice of technical cardiology for the public benefit. The decades that followed brought significant changes in medicine and technology including the advent of implantable devices, echocardiography and angioplasty.
These advances have been embraced by the profession and have resulted in better patient care, more timely and accurate diagnosis and improved clinical outcomes.
More recently, the Modernising Scientific Careers programme has restructured our profession, standardising and improving education provision and providing new opportunities for career progression.
There has also been a shift in healthcare provision with an increasing number of first-line diagnostic tests being provided in out-of-hospital environments by those from other professional backgrounds.
Finally, the national move to 7-day working is forcing us to consider whether current models of provision could be improved.
These factors have changed the context within which SCST operates and produced new challenges in terms of advocacy, the provision of education and public protection.
Despite the changing professional landscape, the mission of SCST remains
“To promote excellence within the field of cardiac science for the public benefit”
We do this by setting high standards of conduct and practice for our members, through the provision of education and assessment, by raising the profile of the profession and by influencing policy at the highest levels.
Our vision is that
“By 2022, SCST membership will be valuable to every individual working in a cardiac healthcare science role (regardless of grade or specialism), meaningful to employers and reassuring to the public”
If we realise this ambition, SCST will be recognised as the national reference point for all matters relating to professional conduct, education and training, workforce issues and standards of practice in cardiac healthcare science. In addition, the government, other professions and the public will understand and value the unique skills and experience of those in our profession.
This vision has informed a strategic plan which will be used to drive our programme of work for the next five years. The plan has been developed by SCST Council and shaped by members who were surveyed to ascertain their priorities. We believe this plan will ensure that the future of SCST is safe and that confidence in the profession is maintained.