As the professional body representing reproductive scientists, the Association of Reproductive and Clinical Scientists, (ARCS), welcomes the publication of the NHS Long Term Workforce Plan.

Our membership is wide ranging and includes biomedical scientists, clinical scientists, academic and other laboratory scientists.

The plans support the need to increase numbers of healthcare scientists, who are involved in 80% of all clinical decisions; every patient who attends hospital or their GP practice will come into contact with a Healthcare Scientist.

The commitment to train more scientists is a major step forward; we recognise the number of patients requiring fertility treatment is increasing year on year, however there is no specific mention of increases in much needed andrologists or embryologists in the plan.

Increasing the level of patient contact with healthcare scientists in outpatient fertility consultations and diagnosis, fully utilising the skills and competencies that many scientists in the field have developed and achieved, would free up medical staff to perform other essential duties. ARCS are keen to enable our members to utilise the full range of their skills to optimise and enhance the care the NHS can deliver.