Statement updated on 1st April 2020
Healthcare scientists of all specialties are playing a vital role in the battle against COVID-19. The testing of potential COVID-19 patients is being developed, assessed, performed and interpreted by healthcare scientists in life sciences. Physical scientists such as clinical engineers are working on the rapid deployment and configuration of additional ventilators and other newly acquired equipment. Physiological scientists, including critical care, cardiac and respiratory scientists are playing a vital role in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with COVID-19. We are hearing many stories of how scientists in adjacent specialties, such as medical physicists, who manage imaging and scanning equipment and services, working long hours to support their clinical engineering colleagues in the setting up of new and redeployed equipment.
Thank you all for the incredible work that you are doing at this very challenging time. We are aware that HSSTs have already been volunteering to redeploy to other clinical specialties in order to support essential services. The NSHCS is supportive of all trainees who are able to support their colleagues across the NHS at this time.
We are working closely with the Chief Scientific Officer’s office in NHSE to identify the transferable skills of healthcare scientists across the many specialties so that healthcare scientists can be upskilled and redeployed.
Statement updated on 26th March 2020
During the exceptional circumstances that we find ourselves in, your personal safety and that of patients and colleagues is paramount. HEE and the NSHCS recognises that clinical service delivery may demand your time and that of your workplace supervisor and others supporting your training. We understand that this may result in your schedule for workplace based training and academic learning being affected.
We are in contact with MAHSE and understand that elements of the academic teaching are being offered online where possible and some assessments can also be completed remotely so you may be able to access these. It is possible for some HSST trainees that you may have the opportunity to gather unexpected evidence for the workplace-based requirements of this programme, if this is the case, we would encourage you to do so.
The NSHCS is supportive of HSST trainees who are able to continue training at this time while also realising that, for many of you, time for training is restricted or non-existent just now. This is a daily changing picture and we know that you will be managing your time to support the priorities that arise in your department and Trust.
The recent RCPath update also links to this NSHCS statement and FAQs.
Please continue to refer to responses to FAQs listed below for updates to help guide you.