Hi everyone, nearly through the January Blues and into Fleeting February and then its spring. You can tell I’m an optimist. A brief blog this time, just to keep you abreast of new things happening in the School since the New Year. Difficult to know where to begin as it has been a busy month. First up, perhaps, was the successful appointment of the NSHCS by the Education and Skills Funding Agency as an Assessment Organisation (AO) to deliver End Point Assessments (EPAs) for Level 2 and Level 6 HCS standard apprenticeships – so now the School is one of only two or three EPA providers for Level 2, 4 and 6 HCS apprenticeships in the country. We have also updated our website and will try to keep it current as a resource for all HCSs interested in HCS apprenticeships. Tell us your apprenticeship news via email, in person or via Twitter: @HeadNSHCS or @NSHCS.
OneFile, our fantastic new e-portfolio service has now been rolled out to all HSST cohorts. Look for more info on the website. And don’t forget to look at the series of “How to” videos for trainees and for trainers and supervisors that our fabulous Digital team has created to guide you through this much more user-friendly portfolio tool. It’s early days but we are pleased that we have already had some positive feedback from initial users who tell us OneFile is “straightforward and intuitive” with one even telling us “It did what it said on the tin”. So please do let Stuart and the team know how you are getting on with OneFile; they are really keen to help you and ensure that you get the most out of the system.
The STP Improvement Review is well underway now and the online survey where you can give your views on the design and structure of the Scientist Training Programme and how it can be made even better comes to an end on February 4th. We have had hundreds of responses to date but would like more, especially from trainees, so please fill out the survey online.
Our partners in the HSST programme at Manchester Academy for Healthcare Science Education (MAHSE) organised a ‘research day’ in January for some of the HSST cohorts which was very successful and gave trainees and both their workplace supervisors and their academic supervisors the chance to come together and figure out the challenges they were either experiencing or might expect. There was a lot of useful tips and advice passed on and this day looks like it will become a ‘fixture’ in the HSST calendar. At the time of writing this, I am looking forward to the first of two HSST ‘Train the Trainer’ days which will be on February 6th with the second one being on March 20th. It will be great to meet the dedicated and talented trainers of some of our future HCS leaders, firstly to say a huge thank you to them on behalf of HCS and the School and hopefully to provide them with tips, advice and support in their important work.
I had a brilliant day on Friday 26th January and got to meet some of the committed and enthusiastic scientists in the North West Healthcare Science Workforce meeting. If any of you are reading this, thank you, it was a joy to speak to you all, you were so knowledgeable and helpful and it is reassuring to know our young scientists in training are in such capable and intelligent hands. Big thanks to Nick Fowler-Johnson for organising the day. The CSO Healthcare Science Leaders’ Summit was held in London on 23rd January and there were inspiring and ‘amusing’ talks from the likes of Stephen Hart, Director of the NHS Leadership Academy, on the value of leadership within healthcare science and illuminating insights by Roger Davidson and Nicola Ayton on how healthcare scientists can drive change across local systems. I provided an update on potential ways forward for the School and Brendan Cooper, our AHCS President, motivated us and brought us up to speed with the One Voice Agenda.
I don’t want to end this blog without saying congratulations to Jo Horne, WISE fellow and histopathology clinical/biomedical scientist for caretaking a hugely successful week on the @NHS Twitter account. You did us proud Jo, thank you.
So all in all, a productive and busy month and a great start to the New Year. Hope you are all settled into 2018 and look forward to meeting many of you as the year progresses.