Berne’s Blog – October 2019

Weather Update It’s a beautiful Autumn day outside, and October is my birthday month. Some Autumn thoughts. Oscar Wilde- All at once summer collapsed into fall. F Scott Fitzgerald- Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall. To paraphrase Wilde and Fitzgerald for the NSHCS, I’d say that “Summer has exploded into Autumn and our clinical scientific work lives just get busier and more exciting”.

Published on
8th October 2019
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I’ll begin with the launch of the new NSHCS website, if you haven’t had a look, go and explore, it is intuitive, informative and designed for all of us to learn  more quickly. There is a prominent “Search” component, a new “Knowledgebase” to help all scientists to find the information they need as fast as possible. Dawn has designed it to be as interactive as possible and we want to keep it active and up to date, so let the digital team know if you have any queries or suggestions. Huge thanks to Dawn, Katie, Michelle and Stuart.

Around the school


Many congratulations again to the first two graduates of the HSST programme, Victoria McCune and Rob Shorten. Their certificates of completion have just been signed and sent. To both of you, on behalf of all healthcare scientists and HEE and the school, we thank you for blazing the trail for being patient, committed, hard working and having the resilience and determination to get to the end. We all wish you the very best of luck in your future careers.

HSST completers from the fantastic Cohort 1 are now coming through fast and for the non life scientists amongst us, the new “Independent Assessment of Professional Skills” – affectionately know as IAPS will start to be delivered this autumn. IAPS has been designed to mirror a final Medical Royal College independent exit examination. It is very high level and it could not have been developed and cannot be implemented and delivered without the hard work, experience, skill and commitment of lots of scientists, both within and out with the school. I think it is important to mention just a few of these scientists so: thank  you to Mike Thomas and Claire Hardiman along with their professional lead colleagues who really began the process. They were joined educationally in developing IAPS by Suzanne Chamberlain and Sandie Gay. Recently, the new Training Programme Director (TPD) for HSST Lisa Ayers has led on the development along with Sandie Gay and other colleagues and from the school. Other academics have inputted such as such as Anne White, Head of the Clinical Doctorate programme and other colleagues at MAHSE. But IAPS will only succeed with the critical expert input from senior leading healthcare scientists in every discipline and again on behalf of all the HSST candidates now preparing for IAPS this autumn, I would like to thank these senior colleagues for their dedication and their time and commitment to training and assessing the very best of our scientists. So just for starters, thanks to: Andrew Reily, Michael Drinnan, Carl Rowbottom, Malcolm Sperrin, Richard Scott, Charlotte Kemp, Peter Colley, Graham Chalmers, Paul Evans, Karen Venables, Kevin Burke and Craig Edwards. No doubt there will be others. Thank you.


Another very successful OSFA examination period was held at the Royal College of GPs in July. Thanks yet again to all HCS who gave up their valuable time and expertise to make these exams happen. Thanks for writing the questions, for discussing them with colleagues, for your time and simply invaluable help on the OSFA days, for your time and help in the exam boards and being so supportive of our highly successful STP programme.

The Induction day for STP Trainees starting in September 2019 was held in Edgbaston Stadium on September 9th, it was an enjoyable and inspiring day. This year, we welcomed 378 new STP trainees to the programme. Many thanks to all the trainees for choosing to train in our wonderful professions. Thanks to all the scientists and others who spoke on the day and who ran  sessions. Particular thanks to Kieran O’Connor, Lauren Campbell and Dennis Duignan, alumni of the STP programme who gave honest and brilliantly useful guides to being on the STP and beyond. Thanks also to Rosemary for a non scientific perspective. We are hugely grateful to Rosemary not just for speaking here on the STP Induction but for her and all her lay representative colleagues for their support and input into so many HCS events. Special thanks too to Jas Daine from the school for organising the whole event! The feedback was amazing and everyone is delighted that it was such a successful and worthwhile event.

A special shout out to the Training Representative Groups from around the country. It was fabulous to see you all there, thank you so much for turning up with up with masses of information and infectious enthusiasm and all HCS, in departments around the country and in the school appreciate your tireless work which we know is way beyond your regular day to day demands.


Look out for the PTP survery -devised following a number of stakeholder meetings over the summer. Look out for this in October. It will be a chance to comment on the current PTP programme and how you think it should go forward.


Congratulations to the first of the  ASP trainees  at STP level from GI  and Urodynamics who exited the programme this year. Well done again for blazing the trail  for future ASPs. We will be looking to develop and implement many more ASPs so watch this space.

Topol Fellowship at the NSHCS

These were successfully launched in London on September 18th with an introduction via videolink from Professor Eric Topol together with a “ live appearance “ by Patrick Mitchell, Director of Innovation and Transformation at HEE. The new Topol Fellows outlined their innovative projects for transforming many different areas of healthcare and it was inspiring and exciting to listen to the vast range of topics and ideas that are being actively pursued within this fellowship. More information on the Topol Fellowship can be found here.

Can I say a huge thank you to Owen Driskell and Stuart Sutherland at the school for superb organisation and I look forward keenly to the progression of these fellows throughout the year.

Out and About

  • September 6th 2019:- Had a wonderful time meeting with the Northern Training Consortium in Whitley Bay. Thanks Emma Bower and Alison Makie and all other medical physics and engineering colleagues. Here we also met Daniel Sydes, Headmaster of the North East Futures UTC. This is a state-funded school open to all 14-19 students in the North East region. This school has a strong focus on filling the skills gap in the Digital Technology and Healthcare Science sectors. Find out more about them here:
  • September 19th:- First meeting of the new HCS Workforce Partnership Board chaired by the CSO- Dame Professor Sue Hill- in London. Exciting to discuss high impact actions for the future of HCS.
  • September 23rd:- had a very productive and interactive physiological themed board in Birmingham and was sad to be unable to attend the physical sciences TB, but will be at the next one.
  • September 25th:-  Delighted to be able to join in the IPEM conference in Bristol and enjoyed meeting colleagues there.
  • October 3rd :- Great to see life science colleagues from Trusts, HEIs, Royal college, professional bodies and lay representatives at the Themed Board

Last updated on 17th February 2022

Feature image for Berne’s Blog – October 2019