HSST Monthly Memo (July 2023)

The HSST Monthly Memo includes the latest programme updates, events and key resources for HSST trainees and supervisors.

Filed under
HSST Monthly Memo 2023
Publication type

Message from your Training Programme Directors

Dr Lisa Ayers and Dr Owen Driskell

Your message this month is from Dr Owen Driskell:

‘I feel luck is preparation meeting opportunity’ Oprah Winfrey.

IACCs have been going on this month. For the STPs these assessments have no doubt been their focus. IACCs are their opportunity to put their best representation of themselves forward and demonstrate how they have met the requirements of the programme. Maybe you were involved in assessing? If you weren’t, maybe you have had a view of this through a colleague. As someone more senior, how have you/would you support them? Perhaps you have been reassuring them about how far they have come since they started, how much they have achieved already. You possibly needed to push them to be honest rather than modest about their abilities. You might have been encouraging them to read about the assessment, to ask others about it, to enquire with the school where necessary and to practise or rehearse elements of the assessment.

Perhaps it has been a time when you reflected on your own approach to assessments or assessment-like situations, such as important meetings or interviews. The need to understand the format of the assessment or meeting. The need to understand the audience. The importance of thinking about what it is you need to get across and the best way to do that given the format and the audience. In other words, you might have encouraged them to prepare as best they can for the opportunity. In doing so you would have given them luck.


Information for all trainees

Research delivery leadership and the new NIHR-AoMRC postgraduate courses

Research is a core function of the NHS. It is one of the tools we use to inform the progression and improvement of the services we provide. We need the evidence from research to deliver better care.

Healthcare scientists are involved throughout the research pathway from identifying areas for research, designing, setting up and running research studies through to reporting the results and publishing the results so they can inform practice. In that context research might be led by the healthcare scientists themselves. However, a large proportion of the research the NHS needs is led by healthcare professionals, academics and others from outside healthcare science.

Importantly, healthcare science services are often required for the delivery of that research, whether it is led by healthcare scientists or not.

Healthcare science departments help define whether individual patients are eligible to take part in a study (they rule in or out health conditions that would bias study results). In some cases healthcare scientists are responsible for the treatment services within the context of a research study. Results from healthcare science services are monitored for signs of health or ill health during studies in order to keep patients safe whilst on a study. In some cases pathology testing is used to see how a drug moves through the body (Pharmacokinetics). Healthcare science results are also used as outcomes to inform whether new treatments, new diagnostic tests or changes in care provision, are successful.

For that reason, research-ready and responsive healthcare science services work with the research community to achieve efficient study set up and delivery. This means that studies open faster and recruit patients sooner, key to the success of the study and its ability to recruit the patients it needs answer the question it was funded to answer.

Ensuring healthcare science services are research ready and responsive requires leadership. Healthcare scientists combine their knowledge of the NHS research infrastructure and requirements and the context of the services they provide to ensure their patients get the opportunity to take part in research and benefit from advancements in practice.

In recognition of the importance of this leadership to research the NIHR, together with the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (AoMRC), has developed the Clinician Researcher Credentials Framework and commissioned postgraduate clinical research delivery leadership courses aligned with this Framework.

The courses are aimed at experienced healthcare practitioners from all professional backgrounds who aspire to take on leadership roles in clinical research delivery, such as Co-Investigator or Principal Investigator (PI). Remember, in the context of clinical trials in the NHS the PI is the individual who takes responsibility for the delivery of a study at a particular study site (eg an NHS Trust) and not the group leader as in an academic context.

Click here to find more information about the new NIHR-AoMRC postgraduate courses


Information for supervisors

Next Healthcare Science Education and Training Collaborative​​​​​​​ meeting

Our next Healthcare Science Education and Training Collaborative meeting will be online on Tuesday 7th November.

More details, including the agenda and registration link, will be available on our website soon.

Click here to find more information about the Healthcare Science Education and Training Collaborative meetings


Missed a previous edition of the HSST Monthly Memo?

We’ve published copies of the Monthly Memo for HSST trainees and training officers on our website.

Click here to view previous editions of the HSST Monthly Memo.

Last updated on 12th February 2024

This publication is part of HSST Monthly Memo (2023)