HSST Monthly Memo (April 2022)

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

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Message from your HSST Training Programme Director

Dr Lisa Ayers

Welcome to the April HSST Monthly Memo.

As April is Stress Awareness Month please take some time to consider taking care of yourself and your own wellbeing, as well as you always do for your teams and patients. Links to sources of support have been provided below.

Below we have highlighted some opportunities for HSSTs and their supervisors in specific science specialisms coming up over the next few months. If you are aware of similar events or opportunities that other HSSTs would benefit from, please let us know so that we can showcase them here.


Help us to rigorously assess and develop the next generation of Healthcare Scientists

We are delighted that increased funding by Health Education England has resulted in a significant rise in the recruitment of trainees to the Scientist Training Programme (STP) from 300 to an unprecedented 500 plus trainees.

As a result, we need to expand our pool of assessors for the STP final assessment.

We are committed to a diverse and inclusive approach to the recruitment to and assessment of the STP and would welcome applications from all appropriately qualified healthcare science specialties. We are particularly seeking assessors in the following specialties:

  • Cardiac Science
  • Clinical Bioinformatics – Genomics
  • Clinical Measurement and Development
  • Clinical Pharmaceutical Science
  • Imaging (Non-Ionising Radiation)
  • Medical Device and Risk Management
  • Ophthalmic and Vision Sciences
  • Radiation Safety Physics
  • Reconstructive Science
  • Reproductive Science – Andrology
  • Vascular Science

Training is provided ahead of the first assessment, currently via two MS Teams meetings. We will also provide refresher training and ongoing support and guidance.

Click here to find out more about the requirements and how to apply


Information for all trainees

Stress Awareness Month

Stress Awareness Month has been held every April since 1992 to raise awareness of the causes and cures for stress.

Stress is something everyone feels at times, and there are all kinds of stressful situations that can be a part of daily life.

There are plenty of things you can do to help cope with stressful events and simple steps you can take to deal with feelings of stress or burnout. Here are some top tips to deal with stress and burnout:

  1. Split up big tasks – if a task seems overwhelming and difficult to start, try breaking it down into easier chunks and give yourself credit for completing them.
  2. Allow yourself some positivity – take time to think about the good things in your life. Each day, consider what went well and try to list 3 things you’re thankful for.
  3. Challenge your thoughts – the way we think affects the way we feel.
  4. Be more active – being active can help you to burn off nervous energy. It will not make your stress disappear, but it can make it less intense.
  5. Talk to someone – talking to trusted friends, family and colleagues, or contacting a helpline, can help us when we are struggling.
  6. Plan ahead – when you have stressful days or events in front of you, planning ahead can really help. Making to-do lists, planning journeys, identifying things you need to take with you and emails you should send, before they all happen, can ease the pressure.

Click here to see tips on how to manage stress on the NHS website

Stress Awareness Month

If you are seeking support during your training, it can be a confusing and overwhelming picture if you aren’t sure where to turn. Your main sources of support are:

  • Employer
  • Freedom To Speak Up Guardians
  • University
  • National School of Healthcare Science
  • Commissioning organisations
  • Online resources

If you are struggling to cope with excessive stress or experiencing symptoms such as headaches, sleep problems, irritability, or feeling overwhelmed, it is really important to speak to those around you at work or at home so that they can help to support you.

Click here to find sources of support available for trainees

Haematology Clinical Science FRCPath exam preparation study half-day

This is the second meeting of the Haematology Clinical Science FRCPath exam preparation study day.

  • Date: Tuesday 24 May
  • Time: 14:00 – 16:30
  • Venue: Zoom online

The day will have two purposes:

  1. To encourage networking and collaborative working between higher specialist scientists training towards FRCPath examinations
  2. To provide better guidance of the academic standards required for the trainee and for their workplace educational supervisor

Click here to register for the online event for higher specialist scientists working towards the FRCPath examination

RCPath representatives on Trainees’ Advisory Committee vacancies

RCPath are looking for enthusiastic trainees to join the Trainees’ Advisory Committee.

The committee covers all specialties and all College regions. Representatives on the TAC are responsible for raising issues on behalf of trainees in their specialty. The committee representatives are also active members of the College’s specialty committees, participating in discussions and informing the committee of the views of specialty trainees.

Why should I apply?

Make a difference – work with other trainees in your specialty, network with your peers, get involved with the College’s work and support your professional development.

What TAC roles are available?

  • Clinical Science Representative
  • Cytopathology Representative
  • Research Representative
  • Transfusion Representative
  • Toxicology Representative
  • Veterinary Microbiology Pathology Representative
  • Veterinary Clinical Pathology Representative

The deadline for applications is 5pm on Friday 17th June.

Click here to find further details about the role and how to apply


Information for supervisors

Train the Trainer event 3 May

If you are new to the role of workplace supervisor and will be taking responsibility for a HSST trainee, this event is essential and is part of accreditation process.

The event will provide:

  • an introduction to the HSST
  • information about the role and responsibilities of a workplace supervisor
  • the opportunity to learn about assessing work-based evidence and giving feedback
  • guidance on the functions and features in the OneFile e-portfolio
  • information on how to support a trainee throughout the programme
  • an awareness of equality and diversity as an educator

When: Tuesday 3rd May, 10.00am – 3pm

Where: Online

Click here to register your interest in attending

Future the Trainer events

Depending on interest, we may hold a face-to-face HSST Train the Trainer later in the year. If you would be interested in attending this event please register.

Click here to register your interest in attending

Call for Microbiology HSST Mentors

As a HSST host department you have a responsibility to provide a mentor for your HSST trainee. We understand that it can be challenging to find an appropriate mentor within the Trust, especially if you are looking for a mentor within the same speciality.

The School and the ACB Microbiology Professional Committee are proposing to facilitate a matching scheme for mentors and mentees, which will be open to HSSTs in all years and all HSST Training Officers.

The mentor should be an individual with Consultant or similar senior status, who could be from outside the department or from another organisation, to act as a professional mentor for the trainee. The mentor should provide advice and guidance on professional development but would not be involved in day-to-day delivery of training.

To participate in this network please contact


​​​​​​​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 9th June 2022

This publication is part of HSST Monthly Memos (2022)