Message from Graham Wilson, your PTP Training Programme Director
Welcome to first issue of what I hope will be a regular Memo in 2021 for undergraduate practitioner training programmes. I hope you are all keeping well.
Please feel free to share this Memo with your learners and relevant network contacts. We hope to include in the next Memo guidance for individuals on how to sign up to receiving the Memo.
As we enter 2021, life for all of us is still very challenging and we recognise the ongoing disruption to the delivery of education and placements that you are experiencing. We know that this is variable depending on specialism and Trust – everyone is affected. We would like to thank everyone involved in delivering undergraduate training for your hard work and commitment. Thank you for recognising the need to continue with training and for developing new ways to provide this. Thank you too for the vital and valued contribution that all healthcare scientists and learners are making to the NHS and to public health in all four nations and other healthcare settings at this time of great pressure. Learners may be continuing on programme from home; you may be in a clinical placement in very busy and stressful situations. We recognise that each of these situations will bring its own challenges. We know that many of you are concerned about how you will keep up with your programme and some will be experiencing challenges with their mental health and wellbeing.
To support trainees who may be experiencing issues with health and wellbeing we have updated the National School of Healthcare Science website collecting several resources to help.
Last year was challenging for everyone and to overcome these challenges we have all had to demonstrate resilience, creativity, and determination to support our students on their training journey. I personally want to thank you for your dedication and as the new year brings hope in the form of vaccinations, may I wish you all the best for 2021.
Healthcare Science degree accreditation
Given recent discussions with colleagues within HEIs, challenges in relation to Covid-19 and following on from recommendations in the PTP survey, we are proposing to pause future PTP accreditation(s) for a limited period.
Guidance on exams
The School would like to advise that the guidance for universities delivering HCS degrees allows for universities to use any assessment methods that are appropriate and meet the universities’ regulations and policies. However, the School will require a change notification and confirmation that stakeholders including the students will be informed of the changes and that the students will be able to achieve the required Learning Outcomes.
Universities are responsible for ensuring that their assessment policies and procedures are consistent, fair, valid, equitable, reliable and proportionate and should meet the Quality Assurance Agency Code of Practice for the Assurance for Academic Quality and Standards in Higher Education. It is important that the recommendations to use DOPS, OCEs and CBDs are maintained when appropriate and safe to do so.
LAMP COVID-19 placement project
This project is to support suitable third year biomedical science and other relevant laboratory science undergraduates to deliver asymptomatic testing that is already occurring in some parts of the country.
After successful completion of the training and testing, the student will be issued with a Certificate of Completion of COVID-19 LAMP work placement, demonstrating their contribution to the response to COVID-19. Completion may enable some learners to evidence completion of HCPC Standards of Proficiency and the IBMS/HCPC pre-registration portfolio if they go on to undertake this.
Resources for training during COVID-19
We have been working with training officers from the Scientist Training Programme and staff at HEE to build a collection of online educational resources that may help to address some training requirements.
All trainees can access this resource if they have an NHS ESR record, including those based in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Alternatively, an OpenAthens account may allow you to access a range of quality information online.
The third Monday of January has been awarded the gloomy title of Blue Monday due to a combination of post-Christmas blues and cold dark nights. But this year you might also be worried about COVID-19 and how it could affect your life and your workload.
We are again in a period of increased uncertainty and looking after ourselves remains vital for our families, our colleagues and the work we do, as well as ourselves.
We have produced large amounts of material to help you do this.
New NHS Education Contract
HEE are introducing a new NHS Education Contract to replace the varying contractual arrangements previously in place including current Learning and Development Agreements with NHS service providers, service level agreements and ‘MOU’s’.
NHSE/I vaccination guidance
As learners may be in or starting placements it may useful to review the NHSE/I guidance on vaccinations. Learners are considered frontline staff and should be prioritised for vaccinations the same as the team they are working with.
Healthcare Science Week
Healthcare Science Week is your chance to tell the local community and other health professionals first-hand about how science and technology are vital in modern patient care and change lives for the better.
Healthcare Science Week 2021 will take place from the 5th – 14th March 2021.
STP applications open this month
We are delighted to announce that applications for the 2021 STP open on Monday 25th January at 11am.
Professor Berne Ferry, Head of the National School of Healthcare Science, said: “I couldn’t think of a better time to join the NHS as a trainee clinical healthcare scientist.”