The School Report (July 2020)

Our newsletter is a quarterly report covering activities within the School, latest news, events, trainee projects and a variety of other resources for everyone working in and around healthcare science.

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School Report 2020
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This edition will update you on the impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) on many different aspects of healthcare science training. We will be continuously updating our COVID website hub and Twitter page to provide key information as it becomes available.


Message from Professor Berne Ferry

Writing this blog in June at the tail end of probably the hottest week of 2020 after the warmest recorded UK Spring on record.

Black Lives Matter

I would like to acknowledge the commitment, dedication and selflessness of all our trainees, students, trainers and all healthcare scientists working in the NHS and contributing to the NHS Covid response. The role of our Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic colleagues deserves special mention and thanks particularly in the context of the well documented additional personal risk that so many of these colleagues have carried.

I would like to acknowledge the appalling death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, USA on 25th May this year. This event and subsequent developments during the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to the forefront of our politics and into the centre of our society the issue of systemic racism. Within the School and HEE, and in our smaller healthcare science world we are clear that we will listen, learn and work with Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic and other colleagues to play our part in ending racism and discrimination wherever it may exist.

Read Berne’s blog from June 2020


Update on STP recruitment

Due to the Covid-19 emergency, HEE has had to devise an alternative system for the recruitment process for the STP because it was not possible to hold the national face to face interview event.

Under the new arrangements we have used the following information:

  • shortlisting score
  • selected preference for scientific specialty
  • selected preferences for location

This data, for each applicant, was fed into the Oriel online recruitment system, which applied an algorithm to produce a ranked list of applicants by specialty and location. Applicants were then allocated to posts in rank order. Once allocated, they are interviewed online by the prospective employer. If successful they are admitted to the programme and confirmed in post. If not, wherever possible we supply for interview another applicant from our standby list.

Interviews have now been under way for over two weeks and are more than two-thirds complete. Around 90% of the interviews have been successful. We have observed approximately one in four interviews for quality assurance.


Practitioner Training Programme Improvement Review

We conducted a review of the design and delivery of the Practitioner Training Programme (PTP) between October and November 2019. Publication has been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic but we are pleased to announce the release of the Practitioner Training Programme Improvement Review.

Currently there are over 20 universities delivering healthcare science programmes to over 1000 students and apprentices. The review provided the opportunity for all major stakeholders to share their views on the strengths and weaknesses of the programme, and their thoughts on improvements to the design and structure of PTP to enhance delivery and effectiveness in training healthcare science practitioners.

Next steps are to work with stakeholders to implement where possible the recommendations identified from the survey and to ensure any changes to the programme meet current best practice, healthcare science workforce needs, the Healthcare Science Strategy and the NHS People Plan and Long-Term Plan.

Read the full PTP review.


Case studies - what our trainees are doing to help in the fight against COVID-19

During the coronavirus pandemic, many STP and HSST trainees have been working hard to help fight COVID-19.

Two STP trainees, who were both working in a Virology department at the outbreak of the virus, gave us a snapshot of what life has been like during this global pandemic. We would like to thank both Ben and Amy for supplying us with this information.

Read what Ben and Amy have been doing

Send us your own stories of what you’ve been doing


Clinical Scientist (Level 7) Apprenticeship Standard now published

The Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education, has formally approved and published the Clinical Scientist (Level 7) Apprenticeship Standard. Clinical Scientists work across the whole patient pathway and are included in many healthcare environments, in a range of scientific areas. This apprenticeship standard is available to individuals in professions which would be eligible for Health and Care Professions Council registration as a Clinical Scientist.

It has taken significant commitment and expertise to develop this apprenticeship standard, that meets the needs of employers and provides meaningful training and careers for apprentices whilst satisfying the apprenticeship requirements.

We would like to say thank you to Dr Robert Farley, co-Chair, Clinical Scientist Trailblazer Group and Rosemary Simpson, Skills for Health, for their guidance and support.


Topol cohort 2 recruitment

The School is pleased to announce that recruitment for cohort 2 of the Topol Programme for Digital Fellowships in Healthcare will begin in September. The School took on responsibility for the design and delivery of the Topol fellowship programme in 2020 and we are currently working on plans to develop the programme for cohort 2. We would really like to see healthcare scientists from across the spectrum applying to become Topol Digital Fellows.

The purpose of the programme for cohort 2 will be to recruit and support a diverse group of digital enthusiasts to work on real digital health projects in their host organisation or specialty and in the process to become known as, and develop expertise as, champions of digital transformation.

The School will publish further details about the programme for cohort 2 at the beginning of August and we intend to open applications for cohort 2 on September 1 and to close the application window on September 30.

In August, the link below will point to further details about the programme for cohort 2 and about how to apply.

Find out more about the Fellows.


RCPath research medals

RCPath Trainees’ Research Medals are awarded annually for outstanding research work undertaken by pathologists or scientists in training.

The awards are open to all junior pathologists or scientists registered with the College or a UK Regulatory Council for training purposes during the year the submitted paper was published. The article must either have been either published or accepted for publication by a peer-reviewed journal.

Find out more about the research medals

Last updated on 18th May 2022

This publication is part of The School Report (2020)