The School Report (October 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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Message from Professor Berne Ferry

Writing this blog at the end of the wettest first weekend in October in living memory and whilst we all wait for Storm Alex to appear. Batten down the hatches everyone.

We have started our work at the school to ensure that equality and diversity including Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic issues are front and central to much of our work going forward.

Some of the initiatives include creating an Internal School Diversity committee. We have had three meetings now and this committee is part of the school business as usual work. Some of the issues we have worked on include:

  • A review of the new core curriculum for STP to ensure that Equality and Diversity content is pertinent and current. An example of this would be: the ‘Culture and Values’ bullet point that occurs throughout the core curriculum needs to be strengthened and expanded, specifying whether it refers to ethnic background and protected characteristics
  • Work on further training on equality and diversity for all staff in the NSHCS
  • Examination of the School website to include new work and content so that the wider public and stakeholders are aware that the NSHCS is an open and inclusive environment to apply to work in and we welcome people from all backgrounds
  • Aspiration raising case studies to be included on website to show trainees from BAME backgrounds
  • Recognition of Black History Month by recognising and celebrating  the internal diversity within the school at our weekly school staff meetings and plans to acknowledge black healthcare workers on our channels
  • Joining in with activities in the wider HEE for Black History Month

Read Berne’s blog from October 2020


Expressions of interest for STP and HSST 2021 intake

Due to the current climate, a decision has been taken to extend the deadline for requesting funding for STP and HSST posts, for trainees commencing in 2021/22. The online portal will now close on Friday 30th October and can be accessed using the link below. We hope that by extending the deadline this will give your organisation the opportunity to submit your requests for posts.

If you have any questions regarding the commissioning process or completing the online form, please e-mail:

Take the healthcare science 2021/22: demand scoping survey (Expired link)


School and Academy announce strategic change in the management of completion of the STP

After a successful 10-year history where the AHCS provided regulatory governance and support of the STP, whilst the NSHCS was in formation, the relationship will move to a new position. With the full support of the AHCS, from September 2020 the NSHCS will be the Education Provider for the STP and this status was approved by the HCPC on 20th August 2020. This key decision recognises the maturation of the School – its leadership structure, governance systems and processes.

This means that:

  • as of September 2020, The National School will report directly to HCPC for the delivery of the STP.
  • trainees completing the STP will be awarded their Certificate of Completion of STP by the School, which will entitle them to apply to the HCPC for registration.

The only change for STP trainees successfully completing the programme from 2021 onwards is that they will no longer need to wait to receive a notification from the AHCS that they are eligible to register. This will be part of the single notification of successful completion sent by the School.

Professor Berne Ferry, Head of the National School of Healthcare Science, said “I would like to thank the Academy for Healthcare Science for the support and guidance they have given over the years. We look forward to continuing to work closely together in the future to benefit the scientific community in the NHS.”

View the full statement about the change in the management of completion of the STP.


Widening of the eligibility criteria for HSST

Significant scientific workforce shortages at senior levels have been identified in several Life Science specialties, which have been further highlighted during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Higher Specialist Scientific Training (HSST) Programme trains Healthcare Scientists to consultant level. However HSST is currently not open to all individual scientists with the potential to develop and take on the role of a consultant scientist.

The National School of Healthcare Science in Health Education England, the Academy for Healthcare Science, the Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS), the Royal College of Pathologists (RCPath) and Manchester Academy of Healthcare Scientist Education are pleased to announce a widening of the of the eligibility criteria for HSST. The new criteria will allow appropriately qualified senior Biomedical Scientists, who can demonstrate ability to work at Level 7 via academic and professional qualifications, to apply to join the programme. Both Biomedical Scientists and Clinical Scientists will be subject to the same HSST interview process to determine suitability and readiness.

Find out more about the qualifications to confer eligibility.


Consultation on the proposal for the supply and administration of medicines using patient group directions by clinical scientists across the UK

This UK-wide consultation is being led by NHS England on behalf of the four nations and relates to proposed amendments to legislation to enable clinical scientists to use patient group directions (PGDs) to supply and administer medicines to their patients.

Find out more about the consultation.


Black History Month

October is Black History Month in the UK and at the National School of Healthcare Science, we would like to acknowledge and celebrate the history of Black Healthcare workers and their contributions to science and medicine.

We would also love to hear about what you or your departments may be doing to celebrate this month. If you would like us to showcase and share this with all our stakeholders at the school, please get in contact with us at or tag us on Twitter.

Please be sure to look out for featured pieces throughout the month of October on our Twitter feed and on our website.

Celebration of staff at the NSHCS

As part of Black History Month Kerreesha in our recruitment team would like to celebrate a staff member at the NSHCS.

“Being someone who falls within the BAME category, inclusion hasn’t always been a ‘known’ feeling to which I have always felt privileged to be part of an organisation which celebrates and promotes diversity and inclusion beyond the outer appearance.

This year, BLM enforced realisation for the National School of Healthcare Science to not only promote training and delivery across HCS, but the importance of promoting the equitable and inclusive ways in which we achieve this goal.

This person has not only inspired me, but enabled me to participate in something truly incredible. I would like thank, celebrate and congratulate Chanelle Peters, the founder of the National School of Healthcare Science Diversity and Inclusion Group.”


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

We are so proud of healthcare scientists up and down the country. Thank you for all the effort and hard work you put in, now and always.

We want to find out more about the innovative ways of working demonstrated by the Healthcare Science workforce, particularly our STP and HSST trainees, during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Please get in touch to share the great examples of how you are delivering your services. We want to use these case studies to promote healthcare scientists.

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


Nominate your apprentice of the year

There is an opportunity to highlight the work of Healthcare Science apprentices by nominating your apprentice for the ‘The Apprentice of the Year Award’.

The Apprentice of the Year Award recognises and celebrates the significant contribution made by an apprentice within their organisation in the healthcare sector. This award shines a light on the bright stars of the future, individuals who have not only gone above and beyond at their organisation, but who also act as advocates and ambassadors for apprenticeships as a route to healthcare careers, in both clinical and operational roles.

Find out how you can nominate your apprentice of the year. (Expired link)


HEE e-Learning for Healthcare: COVID-19 resources

HEE e-LfH’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) e-learning programme is still being well used by the health and care workforce and saw 253,878 session launches during September 2020 alone.

New and updated content is being added, including:


Rapid diagnosis of community-acquired pneumonia for clinicians – this resource outlines the approach to diagnosing pneumonia during the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Differentiating viral from bacterial pneumonia – this article is about how to differentiate between viral pneumonia (a severe complication of COVID-19) and bacterial pneumonia.

Long COVID – COVID-19 long-term health effects

COVID-19: long-term health effects – this resource includes information and guidance on persistent health problems reported following acute COVID-19 disease with links to studies and guidance for primary care and community health services.

Long COVID: How to define it and how to manage it – this resource is an article and webinar from the BMJ.

Management of post-acute COVID-19 in primary care – this resource includes an article, a podcast and an infographic from the BMJ.

More information about the e-LfH COVID-19 e-learning programme can be found here.


Clinical Entrepreneur Programme – applications process now open

This is an educational workforce development programme designed for healthcare professionals who want to develop and scale their most innovative ideas for patient benefit.

The programme was launched in 2016 and has already recruited over 500 individuals including Doctors, Dentists and Healthcare Scientists, Nurses and Midwives, Allied Health Professionals, and Pharmacists from a range of diverse backgrounds.

Find out more about the Clinical Entrepreneur Programme.


NHS People Plan now live

On Thursday 30th July, NHS England and NHS Improvement, and Health Education England published the next part of the NHS People Plan. ‘We are the NHS: People Plan for 2020/21 – action for us all’ sets out what our NHS people can expect from leaders and each other. The plan is practical but ambitious, and sets out the action needed to look after and support our NHS people in 20/21 – recognising the pressure we have all been under during the COVID-19 response.

Published alongside the plan was ‘Our NHS People Promise’, which challenges us all to make the NHS a better place to work. Over the next four years, we will work together to make the ambitions within it a reality for everyone.

We’re keen to hear your thoughts on the plan, so please do get in touch or join the conversation on Twitter using #WeAreTheNHS and #OurNHSPeople.

Find out more about the NHS People Plan.


Great British Menu special banquet 

In a Christmas special the Great British Menu is hosting a special banquet to say thank you to the key workers of the pandemic.

The team here at the National School would like to encourage healthcare scientists to nominate each other in recognition of the brilliant work you do.

Find out more about nominating a healthcare scientist for the GMB Christmas special. (Expired link)

Last updated on 18th May 2022

This publication is part of The School Report (2020)