The School Report (October 2021)

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 2021
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Berne's blog

A personal perspective from Professor Berne Ferry.

“20 months into the pandemic. 20 months after we were forced to step into an altered working, massively scaled down social and cultural world caused by a fairly scary, dangerous and capricious RNA-virus which continues to dictate the pattern of our everyday lives. That COVID-19 is here to stay is clear and no doubt we will all be subjected to many books, articles, documentaries, select committees and commissioned reports on its appearance and management and vaccine roll out in the future.

For this short October blog, I want to share a personal reflection on the impact of the last 20 months on the perception of NHS scientists by fellow NHS professionals and the public.”

Click here to read Berne’s full October blog


Join the NSHCS celebrating our 10th birthday on Wednesday 20th October

This October the National School of Healthcare Science turns 10 and we would like to invite you to join our virtual celebratory event on Wednesday 20th October 10am-12pm.

Our event will explore the past, present and future of healthcare science education and training. It will be hosted by Vivienne Parry, OBE and will include a number of guest speakers, including: Sir David Behan, Chair of HEE, Professor Dame Sue Hill, Chief Scientific Officer, and Val Davison & Dr Chris Gibson, previous Heads of the School.

The agenda includes:

  • Sir David Behan opening the event
  • Professor Dame Sue Hill will reflect on the amazing work that has been completed so far and the impact of COVID on the healthcare science workforce
  • Professor Dame Sue Hill will then host a round table chat talking to previous Heads of the School
  • Professor Berne Ferry will talk about the journey of the National School
  • A number of trainees and alumni will talk about the impact of the School on their careers so far
  • The launch of our new stakeholder engagement recognition scheme

We really hope you will be able to attend. It would be so lovely to have you there.

Warmest wishes,

Professor Berne Ferry, Head of the National School of Healthcare Science


Commissioning for STP, HSST and ETP 2022 intake deadline extended

Health Education England (HEE) have announced an extension to the application portal deadline in the commissioning process for the Scientist Training Programme (STP), Higher Specialist Scientist Training Programme (HSST) and the Echocardiography Training Programme (ETP) for trainees commencing training in 2022. The new deadline is Friday 15th October.

These are the key dates for the 2022 commissioning cycle:

  • 15th October 2021 – NEW DEADLINE: Application portal closes
  • October 2021 – Local Health Education England office reviews applications
  • November 2021 – Moderation by National School of Healthcare Science
  • w/c 23rd November 2021 – Letters to organisations confirming commissions

If you have any questions regarding the commissioning process, please email


2021 Chief Scientific Officer’s Excellence in Healthcare Science Awards

The 2021 Chief Scientific Officer’s Excellence in Healthcare Science Awards celebrates the tremendous contributions and achievements of the healthcare science workforce and the impact they have on patient outcomes, by championing inspiring case studies of quality improvement, innovative partnerships and pioneering service delivery.

This year’s categories that are still open for nominations include:

  • Excellence in Healthcare Science Service
  • Healthcare Science Rising Star
  • Excellence in Healthcare Science Workforce Transformation
  • Excellence in Healthcare Science Research and Innovation
  • Healthcare Scientist of the Year

Click here to find more information on the awards and how to submit a nomination


Secondment opportunity for Specialist Teaching Personnel in Clinical Science

An opportunity has arisen for specialist clinical staff to undertake a secondment with Manchester Metropolitan University, in the areas of cardiac science and respiratory and sleep science.

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


Newcastle University Faculty of Medical Sciences Graduate School awarded Vice-Chancellor’s Education Excellence Awards

Congratulations to the Faculty of Medical Sciences winners of the Newcastle University Vice-Chancellor’s Education Excellence Awards 2021.

The Graduate School, Faculty of Medical Sciences, won the Education Excellence Award for the Patient Pathways Workshop event. The workshop event provides proactive roles for patients in the teaching of Clinical Scientists as they share personal experiences of their pathway from discovering the first signs of head and neck cancer through diagnosis, treatment and subsequent after care with small groups of trainee Clinical Scientists.

Click here to read the full article


New support resources available on our website

We are continuing to research and identify additional resources which may be of benefit to trainees and trainers. There are new resources focusing on anxiety and mental health to help provide support in these challenging times. The support resources include:

  • Supporting shielding trainees: a course for education supervisors who are supporting displaced or shielding trainees.
  • Sources of support for trainees affected by the COVID-19 pandemic: the NHS nationally and locally has developed a range of wellbeing support to care for and protect all of our NHS colleagues.
  • Wellbeing support for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic NHS staff: bespoke mental health and wellbeing services for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic staff working in the NHS.
  • Anxiety and mental health issues resources: Online resources to help with anxiety and mental health issues.​​​​​​​

Click here to find out more about the support resources available


Finding a genomic cause: the clinician’s role

As greater numbers of clinicians refer patients for genomic testing through the NHS Genomic Medicine Service (GMS), the Genomics Education Programme recognises the need for educational resources to support with this transition. The actions taken, and information provided, by referring clinicians is crucial to laboratory scientists as it is used to apply various filtering stages when looking for a diagnosis.

The Genomics Education Programme has developed a new resource: ‘Finding a genomics cause: the clinician’s role’, to show how laboratory scientists whittle down the genomic variants identified by genomic sequencing to find a diagnosis for patients and show how the actions of the referring clinician impact this process. This new resource breaks down the variant filtering process and has a useful list of FAQs, as well as signposting to other related resources.

You can find this new resource on the GMS Hub along with a range of in-depth summaries and at-a-glance guides, as well as useful resources for educators.

Click here to find this new resource on the GMS Hub


Whole Genome Sequencing in the NHS

Are you looking to learn more about whole genome sequencing and its increasing role as part of routine NHS patient care?

The Genomics Education Programme’s free course starting on 18 October will help you find out about this cutting-edge tool and its applications in healthcare. The course is flexible and will be available for five weeks in total, so you can dip in and out to suit your time commitments. Sign up today!

Click here to sign up to the Genomics Education Programme’s free course starting on 18 October


Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) conference

The Chief Scientific Officer for England, Professor Dame Sue Hill invites you to join her for the virtual 2021 CSO Conference.

Hosted by Vivienne Parry OBE, we will hear about the latest and greatest work in healthcare science that is impacting the NHS at every level.

Join Professor Hill and her team from 9:00am on Tuesday 5th October 2021.


British Academy of Audiology conference

From 9am Thursday 18th – 3:30pm Friday 19th November the British Academy of Audiology will hold their 17th annual conference at Manchester Central Convention Complex.

The conference this year will contain updates from experts in research, overviews of policy updates, service innovations and examples of clinical progress which have taken huge technological leaps in the last 12 months.

Click here to register

Last updated on 18th May 2022

This publication is part of The School Report (2021)