The School Report (March 2022)

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 2022
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Recognition scheme

We have established a stakeholder recognition scheme. This month we will award Associate and Honorary Fellows status to a broad range of healthcare scientists in gratitude for the input and support that many individuals have given to help the School to grow and to deliver its remit.


Healthcare Science Week 2022

Healthcare Science Week is an annual week of celebration and awareness-raising for the many careers in healthcare science and gives us the opportunity to promote the amazing work of healthcare science professionals and highlight the difference they make to patients’ lives.

This year Healthcare Science Week will take place from 14th March – 20th March.

In the School we will be focussing on how healthcare scientists have contributed during the COVID-19 pandemic and how they are instrumental in the recovery and the scientific training programmes available.

We’d love to see what you are getting up to over the week. Please tag us on Twitter @NSHCS so we can share your work.

Click here to find some useful resources for HCS Week 2022


CSO’s 2021 Excellence in Healthcare Science Workforce Transformation award winner

We are absolutely delighted to announce that the Chief Scientific Officer for England, Professor Dame Sue Hill, has named the development of a PGCert in Echocardiography as the CSO’s 2021 Excellence in Healthcare Science Workforce Transformation award winner.

Professor Berne Ferry, Head of the National School of Healthcare Science and Dean for Healthcare Science said: “I’d like to congratulate Jane Lynch, Professor Martin Stout, Jennifer Green and Wendy Gamlin and express on behalf of all cardiac physiologists and the patients that they serve, an enormous thank you for the hard work and for using their experience, skills, and commitment to set up and to deliver this PGCert in Echocardiology. I’d also like to personally thank the many who enabled this programme to be developed, commissioned and implemented within one year.”

The PG Certificate initially ran as a pilot in 2020 with 12 trainees. In 2021 60 trainees were recruited. A further increase in trainee numbers is planned for 2022.

Click here to find out more about the Echocardiography Training Programme


News from the National School

STP core curriculum review feedback published

We would like to thank everyone who contributed to the stakeholder feedback for the new curriculum last year. This process allowed everyone involved in the STP to comment on drafts of the curriculum. We then worked with all of the feedback provided to develop, strengthen and improve the drafts into the final version of the curricula.

We received a huge amount of feedback to the core curriculum. Over 200 people responded to the survey and provided over 1,000 comments sharing your thoughts and providing insight on the proposal for the new core curriculum. Feedback particularly highlighted that curriculum content relating to equality, diversity and inclusivity could be strengthened and improved which lead to changes in both the work-based and academic curriculum content. We’re very pleased to make the responses to your feedback on the core curriculum available to you. You can see how your feedback shaped the final draft and the changes that were made to the modules.

We will continue to monitor and evolve the new curriculum to keep pace with your practice. We’ll be introducing mechanisms to ensure continual review of the curriculum as it enters delivery in September 2022. Look out for opportunities to provide your thoughts and feedback again in the future.

Click here to view the responses to your feedback on the core curriculum

Supporting the pipeline to HCPC Biomedical Scientist registration

The National School of Healthcare Science, part of Health Education England, have delivered a funding boost of more than £2m to support the pipeline for staff working across Pathology across England who require degree assessment, top-up modules and registration portfolios in order to fulfil the requirements for HCPC registration as a Biomedical Scientist.

This funding support will increase the numbers of Biomedical Scientists across England and will help current workforce shortages, with demand around service and workforce increasing, on top of the pandemic testing workload. This funding offer is in line with the NHS People Plan, which seeks to grow a bigger and better NHS workforce for the future and the 2021 Royal College of Pathologists Getting It Right First Time Pathology report which recommends upskilling of staff to take on higher level work and improve service flexibility.

Healthcare science Cardiorespiratory Apprenticeship pilot

The National School of Healthcare Science and Talent for Care, Health Education England, have worked with employers to develop a pilot Healthcare Science – Cardiorespiratory Apprenticeship that includes the Level 2 Diploma or Level 4 Diploma in Healthcare Science. HEE provided a contributory one-off training grant per apprentice to successful employers.

This project aims to support the recommendation in the national report from Professor Sir Mike Richards to develop the non-registrant healthcare science workforce using apprenticeships. The pilot enables participating employers within NHS diagnostic services in the development of a new workforce trained with the specific skills and knowledge across both cardiac and respiratory services. The pilot was initially for 94 apprentices to commence before March 2022. This is a national pilot with places allocated across the seven HEE regions: North, Midlands, East of England, South East, South West and London. Where employer expressions of interest exceeded the initial regional allocation of places regions were able to source additional funds.

Healthcare Science Assistant and Healthcare Science Associate consultation survey results

The results of the Healthcare Science Assistant and Healthcare Science Associate apprenticeship standards consultation survey are now in. The survey had a total of 110 responses from individuals working in a wide range of organisations and with a good geographical spread across England. 79% of the respondents had not been involved in the trailblazer previously.

Overall there was good support for the draft standards with an average of 90% in agreement with the content. There was also some very useful qualitative feedback that the trailblazer group will need to consider. The group is now busy analysing the data so that the standard can be updated prior to submission.


News from our University partners

University of Birmingham College of Medical and Dental Sciences

In collaboration with the University of Birmingham we have published two papers focussing on the education and training of Clinical Scientists and looking at an enhanced model for leadership development, as well as understanding the influences on healthcare professionals’ career choices.

The first paper, reported in BMJ Leader, describes an enhanced model for leadership development for trainee and early career clinical scientists that may have wider applicability to other health professions and groups not traditionally associated with clinical leadership.

The second paper, reported in BMC Health Services Research, describes the findings of our mixed-methods study, which found that training experiences, personal values, specialty norms and organisational factors all influence UK clinical scientist’s early career choices and progression.

Click here to find the papers published on the education and training of Clinical Scientists



Fellowship and Programme applications open now

Higher Specialist Scientist Training Programme

We are delighted to announce that applications for the 2022 Higher Specialist Scientist Training Programme (HSST) opened last month.

The HSST programme is bespoke to the trainee and designed by them in collaboration with their supervisor and employer. The programme has been developed to enable a selected cohort of clinical scientists to be trained to take on the role of a consultant clinical scientist. It is a programme that is both flexible and bespoke to the individual.

Applications for direct entry close on Tuesday 15 March and for in-service entry on Tuesday 19 April.

Click here to find out more about the training programme and how to apply

Healthcare Science Innovation Fellowship

Healthcare Scientists need to be given the ‘tools to do the job’ in terms of healthcare technology management techniques, to lead developing and implementing evolving technologies and innovative solutions. The Fellowship scheme will build system capacity to increase medical device regulatory and standards expertise and innovation capabilities for the introduction of appropriate technologies to benefit patients in primary or secondary care settings.

Partnering the proven innovation expertise of the NIHR Devices for Dignity MedTech Co-operative with candidates keen to develop their innovation skillset, the Fellowship programme offers an experiential framework where skills are built and real-world examples are tested.

Applications close on Sunday 20 March.

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

Manchester Clinical Data Science Programme

Health Education England have commissioned the University of Manchester to develop a flexible Clinical Data Science Programme in collaboration with the National School of Healthcare Science and clinical partners at The Christie Hospital, to support NHS long term workforce development plans.

The University of Manchester are looking to capture interest for this programme. If the Clinical Data Science Programme sounds like something you might be interested in, you can register your interest.

Click here to find out more about the fellowship and how to register your interest

Digital Health Leadership Programme

Applications for the NHS Digital Academy’s Digital Health Leadership Programme are open to applicants employed in England for the next cohort of digital change leaders.

The Digital Health Leadership Programme is a 12-month fully accredited Postgraduate Diploma in Digital Health Leadership delivered by Imperial College London and partners through a blend of online and in-person learning methods. All components of the programme will be highly engaging for participants supporting both individual learning and creating a vibrant community of digital leaders.

To support applications to the new cohort, the NHS Digital Academy are running a series of webinars and drop-in sessions where you can gain more information about the assessment criteria and sponsorship requirements.

Applications close on Thursday 24 March.

Click here to learn more about the application process and apply

Last updated on 10th March 2022

This publication is part of The School Report (2022)