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Healthcare Science

Healthcare Science Notice Board <10> Summer 2015

Edition <10> of Healthcare Science Notice Board gives a summary of developments covering our national event, clinical physiology matters, NES infrastructure concerning the quality management of postgraduate training, postgraduate scientists and emerging arrangements for Higher Specialist Scientific Training. We also highlight 2015 short courses, including a call to help pilot our trainees-in-difficulty day, and our Healthcare Science communities of practice on the Knowledge Network.


Edition <10> of Healthcare Science Notice Board gives a summary of developments covering our national event, clinical physiology matters, NES infrastructure concerning the quality management of postgraduate training, postgraduate scientists and emerging arrangements for Higher Specialist Scientific Training. We also highlight 2015 short courses, including a call to help pilot or trainees-in-difficulty day, and our Healthcare Science communities of practice on the Knowledge Network.


National Event 19th June 2015, COSLA Haymarket, Edinburgh

Organised by HCS Leads and covering National Delivery Plan 2015-2020, patient experience, workshops and posters prizes


Clinical Physiology

2015 support

NES offer to service for year 1 trainees entering clinical physiology training in audiology, neurophysiology, cardiac physiology and respiratory physiology /education-and-training/by-discipline/healthcare-science/clinical-physiology/clinical-physiologists.aspx  Closes 29th May 2015

Clinical Physiology Practitioner training in Scotland

 Recently there has been some debate about proposed changes to our undergraduate clinical physiology programme in Scotland. In 2015 GCU plans to incorporate audiology into its practitioner programme. This coincides with GCU’s desire to move to a new approach to validation of its new programme, bringing it into line with other clinical groups and discontinuing the dependence of an individual's award being subject to professional body external body assessment over which the university (that makes the award) has no quality control.  This principle is also in-line with arrangements for MSC PTP degrees.

NES  interest and our position in these matters is as follows:

1. The undergraduate degree programme in Glasgow was brokered around 2007 by NES in response to demands for a Scotland-based programme covering the larger clinical physiology specialties. Our programme is vocational using only NHS trainees who attend part-time. The model is unique in the UK. The programme is exclusively for a very small workforce (in the wider NHS scheme); it depends on support from service in terms of the supply of NHS trainees and the goodwill / contribution of knowledgeable clinical staff in teaching. The programme runs an intake biannually; 2015 is our intake year: NES offer to service is detailed in the link above.

3. In 2014 NES commissioned the Academy for Healthcare Science to independently map the equivalence of the GCU programme against PTP training from Modernising Scientific Careers. The offer from GCU clearly matched or exceeded the PTP level. /education-and-training/by-discipline/healthcare-science/all-healthcare-science/publications/academy-for-healthcare-science-report-2014.aspx

4. The debates about the merits of including “part 1” and “part 2” exams in the programme are sincerely held. However, the revised offer from GCU includes the competences required of practitioners in each specialty - competences that are delivered by NHS Scotland staff. The approach avoids duplicate examination, or stressing students with further tests, particularly where there is the possibility of denying them an academic award.

As part of this transition NES, is ready to support existing trainees in the system that were anticipating part 1 and part 2 external examinations – where these exist.

Recognition and Registration

5. NES dialogue with the Academy for Healthcare Science strongly indicates that graduates from the GCU programme could very quickly progress to registration with the Academy for Healthcare Science Accredited Register for Practitioners. There is a straight-forward application process for this - link below.  This register is endorsed by the Professional Regulation Authority (PSA), which oversees all regulators (HCPC, GMC NMC etc). PSA recognition of the Academy's register is the highest possible endorsement at this time; it attests the integrity and governance of AHCS’s Register. RCCP is in close dialogue with the Academy, but thus far has elected not to seek PSA recognition. NES would encourage both AHCS and RCCP to explore closer working.

6. Delay to statutory registration for Clinical Physiologists (and others) is an understandable source of frustration. However, NES, GCU and the Academy have no compass in progressing these matters. The stated aim of the Academy register is to ready the system for a move to statutory regulation - PSA approved systems of governance for the Academy register mirror those of HCPC's.

7. NES is offering existing Clinical Physiologists sponsorship to apply for the AHCS practitioner register as a pilot during 2015.  Contact


Postgraduate scientists

Postgraduate Awards 2015

60 applications for NES postgraduate scientist support in 2015 are now being considered. We expect to notify applicants by the end of May.

Clinical Scientists

A range of disciplines in life sciences and physics/bioengineering are recruiting supernumerary trainees commencing in September 2015. We anticipate about 20 recruits. Most will undertake STP training. Once our postgraduate awards are settled, there may be late opportunities for 2015 intake for clinical physiology STP support: expressions of interest from service leads are now sought from clinical physiology services, either for supernumerary posts or in-service academic fee support for STP. Preference will be given to those departments not yet supporting (or recently offered) clinical physiology STPs.

Admissions and Practice placement

The governance of postgraduate training forms a key part of the registration outcome for individuals on STP. In line NES’s strategy to regard all our 150 plus postgraduate scientist trainees as part of a single workforce community, we intend extending our new quality management function across postgraduate scientist training.  We expect that it will become a requirement of any group or department receiving NES postgraduate support.


Quality management of HCS training 

NES Role

Edition <9> outlined the rationale for closer scrutiny of postgraduate scientist training in the workplace. In the first instance this will be largely a self-assessment exercise with follow-up where issues are detected.  To help us undertake this new role, we are recruiting Specialty Leads to cover the major HCS thematic areas.

Further vacancies for these posts will be posted after 18th May at:  /recruitment/nes-vacancies.aspx  with interviews expected on 12th June 2015


We will post information about our quality management work at: /education-and-training/by-discipline/healthcare-science/all-healthcare-science/quality-assurance-of-scottish-hcs-training.aspx


Higher Specialist Scientific Training

At present we are unable to offer central support for (consultant clinical scientist) Higher Specialist Scientific Training. However, our plans for quality management of postgraduate training are in readiness for a future scheme; we are in dialogue with Scottish Government about the possibilities. /education-and-training/by-discipline/healthcare-science/all-healthcare-science/clinical-scientists/higher-specialist-scientific-training-hsst.aspx

Expressions of interest are invited from experienced clinical scientist registrants in Scotland who wish to apply for HSST equivalence. Later in 2015, AHCS will be producing guidance on how to go about the process. At present, ‘equivalence’ will be the only route to joining the Higher Specialist Scientific Register. The pilot process will involve an initial application with a full curriculum vitae, certificates and referees.


NES support for registration / equivalence bids

In summary – expressions of interest are invited from HCS colleagues seeking:

1) to join AHCS Practitioner Register: applies to clinical physiologists, technologists and other practitioner-level HCS staff not covered by HCPC;

2) to apply to AHCS for STP ‘equivalence’ as a clinical scientist: for example experienced biomedical scientists, clinical physiologists and others who have postgraduate development and are not registered as HCPC clinical scientists;

3) Higher Specialist Scientist ‘equivalence’ and the Academy’s proposed Consultant Register



NES HCS Face-to-face courses

Our annual round of face-to face courses will open for booking shortly. These programmes are also an ideal way to network with HCS colleagues.  Dates confirmed so far are:

Early Career 4-day course, covering basic people management

Aberdeen   (Starts 15/9/15, then 13/10, 10/11 and 01/12)

Dundee      (Starts 17/915, then 15/10, 12/11, 03/12)

Edinburgh  (Starts 22/9/15, then 20/10, 17/11, 08/12)

Glasgow     (Starts 24/9, then 22/10, 19/11, 10/12)


Further dates for the following will be announced shortly:

Refreshing Leadership 4-day course, articulates with and  goes beyond Early Career

Train-the-trainer 1 day courses around Scotland

Trainees-in-difficulty 1 day course articulates with and goes beyond train-the-trainer. We are piloting the trainees-in-difficulty course on 15th June at Westport Edinburgh and invite 10 to 15 delegates to help us shape this.

To sign up for our  15th June pilot or general enquiries about the possibility of a course in your area:


In addition NES offers generic courses, including:

Learning from Error

Exploring Leadership and Safety Culture in Teams

Introduction to Human Factors


Booking for these all courses will be on the NES Portal


Communities of practice for Healthcare Science 

We have established three HCS community websites on the NES Knowledge Network. An Athens password is required to join these communities, details on how to obtain this from the respective sites.

Trainees & supervisors community - for trainees and supervisors. We are encouraging and many as possible to join

HCS Leads community – for NHS Board Leads and Scottish Government Leads

Alumni-courses support  - detailing the various face-to-face courses and specific cohort exercises


The Knowledge Network also hosts the Scottish Forum for Healthcare Science, which was recently re-launched.

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The Healthcare Science National Delivery Plan 2015-2020

Launched on 11th May 2015 in Glasgow, the NDP 2015-20 has the strapline Driving Improvement - Delivering Results. It proposes five improvement programmes covering health technology management; point-of-care-testing; demand optimisation; sustainable services; integrated clinical physiology services. The implementation plans will be led by Government HCS Leads with accounatbility for outcomes with Boards and local HCS Leads