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Healthcare Science

Healthcare Science Notice Board <11> late Summer 2015

Edition <11> of Healthcare Science Notice Board summarises our emerging work relating to the quality management of postgraduate training; we highlight members of our new NES team of Specialty Leads. There is an update on the short course series now underway. We refer to implementation work of the Scottish Government Delivery Plan, which contains a specific action for NES regarding modelling the Clinical Physiology workforce. This update includes our 2016 call for interest in supernumerary clinical scientist posts.


Edition <11> of Healthcare Science Notice Board summarises our emerging work relating to the quality management of postgraduate training; we highlight members of our new NES team of Specialty Leads. There is an update on the short course series now underway. We refer to implementation work of the Scottish Government Delivery Plan, which contains a specific action for NES regarding modelling the Clinical Physiology workforce. This update includes our 2016 call for interest in supernumerary clinical scientist posts.


Quality Management of postgraduate training: new work.

NES Healthcare Science is taking on a new and additional role in quality managing postgraduate scientist training for the NHS in Scotland. Our role aligns with the quality management function of postgraduate Scientist Training Programmes (STP) in other parts of the UK, and it preserves our approach in Scotland of a wider definition of postgraduate scientist trainees.

Why this matters

The new Scientist Training Programmes (STP) developed as part of the Modernising Scientific Careers project includes specific monitoring arrangements for the recruitment (programme admission) of clinical scientist trainees and of their practice placement. We are required to demonstrate this to comply with the Health and Care Professions Council Standards of Education and Training. The Academy for Healthcare Science, as HCPC’s STP education provider, monitors these arrangements across the UK.

The current situation

In England, The National School for Healthcare Science recruits STP trainees and monitors placements. On behalf of all UK STP trainees, the School also monitors trainee progression, offers trainer development and trainee exit examination.

In Scotland, NES sponsors and arranges STP and other clinical scientist recruitment, and we monitor their placements in Scotland.

In Scotland, NES sponsors Healthcare Science Practitioners seeking postgraduate scientist training via a competitive annual bursary scheme measured against our Common Core List.

In Scotland, NES assigns National Training Numbers to all postgraduate scientist trainees.

Our ambitions: what we will do

We will monitor all placement departments, initially via a common self assessment using generic standards for training in the workplace environment (known as practice placement). Separately, we will survey postgraduate scientist trainees. Where indicated, we will engage with service to assist and improve the placement.

We willshare our principles that underpin admissions and practice placement. We will also promote our approach to special measures for trainees and departments that give cause for concern.

We will, in future, align postgraduate funding support from NES with satisfactory placement monitoring outcomes.

We will share information about the state of quality management in Scotland with AHCS and NSHCS through a reciprocal agreement relating to STP trainees.

Our next steps

We are refining our approach to self assessment and have drafted principles for admissions, practice placement and special measures.

We will be contacting training leads and trainees on our national training number register to confirm accuracy of the data we hold, and to ready service for our self-assessment exercises. Trainees will be subject to an annual survey.

Our partners

We have developed our approach to quality management of postgraduate training in partnership with HCPC, The Academy for Healthcare Science and the National School for Healthcare Science. Over 2015, we have taken advice from senior training leads in Scotland and UK colleagues in drafting our core principles.

Our Specialty Leads

NES Healthcare Science has established a team of Specialty Leads with responsibility for particular scientific themes. Our Specialty Leads will be working with trainers and trainees as the programme of quality management work develops.

What we need postgraduate trainers and trainees to do

A credible quality management work stream in Scotland is necessary for our model of healthcare science postgraduate training. As a trainer or trainee, we need engagement, understanding and participation when requested in our monitoring. We need colleagues to be aware of and understand our core principles for admissions and practice placement, and our approach to special measures.

Other groups: Whilst the focus of our work is primarily on postgraduate scientist trainees, The principles therein are generic. We anticipate extending our monitoring to other NHS employed healthcare science trainees – including pre-registration practitioners in Clinical Physiology and for Clinical Technologists.

Draft details of our principles and assessment of these are available at:



Development of National Training Numbers: TURAS

At present, postgraduate scientist trainees supported by NES are assigned a National Training Number. To date, this number has little relevance to the trainee or supervisor. We intend moving our numbering to an online national register called “TURAS” accessible to trainees and supervisors. This system is used in Scotland by medical and dental deaneries and pharmacy for their postgraduate trainees. It tracks training status, broad progression, rotations/location, associated supervisors and ‘events’ such as out-of-programme. We anticipate that TURAS would also be useful to track NHS Practitioner trainees such as Clinical Physiologists and Clinical Technologists. We with report progress on TURAS implementation in future editions of Notice Board. 


Our Specialty Leads

In summer 2015 NES recruited a new team to begin the implementation of our HCS quality management work. Leads primarily cover a specific healthcare science theme and lend support to those areas we have yet to fill. The appointments are sessional (0.2 WTE) and are instrumental to our new quality management role.

Duncan Macfarlane (cardio-respiratory science)

Dr Peter Greene(clinical engineering)           

Dr Julie Turbitt (genetics)                           

Lee McMullen(blood sciences)                  

Liz Kilgour (infection sciences)                   

Duncan is healthcare science Speciality Lead for Cardiac, Critical Care, Vascular, Respiratory and Sleep Science (CCVRS). Duncan is a highly specialised clinical physiologist within respiratory/sleep science with over 13 years experience and is registered on the RCCP voluntary register.  Duncan is also a registered polysomnographic technologist and manages the sleep investigation unit at Gartnavel General hospital in Glasgow.  He is Chair of the Scottish Forum of the Association for Respiratory Technology and Physiology (ARTP) and a member of the ARTP education committee as Scottish representative.

Peter completed his PhD at the Bioengineering Unit, University of Strathclyde in 2003 and began his NHS career with NHS Grampian as a trainee Bioengineer. In 2007 he achieved state-registration as a Clinical Scientist and joined Westmarc as a Senior Bioengineer. Since 2009 he has held the post of Principal Bioengineer at Westmarc and works with a team of 12 Bioengineers specialising in mobility and seating. He is currently a supervisor for the IPEM Clinical Scientist training scheme and oversees the service's ISO13485 registration. He is also a Chartered Engineer.

Julie is a Clinical Cytogeneticist registered with the HCPC and is based at the department of Medical Genetics, Aberdeen Royal Infirmary. She is an associate member of the Royal College of Pathologists and has a PhD in diabetes research with postdoctoral experience in stem cell research. Julie has supervised both Masters and PhD students and helps train Clinical Scientists and practitioners.

Lee is a specialist biomedical scientist registered with the HCPC working in the blood sciences laboratory of Monklands District General Hospital, within NHS Lanarkshire.  He is also training officer for the biochemistry specialty with responsibility for both undergraduate and postgraduate trainees, and an assessor of the registration portfolio for the Glasgow Caledonian University integrated students.  Lee is working towards becoming registered as an assessor of the Institute of Biomedical Science Specialist Diploma for Clinical Chemistry.


Liz is Microbiology Laboratory Technical Manager registered with the HCPC, over Monklands, Wishaw and Hairmyres hospitals. Liz holds Fellowship of the Institute of Biomedical Science, is a Chartered Scientist and has served as council member and Secretary on Scottish Microbiology Association Council. Liz represents Microbiology in NHSL at national meetings e.g. the Scottish Microbiology and Virology Network Antimicrobial Group.


Face to face courses - update

Our face to face course series for Early Career and Refreshing Leadership in Aberdeen have been merged with the Dundee cohorts and, other than Glasgow, courses start in late September or early October.


Expressions of interest for courses is welcome

Course details


Scottish Government National Delivery plan

The National Delivery Plan for Healthcare Science 2015-2020 was launched by Scottish Government in mid-2015.  Significant work is going forward at a national and local level to work towards developing implementation plans for the HCS National Delivery Plan. Work is also planned to improve the overall structure of the Knowledge Network site where you will find communications and information around the National Delivery Plan.

There is now a reporting governance structure, with terms of reference, along with an initial baseline scoping exercise, outputs from this questionnaire are now posted on the knowledge network site. Currently, the national group are looking for potential ‘test of change’ from boards – contact your local lead or any of the national team for more information, all details on the Knowledge Network.

Specifically NES has been asked to investigate workforce data for clinical physiology as part of a wider deliverable in the Plan.




Academy for Healthcare Science equivalence support

NHS Education for Scotland invites expressions of interest from Healthcare Science staff who may wish to be sponsored to apply for an AHCS Certificate of Equivalence, either to join the AHCS Practitioner Register or to prepare a portfolio for the Academy’s Clinical Scientist process. Postgraduate registration as a Clinical Scientist in the specialty is in addition to candidate’s existing registration. These candidates are likely to be those with significant postgraduate-level experience, usually including one or a combination of: professional body qualification or accreditation; management or leadership experience; postgraduate academic qualification; clinical audit or research experience. NES has already supported several applicants through this pathway.



Clinical Physiology practitioner training

Following a number of invitations to service during 2015, NES is supporting this year’s intake of NHS pre-registration clinical physiologists.  Following successful revalidation of the academic programme at Glasgow Caledonian University, the course also supports audiology trainees. There will be no year 1 intake in 2016. The next clinical physiology year 1 intake is scheduled for September 2017.

As part of plans to develop this workforce NES will be working with Scottish Government Leads to build a Scottish Clinical Physiology Network.


Clinical scientist intake 2016

Invitations are now invited from service for the 2016 round of clinical scientist supernumerary support. Specifically, applications from clinical physiology services to train STP scientist-level staff are welcome. Applicants should be mindful of STP rotational training requirements in supporting trainees. Essential information about STP training for supervisors is available from:


Forward events 2016 further information pending.

5th February 2016 – Edinburgh: HCS postgraduate scientist trainees & supervisors.

24th June 2016  – Glasgow: HCS National Event.