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Healthcare Science

Healthcare Science - Notice Board <19> March 2019

This edition during Healthcare Science Week 2019 includes support for intake 2019 clinical physiology practitioners; 2019 bursary support for HCS practitioners interested in further development; an invitation to trainees to acquire a National Training Number; additional trainer courses; progress with our e-learning ambitions on TURAS Learn; and a forward look to 2019.


This edition during Healthcare Science Week 2019 includes support for intake 2019 clinical physiology practitioners; 2019 bursary support for HCS practitioners interested in further development; an invitation to trainees to acquire a National Training Number; additional trainer courses; progress with our e-learning ambitions on TURAS Learn; and a forward look to 2019.



2019 Healthcare Science Week 8th-15th March 2019

This week, around Scotland, Healthcare Science staff are promoting their professions to emphasise the vital contribution the scientific workforce makes to diagnosis and treatments 5% of NHS staff are healthcare scientists; these contribute vital steps to 80% of all patient journeys. At NES:

  • We aim to support around 30 applicants through a competitive annual award toward postgraduate study. Awardees will be issued with a National Training Number and join our community of postgraduate scientist trainees and others that comprise around 160 trainees. Details of our bursary scheme in the next section.
  • We support an intake of 18-20 clinical scientist trainees annually on 3-year postgraduate programmes. We have around 65 such trainees in progress, in fields ranging from medical physics, biochemistry, genetics, reproductive science, cardiac physiology and vascular science - to name a few!
  • We run at least 2 annual events in Scotland
  • We have just launched an e-learning site as a service to the community on the national TURAS Learn platform
  • We work closely with regulators and education providers as part of our ongoing activity in training programme management and quality monitoring. We have over 100 departments and units across Scotland involved in supporting training of the scientific workforce.



NES support for clinical physiologist practitioner intake 2019


As in previous years, NES Healthcare Science anticipates making available a contribution to year 1 costs towards a new clinical physiology practitioner trainee attending Scottish programmes. The next intake that will be supported commences September 2019, with an anticipated one-off contribution of £5000 in financial year 2019-20. Service is strongly encouraged to explore running a trainee for 2019 Expressions of interest. The time of writing, 10 awards have already been committed.  Details at:



2019 Bursary support HCS Practitioners

Applications are invited for 2019 bursary support for HCS Practitioners interested on undertaking further development. Our contribution is aligned with out Common Core List, which is a statement of attributes of any scientist in healthcare. Applications close on 24th April 2019. Further information is available from



Our assurance programme - obtaining a National Training Number: for Healthcare Science staff in training.

We would like to invite practitioners and postgraduate healthcare science staff in training join the community of HCS National Training Number holders and to participate in our assurance programme. There are a number of staff in Healthcare Science undergoing professional qualifications with their representative professional body who are not known to NES. These staff will become important part of the workforce with additional knowledge and skills essential to the scientific service.  We wish to include these individuals. Some of their peers may already possess a National Training Number. Examples of training could be specialist, and higher specialist portfolio undertaken with a professional body; an MSc or PhD through and independent route or an unregistered employee who is working towards some sort of equivalence portfolio to become registered.


Why this matters…

In Scotland we have sought to preserve a wide definition of the scientist in NHS Scotland. Building a community of scientists whose training is covered by the same generic assurance standards enhances our group’s identity and avoids duplication of “assurance” for different types of Practitioners and Post-graduate Healthcare Scientist - sometimes co-located in the same unit.

Our assurance programme is light-touch and is irrespective of profession or group. It is designed to:

  • assure that that public funds are wisely spent;
  • assure that training is safe and effective for trainees, trainers and users/patients; and
  • assure regulators and NHS Scotland, as our employer, that the training of us as scientists is subject to uniform national oversight.


What does this mean for the trainee?

In issuing a National training Number we will ask for a broad estimate of a trainee’s training timescale, any key NHS supervisor and – within the training period - an annual confirmation that your training is proceeding to plan. Our Principal Leads will help with this, but the information is minimal. It is held on the TURAS Training Programme Management (TPM) system.


Our assurance programme is described at the Knowledge Network community:


Actionable concerns and the benefits of an assurance process

In our first two years of running this programme we have monitored around 140 trainees annually. We have found a 4%-5% rate of “actionable concern”. By this, we mean a situation where a trainee has asked NES for an opinion on the state of their training, or where annual reporting has revealed an issue. When this happens, we are available to help stimulate a conversation with parties: our Special Measures Guide outlines the type and depth of intervention.


Our involvement in assurance and experience of actionable concerns has stimulated improvements in our CPD offer to trainers. We have redesigned our face-to-face trainers’ courses to better articulate them with our assurance programme. Information about these courses is available on request from


Obtaining a National Training Number

Assurance of the training of our NHS scientists benefits everyone. As a trainer or trainee, the process involves our (minimal) annual monitoring and survey.  Contact for further information.



Revised Train–the-Trainer and Trainees-in-Difficulty

Our Train-the-Trainer and Trainees-in-Difficulty one-day courses have been revised to better reflect our involvement in the monitoring of training. Our trainees-in-difficulty day focuses on the typical causes and steps to remediation. Participants are introduced to our Special Measures guide.


Both these courses have now been successfully piloted and further cohorts are offered ahead of the Summer. Booking for them is on NES Portal  Please contact us if your local cohort (12+) would like one of these courses delivered and we will try to help.



TURAS Learn and e-learning for Healthcare Science: co-creating ideas.

TURAS Learn:  is a multi-profession repository for learning material. This learning management system has been developed by NES Digital as a once-for-Scotland solution. It is free to use, and nationally accessible.


Following our trainees’ event on February 1st, a Healthcare Science site on TURAS Learn has now been established. We are exploring specialty specific content with colleagues that addresses “point-of-need-learning”. In readiness, Healthcare Science staff can register now on TURAS Learn using Healthcare Science as their workforce role descriptor, with further sub-roles (such as Labs, Physical Sciences, Clinical Physiology).


We would be interested in hearing from HCS colleagues who have specialty learning materials – perhaps in the form of a PowerPoint slide show - that they think may have wider appeal. But hosting it on TURAS Learn and adhering to some straightforward governance principles, such material could be quickly accessible, trackable and reviewable to a wide cohort of TURAS Learn users. Contact us at


We have published some basic e-learning resources to demonstrate the site. Once signed in, they can be found under Healthcare Science e-learning.


Also of note is a new learning resource on the QI Zone of TURAS Learn: Measurement for Improvement



NES Healthcare Science Core Team

The NES Healthcare Science core team is:

Dr Robert Farley - Healthcare Science Programme Director

Claire Cameron - Principal Lead

Dr Lorna Crawford - Principal Lead

Andrew Davie  - Principal Lead

Dr James Logie - Principal Lead

Simon Petrie  - Business support 

Charlie Brownlee - Management Accountant

Leanne Neil - Finance analyst


and key NES leadership training staff as at Spring 2019: Eleanor Humphreys, Elaine Lawther



Forward Look: National event 19th / 20th June 2019, Glasgow, The Studio.

Hold the date: The 2019 Healthcare Science event will take place on 19th and 20th June at the Studio, Glasgow. It is anticipated that the first day will focus on healthcare science policy, improvement and topical developments, followed by the second that will be on the shared services agenda. Please contact at  Further information will be posted in the Spring at



Join our mailing list

Following the GDPR implementation, we would encourage recent trainees and NHS recruits in healthcare science to join our Mail Chimp mailing list. Please email  to be included or for comments on what you have read here. Our list is used occasionally for NES Healthcare Science alerts like this HCS Noticeboard; it is not shared with third parties.