Consultant clinical scientist guidance project

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16 / 7 / 2015 Midnight

The Chief Scientific Officer for NHS England, Professor Sue Hill asked NHS Employers to develop guidance for employers to support the employment of consultant clinical scientists. This follows completion of new formalised Higher Specialist Scientist Training (HSST) programmes under the modernising scientific careers programme. The guidance will outline the opportunities for fully using these new roles in innovative healthcare delivery.

The HSST programmes have been developed in conjunction with medical royal colleges and ensure that individuals are educated and trained appropriately to apply for consultant level positions.

The need for a coherent consultant workforce within healthcare science

Hundreds of clinical scientists are working at very senior levels - all undertaking valuable work.  Unlike medical consultant roles, there is inconsistency across the scientific specialities and between employers both in terms of what they do and how they are appointed.

HSST seeks to train and develop an increased number of very senior consultant clinical scientists who can lead the development of new research, technology and practice working within multi-professional clinical teams to deliver quality improvement, innovation and world-class outcomes for patients. 

It is important that there is consistency in understanding the new consultant clinical scientist role and how employers can be assured that they are recruiting and developing expertise in a way that reflects the vision for healthcare science and modernising scientific careers.

Project progress to date

The Consultant Clinical Scientist guidance project began in July 2014 and was completed in Spring 2015.  A steering group and two task and finish groups developed draft guidance, with membership from senior healthcare scientists, professional bodies and HR employer representatives.

The guidance when published will include high-level and detailed role definitions, descriptors, suggested appointment and appraisal processes as well as illustrative examples and evidence for a review of current national job evaluation profiles.  This will help employing organisations understand and visualise what the new consultant clinical scientists will contribute and how they will add value now and into the future.

More information will be provided when available.

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