MAHSE Announcement

Phil1

Professor Philip Padfield will be stepping down as Director of the Manchester Academy for Healthcare Scientist Education (MAHSE) in May to take up the role of Dean of Education at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. Phil was appointed in December 2011 and was responsible for establishing MAHSE. Under his leadership the Academy has become the national lead for the education of NHS healthcare scientists and one of the largest education networks in the UK.

Phil said on announcing his departure “I’ll be sad to leave MAHSE but intend to keep an affiliation through the ongoing research and innovation programme. I’m very proud of what MAHSE has achieved and feel very privileged to have worked with such a dedicated and passionate group of individuals”

MAHSE would like to thank Phil for his exceptional leadership over the past 6 years and wish him all the best in his future endeavours.

HSST Research Project Day 2018

The HSST Research Project Day was held on Wednesday 24th January 2018 with over 130 delegates attending. Trainees in Cohort 1 and Cohort 2 currently doing either the C1 Innovation Project or the C2 Research Project, their academic supervisors and workplace supervisors attended the event. Representatives from the NSHCS also attended the event.

The event provided the opportunity for trainees to meet with their academic and workplace supervisor to discuss their projects. In the morning, trainees attended subject specific talks with their Programme Directors on what to expect from the C2 Research Project whilst academic and workplace supervisors attended a talk by Professor Anne White (Academic Director of the DClinSci) which outlined their role and responsibilities for C1 and C2.

In the afternoon, trainees attended workshops to help them to progress with either their C1 Innovation Project or C2 Research Project. C1 workshops included “Giving a talk to a lay audience” and “How to write your innovation report” whilst C2 workshops included “Planning a paper” and “Giving a professional talk”. Academic and workplace supervisors met with Programme Directors to discuss the assessment of the DClinSci.

Resources from the day are available below.

Please note that the content of the below presentations and podcast is subject to change, any updates will be posted on the MAHSE website. 

Resources for Trainees

AM Session

Audiology

Life Sciences (UoM)

Life Sciences and Physiological Sciences (ManMet)

Medical Physics

PM Session

Trainees currently doing C1 Innovation Project

Trainees currently doing C2 Research Project

Giving a talk to a lay audience and How to write your innovation report

(please also see podcast below)

1. Planning a paper
2. Writing your thesis
3. Giving a professional talk

 

Resources for academic and workplace supervisors:

AM session for supervisors: The Role of the Supervisors  (please also see podcast below)

PM session for supervisors: The DClinSci Research Project: A Guide to Assessment

Podcast

A podcast for the following sessions is available here:

1. Morning session for academic and workplace supervisors: “The Role of the Supervisors” (00:00:00 – 01:19:17)
2. Afternoon workshops for trainees doing C1 Innovation project:
i) “Giving a talk to a lay audience” (01:19:18 – 02:09:23)
ii) “How to write your innovation report” (02:09:24 – 02:35:51)
iii) “My experience of C1 and C2” (02:35:52 – 02:47:05)

Presentation from the Royal College of Pathologists:

A representative from the Royal College of Pathologists was unable to attend the event however, further information on how the RCPath examinations are included in the DClinSci can be found here.

If you have any questions, please email admin@mahse.co.uk

The patient voice in Health Education England’s work

Maggie Stubbs, a member of HEE’s Patient Advisory Forum (PAF) and a MAHSE Lay Representative, shares how her passion for the NHS combined with her experience as a clinician, manager, patient and carer, helps to bring valuable perspectives into her PPI roles.

“What is it that excites me about the National Health Service? There are several things that I could mention: the simplicity and convenience of being able to pick-up the phone, dial a number, and receive an appointment with a member of my GP’s team, or to use one of the other resources such as the Walk-In Centre or to dial 111 for information or advice specific to my needs.  And especially that the NHS is an organisation embedded into the fabric of our society, giving comfort and reassurance whenever there is a need.

“The NHS aspires to put patients and the public at the heart of everything it does, as set out in the NHS Constitution. But it is a complex organisation with multiple stakeholders, and meeting expectations may not always be possible. Yet I can see that it is working hard to ensure that patients are at the heart of the service.

Opportunity and privilege

“Having been a part of the NHS for many years, from a cadet in the ‘olden days’ all the way through to very senior ranks, I have seen enormous changes. For the last three or so years, not being totally out to pasture, I have had the opportunity and the privilege to be a patient and public representative. at Health Education England’s Patient Advisory Forum, the National School of Healthcare Science and the Manchester Academy for Healthcare Scientist Education.

Trust and dialogue

“My vision for the NHS is what gets me up in the mornings. My starting point is to focus on compassion and the values of the NHS. My overall goal is to help create a sense of inclusion, build trust in the process, encourage critical dialogue and add a positive contribution to the agenda. In the process, I try to challenge some traditional ways of thinking in an effort to engage positively and to inspire change.

Pictured: Maggie at a HEE national workshop on the Nursing & Midwifery Council’s consultation on Future Nurse proficiency standards, where she contributed to HEE’s response.

“In my professional life, I was a nurse, midwife and health visitor before moving on to senior management. As a carer for my partner with a severe mental illness at a time when there was little support from some family members, and now as a patient myself with a long-term condition, I have different and valuable insights to bring to the table.

“So, like most other people who use the NHS, I am not ‘just a patient’ – I have a broad range of life experiences as a parent and carer and in my career. As well as my clinical and managerial roles, I can draw on personal and observed experience. So I would like to think that I am an ambassador in helping embed the patient/ carer voice, improve participation and embed engagement, to help improve the patient experience in all our health and care services..

Decision-making that is patient-centred

“As Health Education England (HEE) is a national body with a mandate to promote high quality education and training, the Patient Advisory Forum (PAF) was developed to support the organisation in making decisions which are patient-centred, open and transparent. One of PAF’s roles is to provide assurance to the HEE board that effective and efficient patient and public voice arrangements are in place and that decision-making at Board and other levels is informed by the patient and public voice.

“Being a member of the PAF gives me an opportunity to share my experience as a clinician, carer and a patient for a wider purpose. I appreciate the shared responsibility and partnership working in ensuring that the patient and carer voice is included in every aspect of the work. PAF members also try to make sure that the patient voice is represented at various HEE workshops and meetings.

“Working with the National School of Healthcare Science on Modernising Scientific Careers, I am involved with other stakeholders in the design, development, delivery and quality assurance of programmes. I am involved in the accreditation of programmes in Higher Education Institututions and of work-based student placements.

Patient experience as part of training

“My role involves helping to ensure that the patient’s perspective is at the centre of the design, development and implementation of training and service delivery. For example, a laboratory technician may not be patient-facing, but from day one of the training the student must recognise that the sample in front of them relates to a person, often someone who is vulnerable, concerned and in need of more information. Dignity, respect and quality apply to all roles in the NHS, and staff actions can be far-reaching, often affecting patients, family and wider society.

Inclusive of social values

“My role with the Manchester Academy of Healthcare Scientific Education (a group of partner universities) puts me on the other side of the table. This helps to ensure that patient’s perspective is at the heart of everything that it does. Including the experiences of patients is an important aspect of the training ; as is ensuring the training is responsive to the changing needs of patients and local communities.

“I am also very passionate about the work that I do outside of my patient representation role, which focuses on mentoring and coaching, supporting staff to gain confidence in their practice and leadership skills. The NHS is undergoing tremendous changes to meet the demands of our future, and there is a need for good leaders and a skilled workforce to meet these challenges. There is also a need to ensure that the patient’s experience and voice are recognised as an integral part of the changes, helping to ensure that decisions can be locally grounded and inclusive of social values.

“Patients and the public can, and do, make a difference, supporting the improvement agenda of the future. In order to achieve this, their voice must be included at all levels, including the design, development, training and ultimately the delivery of the service.”

MAHSE Christmas Closure 2017

The MAHSE admin office will be closed from Friday 22nd December 2017 until Wednesday 3rd January 2018. The admin team will respond to all emails received during the closure upon returning to the office, however please appreciate that this may take some time.

The MAHSE team would like to wish you an enjoyable Christmas break and all the best for 2018!

HSST Research Project Day

Date:  Wednesday 24th January 2018

Venue: Stopford Building, The University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9PT (building 79 on the campus map)

Time: 10:00 – 16:00 (registration from 09:30)

The University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University will be delivering a day of workshops for HSST trainees, academic supervisors and workplace supervisors. All trainees in Cohort 1 and Cohort 2 currently doing either the C1 Innovation Project or the C2 Research Project, their academic supervisor and workplace supervisor have been invited to the event.

The event will include the following topics:

  • What we are looking for in doctoral research
  • Role of both supervisors
  • The assessment process
  • How to give a talk to a lay audience
  • Writing your thesis

There will also be an opportunity for the trainee, academic supervisor and workplace supervisor to meet for a discussion of their individual projects. Drop-in clinics will also take place with representatives from the NSHCS, MAHSE and the Royal College of Pathologists to answer any questions. A full programme for the event can be found here.

If you are a HSST trainee currently doing either the C1 Innovation Project or the C2 Research Project and have not yet received your invitation, please email admin@mahse.co.uk

If you are an academic/workplace supervisor of a HSST trainee currently doing either the C1 Innovation Project or the C2 Research Project and have not yet received your invitation, please email admin@mahse.co.uk

2018 Healthcare Science Awards

Applications are open for the 2018 Healthcare Science Awards

Nominations for the 2018 Healthcare Science Awards are now open. In its 12th year, the event celebrates and highlights the importance of healthcare scientists in the NHS, from multidisciplinary and multi-professional working approaches to transformational developments across all services and patient care. The deadline for applications is 22 December 2017 and the ceremony will take place on 5 March 2018, as part of the Chief Scientific Officer’s Annual Conference. You can find more information on the application process, including categories and criteria, on the NHS England website.

MAHSE STP Open Day 2018 – register now

Registrations are now open for the Manchester Academy for Healthcare Scientist Education (MAHSE) STP Open Day 2018.

The Open Day is an annual event which gives prospective applicants of the Scientist Training Programme (STP) the opportunity to find out more about the programme especially the MSc Clinical Science which forms the academic component of the STP.

Places are limited, to register for the event please visit the event registration page .
 

From sound engineering to healthcare science training: my path to becoming a clinical audiologist

untitledDave Jay is a pre-registration Clinical Scientist in Audiology at Manchester Royal Infirmary and a graduate of the MSc Audiology course at Manchester. Here, he describes his journey from working in the music industry to training as a clinical audiologist.

I first became interested in audiology whilst working as a sound engineer in the music industry for the 10 years that followed my undergraduate degree in Music, Acoustics and Recording at the University of Salford.

As a musician and professional audio engineer who needed his ears working at a very high level most days of the week, I began to read more about the anatomy and physiology of hearing and, fascinated by the subject, I applied to do an MSc in Audiology at The University of Manchester.

Returning to education

Manchester was the only choice for me, as not only was I already living in the city, but I had heard it was one of the best places to study the subject in the country, if not in Europe (a lot of the early work in audiology was overseen by the Ewings in the mid-20th century).

My experience of going back to university at the age of 31 was fantastic, as not only did I have a great deal of respect and awe for the institution in which I was studying, but I was also comparatively much more motivated to learn than the first time I went to university! Perhaps I was just a little more mature?

I undertook this tough, busy and academically dense course in my final year of working in the music industry whilst on tour with several bands and during the run-up to organising my own wedding!

Going into clinical training

Although it was a very hard year, I realised that I wanted a career change, and would very much like to work in healthcare as a clinical audiologist.

I applied for the NHS’s very competitive Scientist Training Programme (STP), took the infamous psychometric tests and attended a nerve wracking speed-dating style interview panel. Much to my surprise, I was accepted onto the programme and started a paid job in September 2014 at Manchester Royal infirmary as a trainee clinical scientist in audiology.

The three years of on-the-job training have also been pretty hard-going, not just because of the amount of work involved in doing a MSc in Clinical Science whilst working a full-time job, but also because after the first year of training my wife gave birth to an amazing baby girl, Josephine.

During my STP experience, I went on rotations in neurophysiology, biochemistry and radiology. I also observed brain surgery, spent time with ophthalmologists and orthoptists, devised, carried out and wrote up a large research project for my dissertation, filled out a huge clinical portfolio, and gradually improved my clinical audiology skills.

Learning about audiology in the US

As part of the STP, you are required to do an elective rotation, which can be spent anywhere you like in the world pursuing any special interests you might have. My own special interest, vestibular audiology (dizziness and balance), took me to the USA.

My interest in vestibular diagnostics (trying to figure out whether patient’s dizziness is caused by their inner ears, their brain or some other factor), led me to email a professor of neurology at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland about a particular project he is running in emergency medicine. His team have been using diagnostic techniques familiar to audiologists in order to improve the accuracy with which they can differentiate between benign inner ear problems and cerebellar strokes in acutely dizzy patients.

After they offered to let me visit for a month to observe their work, I applied for a Winston Churchill Memorial trust grant to travel overseas, so that I can research this cutting-edge practice and come back to the UK to spread awareness of the techniques and work being done in America. I learnt an awful lot about cutting-edge vestibular techniques, and with a lot to share when I got back.

Final destination: working in clinical science

Manchester Royal Infirmary offered me a job to stay on doing complex hearing assessment and management, cochlear implant audiology and vestibular audiology.

When I think of how my life has turned out compared to how it was five years ago, it is a bit bonkers, but I am very lucky that I have been able to change career, pursuing an interest in science among people who share that interest for the benefit of so many patients that do need our help.

Find out more about the MSc Audiology course at Manchester, the STP programme and careers in audiology.

Article written by manchesterbmhstudents.

MAHSE Service Improvement & Innovation Fellowships – Apply by 30 November

Do you have an idea for a service improvement or innovation project in your department? If you are working within any of the healthcare science disciplines in the North West of England then you may be eligible to apply for up to £20,000 to support your innovation project and your professional development.

MAHSE is pleased to announce the second round of its Service Improvement and Innovation Fellowship scheme after awarding over £90,000 to healthcare science staff during the summer.  Find out more about the current Fellowship award holders and their projects here.  The Fellowships are being awarded as part of the Health Education England (North West) funded MAHSE Research and Innovation Project which aims to support the development of a research and innovation culture in the healthcare science workforce.

Find out how to apply by visiting the MAHSE Service Improvement and Innovation Fellowships webpage. The closing date for all applications is 4pm on Thursday 30th November 2017.

 

Meet our 2017 Service Improvement & Innovation Fellowship Award Holders

During the summer, MAHSE awarded over £90,000 of funding to healthcare science staff undertaking service improvement and innovation projects in NHS Trusts across the North West.  The funding is intended to facilitate the career and professional development of healthcare science staff by enabling them to carry out projects that improve patient care through making innovations in healthcare science and service delivery.

Find out more about our current fellowship holders and their projects by reading the biographies below.

 

S_Apetroaei-WebStefana Apetroaei, Senior Clinical Physiologist, University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust

Stefana gained her degree in Clinical Measurement at Dublin Institute of Technology, Republic of Ireland and specialised in Respiratory Physiology. Stefana has 4 years experience working at Leeds Teaching Hospital and Manchester University Hospitals.

Stefana is responsible for performing specialist diagnostic investigations with an interest in Cardio-Pulmonary Exercise Test and the ‘pre-operative assessment programme’, maintaining laboratory standards, and training junior members of staff. As a senior physiologist, Stefana’s role encompasses teaching students on the Practitioner and Scientist Training Programmes and implementing IQUIPS accreditation for the Lung Function Department.  Stefana’s research interests are focused on the role of pulmonary function in the post-operative assessments performed prior to major surgery. In 2017, Stefana embarked on a Masters of Research through the MAHSE fellowship scheme with a view of improving current clinical practice.

Project: Exercise Testing in Thoracic Surgery

National guidelines recommend that the pre-operative assessments must be performed prior to thoracic surgery for risk stratification. As hospitals endeavour to follow these guidelines, increasing pressure is placed on departmental resources.  Current risk assessment tools include cardio-pulmonary exercise, lung function and shuttle walk tests. The aim of this study is to determine the best predictors of complications associated with thoracic surgery including dyspnoea, quality of life and mortality risk.  Logistic regression analysis will be performed to determine the correlation between these tests and post-operative outcomes.  By identifying the best predictors of post-operative complications, it is hoped that the risk-stratification process may be streamlined, decreasing surgery delays, patient burden and NHS costs.

 

Michael Dubec, MR Clinical Scientist, The Christie NHS Foundation Trust M_Dubec-Web

Michael is an MR Clinical Scientist working at The Christie in Manchester, one of the largest cancer treatment centres in Europe. Michael did his Scientist Training Programme at The Christie and MSc at Liverpool University with his dissertation focussing on errors in DCE-MRI. He obtained an MSc in Medical Radiation Physics and a BSc in Physics prior to this. Michael’s work interests include MRI for radiotherapy treatment planning, MRI for oncology and paediatric MRI. Michael is also developing imaging protocols on the MR-Linac for MR image guided radiotherapy as part of the Elekta Unity International Consortium.

Project: Measuring Reproducibility of Magnetic Resonance Diffusion Weighted Imaging for MR treatment planning and MR-Linac systems

Diffusion weighted Imaging (DWI) allows the diffusion of water molecules in tissue to be assessed. Molecular diffusion is different in healthy tissue compared to pathological tissue because of cell density and microstructure. In general, highly cellular tissues like cancerous tumours exhibit greater diffusion restriction than healthy tissues. The amount of diffusion restriction can be evaluated using DWI – apparent diffusion coefficients (ADCs). However, MRI hardware and scan parameters can affect the ADC values obtained. With the MAHSE funding, I will use a quantitative DWI phantom to assess accuracy and reproducibility of ADCs between MR scanners and the MR-Linac. Ideally, in the coming years we would like to image patients with DWI on the MR-Linac so that we can obtain information about tumour changes at multiple points during treatment allowing us to adapt radiotherapy if necessary. Hence, we need to be confident in the DWI information we obtain.

 

S_Hawthorne-WebStephanie Hawthorne, Critical Care Scientist, Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Stephanie Hawthorne completed the Scientist Training Programme  in Critical Care in 2016. Following her training she was employed as a senior critical care scientist within Central Manchester Foundation Trust working across the adult, paediatric and neonatal intensive care wards. During training and her first year post qualification Stephanie has developed a keen interest in research and service improvement. Stephanie is delighted to be awarded funding for a project which will allow her to put some of her department’s ideas into practice in order to benefit patients.

Project: Expansion of Cardiopulmonary Exercise Testing Team within CMFT to Include Critical Care Scientists in Order to Increase the Capacity of the Pre Surgical Testing Service

Cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET) is a procedure which can be used to identify the level of risk a patient may be exposed to during and after major surgery. It is used in order to predict these risks especially for patients with known cardiac and respiratory conditions. It requires the patient to attend a clinic during which they undergo a short cycle (on a stationary exercise bicycle) under the instruction of trained physiologist and a doctor.

This project aims to educate more staff in this area using a group of Critical Care Scientists. These trained Scientists will then work alongside the CPET physiologists currently employed within Manchester Royal Infirmary, resulting in more clinic time available for patients to undergo CPET. This in turn should allow medical staff to determine an individual patients risk before surgery and allow for the patient to be cared for in an appropriate ward after their surgery.

 

Vignapti Patel, Audiological Scientist, Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation TrustV_Patel-web 

Having completed an MSc in Audiology Vignapti trained in Greater Manchester under the CCC scheme, worked as a Band 5 audiologist, then completed her clinical scientist training at Glan Clwyd Hospital, undertaking the HTS in 3 clinical modules (Adult rehabilitation and first line diagnostics, Paediatric assessment and Balance assessment and Rehabilitation) and 2 non clinical modules (Research Methods and Service Development). In her current job Vignapti has a varied clinical role with routine clinics in balance assessment, paediatric assessment and rehabilitation, and adult diagnostic and rehabilitation.

Project: Development of Audiology-led Vestibular Rehabilitation and Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) treatment services at the Countess of Chester Hospital

This project aims to implement Audiology-led Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) and Vestibular Rehabilitation clinics. Currently patients with BPPV are treated by ENT and patients requiring Vestibular Rehabilitation are referred to Physiotherapy by ENT; due to ENT capacity this has resulted in long wait times for patients.  An Audiology-led BPPV service benefits patients with shorter waiting times, relieves ENT capacity pressures and is cheaper to run than the current consultant led clinic. An Audiology-led Vestibular Rehabilitation service utilises the expertise of clinicians specifically trained in Vestibular Science improving patient outcomes, reduces patient wait times, improves continuity as patients see fewer clinicians, and is cheaper than the current pathway. To manage the increased capacity into Audiology a member of staff will be trained in BPPV treatment and Vestibular Rehabilitation with their clinic time backfilled. The success of these services will be evaluated with patient wait times and patient satisfaction surveys.

 

J_Reading-webJulie Reading, Audiologist, Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Julie began her Audiology career at the University of Manchester in 2009 where she completed her Masters in Audiology. She later commenced her clinical training at Manchester Royal Infirmary and completed the three core modules of the British Academy of Audiology (BAA) Higher Training Scheme. She was subsequently offered a permanent position in the same department and has been working in this role for the past four years, specialising in adult hearing and balance assessment and rehabilitation. She has a particular interest in improving service provision for those affected by balance disorders.

Project: A multi-disciplinary case series to retrospectively investigate how patients with migrainous elements to their dizziness symptoms are managed within Audiology, ENT and Neurology

Dizziness and migraine are common complaints encountered in Audiology, ENT and Neurology outpatient clinics. The combination of both symptoms is particularly debilitating and this is now recognised as a separate diagnostic entity, termed vestibular migraine or migraine-associated vertigo (MAV). It is extremely difficult to differentiate those with vestibular migraine from those with non-migrainous dizziness and coincidental migraine and there is a lack of quality research on the efficacy of different treatments to inform management decisions. The aim of the project is to develop standardised protocols to guide diagnosis and management of this patient group across local multi-disciplinary services, leading to a more streamlined patient journey and avoidance of unnecessary appointments and long waiting times to appropriate treatment. This will be achieved through increased collaborative working with local Neurology and ENT departments and a review of the journey and outcomes of a sample of patients with both dizziness and migraine.

 

Prawin Samraj, Scientific Officer, Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust SONY DSC

Prawin Samraj qualified with a BTech from Bharath University and MSc (Biomedical Engineering) from the University of Dundee in 2011. Since joining the Medical Physics department within Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, he worked for the Medical Equipment Management Service, and since 2013 the Clinical Engineering Research and Development Unit. His role as a R&D engineer is primarily designing and developing instrumentation including software for clinical thermal imaging and UV phototesting systems and clinical research systems including physiological measurement systems(ECG, EMG, pressure etc), laser control systems and image processing software for the production of 3D printed models for surgical planning.

Project: Development of a new cost-effective and innovative telemonitoring system for  COPD patient supported discharge schemes

The chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) assessment and Support Team (CAST) at Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust (SRFT) provide an early supported discharge scheme, taking COPD patients out of the hospital to be cared for in their own home with the aid of tele-monitoring. This increases patient comfort and reduces the strain on hospital bed availability which is critically needed for treating acutely ill patients.

The CAST team provide patients with a set of 3 different devices to measure blood pressure, blood oxygen and temperature as part of tele-monitoring service; however the current system not ideal in regards to costs and ease of use for patients. This project would address these issues with the development of an innovative compact integrated COPD monitoring station designed specifically for the needs of the CAST team and with their input driving the design and development of the device.

 

C_Tooze-web1Christine Tooze, Specialist Biomedical Scientist, Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Christine was awarded a BSc (HONS) in Biomedical Sciences (1st class) at UCLAN, won the Institute of Biology prize and completed state registration as a biomedical scientist in 2006. Christine became a bank biomedical scientist (BMS) at Royal Preston Hospital (RPH) in the microbiology department, until she gained a position as a BMS in the Immunology department at RPH in 2007. Christine was awarded a specialist diploma in clinical immunology in 2015 and now works as a specialist BMS within immunology.

Project: Allergy Assist: An artificial neural network to aid the diagnosis and management for allergy patients 

The UK prevalence of symptoms suggestive of allergic disease is amongst the highest in the world. Allergy costs the NHS >£1 billion p.a. The investigation of allergy is complex, its understanding in primary care is limited and allergy services are grossly inadequate.

‘Allergy Assist’ (AA) is an artificial neural network to aid the diagnosis and management for allergy patients. It will provide an opportunity to standardise clinical pathways and support decision making throughout the investigation of patients with allergy in primary care.

Diagnosis of allergy is heavily directed by individual patient clinical history, AA utilises presenting symptoms and medical history to direct requesting of relevant allergy tests. The test results and history are combined to produce an evidence-based report that will guide clinicians through the interpretation including a bespoke patient management plan. The benefits will be to reduce costs associated with inappropriate diagnostic tests and promote a one stop allergy solution.