Impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) on healthcare science training: STP and HSST

MAHSE advise all trainees to continuously check the National School of Healthcare Scientists Coronavirus page to keep updated on key information as it becomes available along with specific guidance provided by your University; University of Manchester or Manchester Metropolitan University.


National School of Healthcare Scientists Coronavirus Information: 

University of Manchester Coronavirus Information:

Manchester Metropolitan University Coronavirus Information:

For any further queries or concerns, please contact

Cohorts 3 (Year 4) DClinSci Section C Workshop – 9th January 2020

On the 9th January 2020, we welcomed over 40 trainees, academic and workplace supervisors from Cohort 3 of HSST to a day of workshops and sessions held in Manchester.

The event (agenda can be found here) began with a talk on information for trainees on how to write their research project and Viva hints and tips – delivered by Prof Julia Handley. Dr Angela Davies gave a talk to the trainees on ‘Writing a research paper’ whilst Prof. Anne White (MAHSE Deputy Director for HSST and UoM HSST Academic Director).  provided academic supervisors and workplace supervisors with information on ‘The role of the supervisors in the thesis examination process’.

After lunch, round-table discussions with programme directors provide the space for trainees to discuss their research project.

Recordings and presentations from the day are provided below. Please note that the content of the below presentations and recordings is subject to change, any updates will be posted on the MAHSE website.

For all trainees:

Due to technical difficulties no recording was provided for Prof Julia Handley’s session. The recording for the remaining talks can be found here.

  • Writing your thesis and Viva hints and tips presentation – Prof Julia Handley
  • Writing a research paper presentation – Dr Angela Davies
  • The role of the supervisors in the thesis examination process presentation – Prof Anne White

If you have any queries, please email


Section C Project Proposal Masterclass for HSST Cohort 5 – 28 January 2020

On Thursday 28th January 2020, HSST trainees from Cohorts 4 and 5 attended a project proposal masterclass in Manchester.  The event (agenda can be found here) began with lunch and networking for trainees to meet with their university programme teams. All trainees then attended a talk on how to plan their research project which was delivered by Prof. Anne White (MAHSE Deputy Director for HSST and UoM HSST Academic Director). Dr. Rebecca Dearman (UoM Life Sciences Programme Director) provided trainees with information on ‘Ethics Application’ followed by Prof Andy Brass providing information on ‘Who owns Intellectual Property.’

Recordings and presentations from the day are provided below. Please note that the content of the below presentations and recordings is subject to change, any updates will be posted on the MAHSE website.

For all trainees:

Recording of all morning talks

  • Planning a Research Project presentation – Prof Anne White
  • Ethics Application presentation – Dr Rebecca Dearman
  • Who owns the Intellectual Property presentation – Prof Andy Brass

If you have any queries, please email

MAHSE STP Open Day – January 2020


On Wednesday 8th January 2020, the Manchester Academy for Healthcare Scientist Education held it’s biggest Open Day yet, where over 350 prospective trainees attended to find out more about the Scientist Training Programme (STP). The event (programme agenda found here) focused on the MSc Clinical Science courses available at Universities in the Manchester area, which form part of the STP.

General information about the STP Programme

The Cellular Science Programme Director, Michael Carroll spoke about the role of a healthcare scientist, what the STP involves  and which MSc Clinical Science programmes are available in Manchester.

CCVRS Sciences Programme Director, Martin Stout, then talked through and provided advice and tips regarding the application process, which is run entirely by the National School of Healthcare Science (NSHCS).

A current STP trainee, Rhys Goodhead , spoke about what it is like to be a trainee on the STP, and talked about his personal experience of the application/interview process and also about his time on the programme to date.

Due to technical error within the venue, the podcast recording was unable to be provided. Please find below the presentations of the talks that took place.

Programme Specific Information

After general talks, prospective trainees then had the opportunity to attend talks with Programme Teams from particular programmes they have an interested in.  This was an opportunity to get more information about a specific specialisms and to ask more programme related questions.

Tours of Local NHS Trusts

In the afternoon, attendees had the opportunity to sign up to one of ten tours to local NHS hospitals.  These tours allowed prospective trainees the chance to meet current trainees and staff within specialism departments, providing valuable insight into the workplace aspect of the programme.

Other useful resources for STP Applicants:

Applications for 2019 entry opened on Wednesday 9 January and will close at 5pm on Friday 8 February. For information about applying to the STP, please visit the NSHCS website.

If you have any questions, please email

**Please note that the content of the presentations, documents and podcasts within this blog is subject to change, any updates will be posted on the MAHSE website**

Cohort 6 HSST Induction

On 23rd  October 2019, we welcomed of our new Cohort 6 HSST trainees and over 25 workplace supervisors to The University of Manchester Innovation Centre (UMIC) for the programme induction.

In the morning, MAHSE Deputy Director Professor Anne White introduced the DClinSci programme followed by Dr. Nathan Proudlove and Karen Cosgrove providing insight to Section A and workshops. We also welcomed Helen Hunter, a Cohort 4 trainee to share her experiences of HSST thus far.

There was a networking opportunity for delegates and information stands for NSHCS, MAHSE, Manchester Metropolitan University and The University of Manchester and MAHSE Lay Representatives.

In the afternoon, programme directors and programme administrators from The University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University provided trainees and their supervisors with an introduction to Sections A-C of the DClinSci, the academic component of HSST. This was followed up with a Q&A session with the panel of speakers, questions and responses are provided below.


The day concluded with a keynote speaker from the Deputy Chief Scientific Officer of NHS England, Angela Douglas MBE.

Presentations from the day are available below.

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


  1. An Introduction to the DClinSci – Prof. Anne White
  2. Introduction to Section A of the DClinSci – Dr. Nathan Proudlove
  3. Introudction to Section C of the DClinSci – Prof. Anne White
  4. Workshops and how to get the most out of them – Karen Cosgrove
  5. What I wish I’d known in my first year – Helen Hunter
  6. SLIDO Questions for MAHSE and the universities from the Cohort 6 HSST induction
  7. Key Note Speak  – Angela Douglas MBE

Registration now open for MAHSE STP Open Day! – 8 Jan 2020

The registration link to the MAHSE STP Open day is now open!!!


MAHSE is holding its annual STP Open Day:

A draft programme for event can be found here:

The event is designed to help you find out more about the Masters in Clinical Science programmes offered by MAHSE. These programmes are the academic component of the STP.

For more information about the event please see our previous post 

As well as learning more about the application process, there will be the opportunity to meet with the programme teams to discuss the specialisms in greater detail. There is also the opportunity to book onto tours around some departments in local NHS Trusts in the afternoon. Please note that tours are not available for all specialisms.

IMPORTANT: Attendance at the open day, programme talks and tours will be allocated on a first come first served basis so please complete the registration link at the earliest convenience.  Once your form has been submitted the team will then contact you to confirm your place at the event and your allocation to any programme talks or tours.

MAHSE STP Open Day – 8 January 2020 (for prospective STP trainees)

Medical icon network connection with modern virtual screen interface on hospital background, medicine technology network concept

Are you interested in applying for a place on the Scientist Training Programme (STP)?

Do you want to specialise in any of the following areas:

  • Blood Sciences
  • Cardiac, Critical Care and Respiratory & Sleep Sciences
  • Cellular Sciences
  • Clinical Bioinformatics
  • Clinical Pharmaceutical Science
  • Genomic Sciences
  • Neurosensory Sciences
  • Reconstructive Sciences.

MAHSE is holding its annual STP Open Day:

Come along to find out more about the Masters in Clinical Science programmes offered by MAHSE. These programmes are the academic component of the STP.

By attending the event, you will discover:

  • What the STP is and which academic programmes are offered in Manchester
  • How to apply for a place on the STP

There will be the opportunity to meet with the programme teams to discuss the specialisms in greater detail. There is the opportunity to book onto tours around some departments in local NHS Trusts in the afternoon. Please note that tours are not available for all specialisms and are allocated on a first come, first served basis.

We hope that you will be able to join us. Please e-mail to register your interest for this event and we will contact you with more information and a registration link, as soon as this is available .

Recruitment to the STP is run by the National School of Healthcare Science (NSHCS). Applications are open once a year, usually between January and February, and the programme commences in September. Further information about recruitment and Healthcare Science Education and Training is also available on the NSHCS website.


DClinSci Year 3 Section C Workshop – September 2019

12.09 tweet

On Thursday 12th September, MAHSE welcomed HSST trainees from Cohort 4 and their academic and workplace supervisors to day of workshops held in Manchester. During the day, programme directors and programme administrators from The University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University provided trainees and their supervisors with information and guidance on Section C of the HSST.

The day started with an interactive workshop on how to give a lay talk delivered by Dr. Karen Cosgrove (CoProgramme Directors for Life Sciences). During this session we also welcomed back Joe Wood, a Cohort 2 Medical Physics: Radiotherapy trainee, to give his lay talk to help trainees understand what the lay talk assessment involves. Prof. Anne White (MAHSE Deputy Director for HSST and UoM HSST Academic Director) and Prof. Anne-Marie Glenny (Director of Research at UoM) then delivered a session on literature reviews and systematic reviews.

In the afternoon, roundtable discussions with programme teams, trainees and workplace supervisors took place. This was followed by a session on the role of supervisors delivered by Prof. Anne White for University of Manchester trainees and Dr. Garry McDowell (HSST Lead for ManMet) for Manchester Metropolitan University trainees. The day ended with a brief Q&A session chaired by Professor Anne White and was attended by Lisa Ayers (HSST Training Programme Director) from the National School of Healthcare Science.

Podcasts and presentations from the day are provided below.

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

How to give a Lay Talk


Literature Review vs Systematic Review


Progressing your Research Project


Roundtable discussions with Programme Teams, Trainees and Workplace Supervisors:

Role of Supervisors inc. Role of Supervisors in Assessment


Elective Placement for the STP: Audiology Clinic in Guatemala

Mark Lightbody

MFT NHS Foundation Trust (Withington Community Hospital)


As part of the Scientist Training Programme (STP), trainees have the opportunity to spend up to six weeks completing an elective placement in an area of their choice. For my elective placement I decided to spend five weeks in Guatemala City working for a hearing, balance and phonetic training clinic called CEDAF. I decided to spend my elective in Guatemala because I wanted to gain first-hand experience in a healthcare system unsupported by a national health service and where many people cannot afford private health insurance. I also wanted to understand how healthcare is delivered and maintained in a country with a poorly financed health system and where poverty, illiteracy and other social factors act as obstacles in healthcare provision.

The clinic I visited was established and is run by Dr Patricia Castellanos de Munoz who is the only licenced Audiologist in the country. Dr Castellanos has faced the struggles of being a female clinician, entrepreneur and business woman in the male-dominated workforce of Guatemala. Her hard work in hospitals, clinics, schools and foundations throughout Guatemala City along with her perseverance to develop an independent Audiology service have led her to become a leading expert in Audiology throughout Latin America.


Dr Castellanos established CEDAF as a private clinic offering audiological care to those with the means to pay for healthcare; however, one of Dr Castellanos’ initial aims was to grow her business to support people unable to afford audiological services. In order to achieve this, she set up a foundation in 2009 called Sonrisas que Escuchan (which translates from Spanish as Smiles that Listen) to provide an audiology service to those that cannot afford it.

The foundation provides audiological care to people of all ages with a focus on developing neonatal and school hearing screening programmes to help children with hearing loss. Children who fail the screen are referred to the clinic at CEDAF to have free diagnostic audiological tests and to discuss hearing aid provision. Those requiring hearing aids are encouraged to use them and the cost of the hearing aids and their maintenance is subsidised by the foundation. With special thanks to Oticon, I was able to take over 600 used hearing aids with me for the charity to use. I have been kept updated about their use and Dr Castellanos assures me that they have been an enormous help for her foundation.

Working with the foundation in public hospitals and schools and with the CEDAF team at the private clinic provided me with eye-opening and invaluable experiences which I will value throughout my career in audiology.

Newborn hearing screen

There is particular disparity in the provision of healthcare in Guatemala due the extreme difference in social status throughout the country. Over 50% of the population live below the poverty line with millions unable to pay for private health insurance and having to rely on the poorly funded public health service. However, much of the treatment available in the public hospitals is only available to those that are employed with the unemployed only able to access the most basic healthcare. Unfortunately, this encompasses much of the population due to high levels on unemployment in the country.

The role of Sonrisas que Escuchan is to remove this healthcare bias and provide an Audiology service to those that need it most. To try and achieve this, the foundation has successfully set-up the neonatal hearing screening programme in three public hospitals. Due to limited funding and resources, however, the foundation can only provide screening once per week at each location which makes it difficult to reach all those that need the service.


This was very interesting for me to experience as the foundation adopts a very different approach to the UK screening programme. In Guatemala City it is simply not possible to test the hearing of all babies at birth due to a lack of trained screeners and equipment. Instead, the babies most at risk of hearing loss are screened, which included those born premature, those that have contracted sepsis and those in intensive care.

For those babies who failed the screen, a referral was made to CEDAF for further assessment regardless of the family’s ability to pay for the service. The family was invited to the audiology clinic with travel and accommodation provided for those that needed it. Those diagnosed with permanent hearing loss were then applicable to receive full audiological care including hearing aid provision and speech therapy. Although not a faultless system, the best efforts were made to provide a fair and comprehensive service to those that needed it.

Training of hearing screener

During my placement, the sole hearing screener decided to leave her role which meant a new screener had to be trained. This was a great opportunity for me to provide technical advice to ensure the safe and effective delivery of services in line with good scientific practice. I was able to advise the new screener on how to use the Otoacoustic Emissions (OAE) equipment, which is a screening device to test cochlear function. The equipment is fairly simple to use but an effective technique has to be adopted and an adequate noise environment has to be established to produce results. I demonstrated the best way to conduct OAEs and helped provide an idea of how many babies could be tested in the time available. The paediatric doctors had unrealistic expectations of how many tests could be completed in one session, so it was important to train the screener to conduct high quality testing rather than a high quantity of tests.


Furthermore, I was able to help her understand hearing loss risk factors in neonates and which babies she should prioritised for screening. This helped the new screener gain confidence in understanding her capabilities, limitations and how to make the service as efficient as possible.

School screening

Participating in the school hearing screening programme was a good opportunity to develop my skills in clinical leadership by working with a new clinical team in a different working environment away from the hospital setting. The school hearing screening programme that has been developed by Sonrisas que Escuchan is an important intervention to identify pre-school aged children with hearing loss. Education is only provided by the government up to elementary level and it is a challenge to encourage families to continue their child’s education instead of allowing them to work to support the family economically. Children with hearing loss are more likely to struggle at school and more likely to leave education earlier than their peers.

The foundation has established the school screen in Guatemala City and is now focused on developing the service throughout the country. I had the opportunity to participate in the school screen in the town of Santiago in the Solola province. The clinical team at this location consisted of two audiological technicians who had been trained in otoscopy, basic audiometry and ear cleaning. Understanding their abilities and proficiency in audiology was important for me to determine my role within their team and to provide advice on their practice. This was an interesting opportunity during the placement because there were many aural abnormalities that I was unfamiliar with but were common for the technicians to encounter. This was most likely due to the differences in cleanliness and hygiene standards of the children and their families in Guatemala compared to those I am used to seeing in the UK.

Networking with other foundations

I was extremely proud to be able to work with Sonrisas que Escuchan and provide as much advice and assistance as possible. One of Dr Castellanos’ aims for the foundation is to network with other non-government organisations (NGOs) to provide the most comprehensive healthcare possible to those unable to pay for or access it.
Discussions with Dr Castellanos gave me a clear understanding of the importance in networking with other NGOs to help patients and promote hearing care. During my placement I was able to network with other young professionals volunteering their skills to help NGOs. By doing this I managed to establish a connection with a foundation called TessUnlimited that provided surgery and care for people with cleft lip and cleft palate.


Children with cleft lip and palate are known to suffer from glue ear more than their peers. For this reason, children in the UK with cleft lip and palate have regular hearing tests. Many of them also require speech therapy and must be able to hear well for this to be effective. The healthcare providers at TessUnlimited were unaware of audiological services in Guatemala to test their patients’ hearing. I was able to inform them of the services offered by Sonrisas que Escuchan and a meeting was set up between the board of directors at TessUnlimited and Dr Castellanos.

The meeting was successful, and discussions are now underway with an ENT doctor who will hopefully provide grommets for the children with cleft suffering from recurrent glue ear. Sonrisas que Escuchan have also been able to offer advice on ear and hearing care and hopefully can secure funds to provide screening equipment and training for TessUnlimited staff to test their patients for hearing loss. I feel that this was an excellent opportunity for me to act as an ambassador for the Healthcare Science community.


It was interesting for me to learn about working in the healthcare system in Guatemala and it changed my perspective of the work provided by healthcare professionals in this setting. Before working with Sonrisas que Escuchan, I had considered that audiological care would be provided by the foundation to anyone requesting it. However, Dr Castellanos explained and demonstrated to me that it was worthless providing hearing tests/diagnoses in communities where follow-up treatment could not be sustained. She also had to work within the budget of her foundation and taught me how to prioritise cases. By setting out clear business strategies and aims for her foundation, Dr Castellanos is able to decide whether or not her foundation can support new projects around the country. If the project is not in line with the ethos of her foundation, then she is not able to offer support as it may have a detrimental effect on one of her other projects.

This placement also challenged my current thinking of audiology service provision. Practicing in the UK has taught me to identify which test neonates require (OAE or ABR) if they fail their hearing screen. In Guatemala, however, I had to decide which babies received the hearing screen based on hearing loss risk factors. This was an excellent opportunity to consolidate my knowledge in childhood hearing loss. In addition, my thought process around paediatric follow-up appointments was challenged as I take it for granted that parents will bring their children to hospital appointments in the UK. This is not the case in Guatemala, and it adds an extra component to the role of the audiologist when they have to focus considerable amounts of time and effort towards encouraging patients to attend appointments and educating them on hearing loss.

I feel that the skills I learned from Dr Castellanos and her team were particularly useful when I returned to the UK to carrying out my research project into the viability of group hearing aid appointments for my MSc in Neurosensory Science (Audiology). The lessons I learned about leadership and communication were integral for me implementing group hearing aid fitting appointments into my department when working with patients, peers and colleagues. The elective placement was also an excellent opportunity for me to identify areas of weakness and strength in my clinical practice and use this information to focus my training in a direction that ultimately made me a better Clinical Scientist.