19 September 2011

Health and Social Care Professionals Sought for NICE Fellowships and Scholarships

From today (19 September) dedicated and influential professionals, who would like to play a greater role in improving health and social care, are encouraged to apply for Fellowships and Scholarships from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE).

Every year, NICE awards Fellowships and Scholarships to a broad range of practitioners across the country, who support the core values that underpin its work. The positions recognise achievement and promise, and allow NICE to learn from, interact with and support key professionals who are committed to delivering excellent care (e.g. by implementing NICE's guidance or quality standards or other methods that are proven to be cost effective).

Next April, NICE intends to award ten Fellowships to senior health professionals, such as Trust Chief Executives, Medical and Finance Directors, and commissioners, as well as GPs, senior nurses, consultants and allied health professionals. NICE also plans to award three Fellowships to senior social care professionals, such as Directors of Social Services and those in the independent and voluntary sectors. These positions will support NICE in developing quality standards for social care. Fellowships last for three years.

Professor Peter Littlejohns, Clinical and Public Health Director at NICE said: "As the NHS and social care sectors face significant structural changes, it is important that both continue to provide high quality and cost effective care. We are looking to award a number of Fellowships to senior leaders and decision makers, who will use their influence and experience to improve how care is delivered and maintain an ongoing dialogue between NICE, their employing organisations and their professions."

In addition to the Fellowships, NICE intends to award ten Scholarships to qualified health professionals, such as registrars, managers (including those currently on the NHS Management Scheme), nurses (e.g. final year students or those recently qualified) and allied health professionals. NICE Scholarships last for twelve months and are project-based.

Professor Littlejohns added: "Our Scholarships present unique opportunities for NICE to support junior health professionals on their research and quality assurance projects, and allow those appointed to learn more about how the Institute works and network with likeminded peers. We encourage anyone with an interest and the necessary experience to apply."

Dr Monica Lakhanpaul, a current NICE Fellow and a Consultant Paediatrician at Leicester City Community Health Services said: "This is a fantastic opportunity for health professionals. It's not only the access to NICE that has been advantageous but also the fact that the Fellows and Scholars Programme is a group of motivated and dynamic people who you can exchange ideas with.

"Another advantage is that you get a mentor - sometimes within the NHS we are so busy working that we forget that we also need somebody to turn to for advice."

Mr Riaz Agha, NICE Scholar 2010-11 and Core Surgical Trainee at Queen Victoria Hospital NHS Foundation Trust said: "I originally applied for a NICE Scholarship in order to give my research on standardised metrics for national surgical surveillance a much needed boost. Not only did this position give me access to a mentor and a variety of experts, but my project gained credibility by being supported and endorsed by a nationally recognised and well respected institution. This helped me to develop broader relationships and links with other organisations and professions.

"Even the Trust CEO invited me to small group meetings on leadership and management issues. NICE also allowed me to observe a Guideline Development Group meeting and I attended workshops on health economics and evidence-based medicine. The Scholarship was an excellent introduction to NICE and its people. To date, I am the only surgeon to have been appointed a NICE Scholar so I would strongly recommend surgeons apply for this fantastic opportunity."

Unlike many other Fellowship and Scholarship schemes, professionals can nominate themselves for these positions. Applications must be submitted by Friday 25 November. For further information, visit: www.nice.org.uk/fellowsandscholars.


About the NICE Fellows and Scholars Programme

  1. For further information about the NICE Fellows and Scholars Programme, including details about the application process and the current appointees, visit: www.nice.org.uk/fellowsandscholars. Health and social care professionals with specific questions to do with the Programme that are not covered on the NICE website should email nice@nice.org.uk.
  2. NICE Fellows use their experience and seniority to act as ambassadors for the Institute across their local and professional communities; for example by championing NICE guidance, quality standards and evidence-based practice. NICE Fellows can also be involved in other activities, such as clinical audit, education and policy development. They hold their positions for fixed term periods of three years and typically devote around one day a month to their activities, alongside their existing professional responsibilities.
  3. NICE Scholars undertake a variety of research-based projects; for example regarding the implementation of NICE guidance, clinical audit, cost effectiveness and affordability research, patient safety, patient experience, and quality and productivity. NICE Scholars can also represent the Institute among their peers; for example through teaching activities that promote the principles and recommendations of NICE guidance. They hold their positions for fixed term periods of twelve months and typically devote around one day a week to their activities, alongside their existing professional responsibilities.
  4. NICE Fellows and Scholars are not paid for their activities; however NICE will cover all reasonable travel, accommodation and other expenses that might be incurred.

About NICE

1. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) is the independent organisation responsible for providing national guidance and standards on the promotion of good health and the prevention and treatment of ill health.

2. NICE produces guidance in three areas of health:

  • public health -guidance on the promotion of good health and the prevention of ill health for those working in the NHS, local authorities and the wider public and voluntary sector
  • health technologies -guidance on the use of new and existing medicines, treatments, medical technologies (including devices and diagnostics) and procedures within the NHS
  • clinical practice -guidance on the appropriate treatment and care of people with specific diseases and conditions within the NHS.

3. NICE produces standards for patient care:

  • quality standards- these reflect the very best in high quality patient care, to help healthcare practitioners and commissioners of care deliver excellent services
  • Quality and Outcomes Framework -NICE develops the clinical and health improvement indicators in the QOF, the Department of Health scheme which rewards GPs for how well they care for patients

4. NICE provides advice and support on putting NICE guidance and standards into practice through its implementation programme, and it collates and accredits high quality health guidance, research and information to help health professionals deliver the best patient care through NHS Evidence.