National Institiue for Health and Clinical Excellence

Annual Review - 2012/2013

Ambassadors for our work

In 2012/13, NICE awarded 11 new three-year fellowships to a range of professionals. For the first time since the programme began in 2010, NICE welcomed professionals in dentistry, opthamology and sociology. The new fellows join existing NICE fellows from disciplines such as psychiatry, obstetrics, diabetology and nursing.

NICE fellows act as the local face of NICE, acting as ambassadors for our work, promoting our guidance, engaging with commissioners, and acting as a conduit of information between NICE and frontline staff. They also speak at meetings of professional societies and contribute within their areas of professional expertise.

The work carried out by NICE Fellows over the course of their tenure varies as much as their professional backgrounds. For example:

Maureen Ray is a Senior Lecturer in Social Work at the University of Keele. She hopes to contribute to raising the profile of social care practice with older people with high support needs and the role of social work with older people. She also hopes to use her interest in education and training/CPD to contribute to the work of the social care programme at NICE.

Elizabeth Robb is a Senior Special Care Dentist at the United Hospitals Bristol Primary Care Dental Service/NHS Foundation Trust. During her time as a NICE Fellow Liz will be acting as an ambassador for NICE at a local and regional level alerting both dentists and dental care professionals to the lesser known aspects of the work of NICE.

This year, NICE awarded 10 new scholarships to healthcare professionals from a range of disciplines.

Scholarships are one-year opportunities for qualified health and social care professionals to find out about the inner workings of NICE and undertake a supported improvement project related to NICE guidance within their local organisation.

NICE runs workshops to support Scholars with their projects, and provides them with access to a senior mentor as well as expert teams at NICE.

Dr Riaz Agha, Junior Specialist Registrar in Plastic Surgery at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, and a former Scholar at NICE, said: "Being a NICE Scholar has given me a more panoramic understanding of healthcare and enhanced my development as a more reflective surgeon.

"Through the course of the scholarship I learned about evidence-based medicine and health economics but also learned about NICE, its role, its work in developing guidance, best practice, technology appraisals and of course its people.

He added: "I enjoyed meeting like-minded people from a range of fields and formed many lasting connections."

Read more about our Fellows and Scholars on our website.

NICE Scholarships

Jeremy Rodrigues is one of the ten individuals to be awarded with a scholarship this year. Here he discusses the work he has been doing with NICE on Dupuytren’s disease, and his experience of being a scholar.

"Why did you decide to apply for a NICE scholarship?"

"I had enrolled on a PhD programme, which focussed on looking at early and late outcomes for Dupuytren’s disease. This is a chronic condition of the hands that causes the fingers to be bent into the palm, and impairs function in what’s estimated to be millions of people across Northern Europe.

"While there’s several treatment options for this condition, we’re not really sure which are the most clinically and cost effective. I felt that the NICE scholarship programme could help develop the project by helping me capture the most relevant data possible."

"How has the scholarship influenced your project?"

"The project has grown as a direct result of the input I’ve had from NICE. The educational support I received has added extra dimensions to the work I’ve been doing. I have also been able to take on additional projects. For example, I’ve been working with my supervisor, Professor Davis at Nottingham University, towards getting NICE Accreditation for clinical guidelines from the British Society of Surgery of the Hand (BSSH)."

"What areas of NICE’s work have influenced your project?"

"The opportunities I’ve had to attend NICE’s committees have very much influenced my project. I’ve attended Interventional Procedures Advisory Committee, and the Technology Appraisal committee. I’ve also liaised with the Accreditation team, and several of the analysts with that team, to help me in the work I am doing with Professor Davis in gaining accreditation for the BSSH guidelines."

"What has being a NICE scholar brought to your work?"

"The scholarship has really given me a flavour, and some inspiration to continue with clinically relevant research which can then be translated to standardised practice within the NHS. And that’s the kind of area that I’ll continue to work in alongside my clinical training.

"I would strongly encourage anybody who is entertaining the possibility of applying for a scholarship to go for it. I’ve found that the Fellows and Scholars programme opens a lot of positive opportunities, many of which you may not have anticipated."

I've found that the Fellows and Scholars programme opens a lot of positive opportunities, many of which you may not have anticipated

Dr Nigel Beasley discusses his fellowship