National Institiue for Health and Clinical Excellence

Annual Review - 2012/2013
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Educating the next generation of healthcare professionals

Our Student Champion Scheme is designed to improve the routine use of evidence-based information by future doctors, pharmacists, nurses and other healthcare professionals.

The NICE student champion team work with academic teaching and library staff to recruit student champions. These students receive bespoke training and support to enable them to disseminate information about NHS Evidence Search to their fellow undergraduates in structured hands-on learning sessions.

First established in spring 2011 following a successful pilot, the Student Champion Scheme has gone from strength-to-strength with the team training 259 student champions from 27 different schools in 2012/13.

The Scheme has included medical schools such as Bristol University, Cambridge University, Keele University, and Queen Mary, as well as pharmacy schools such as Medway School of Pharmacy and those at Cardiff University, Liverpool John Moores and University College London.

Teaching also took place at a number of nursing and midwifery schools such as Bournemouth Univeristy, Hertfordshire University, and the University of West London.

This year’s student champions have already cascaded information to over 1,000 of their fellow students. Cascade sessions are continuing and this number will rise in the future.

This year, we organised two ‘Learning about NICE’ days for the student champions. These events gave the students a chance to learn more about the history of NICE and gain a understanding of the processes behind how we produce our guidance and other associated products and services. They also had the opportunity to meet and learn from other champions as well as sharing their own experiences.

The ‘Learning about NICE’ days gave NICE Chief Executive Sir Andrew Dillon, NICE Chair Sir Mike Rawlins and other senior staff the opportunity to show their appreciation for the work each student champion does on behalf of NICE to promote the use of NHS Evidence among future health care professionals.

The Class of 2012/13

Andrew Lowe – Pharmacy student, Liverpool John Moores University

“Completion of the Student Champion Program has been invaluable to my development as a pharmacist.  Firstly, the scheme gave me valuable exposure to NHS Evidence and is now an integral resource in my practice.It has exposed me to a whole host of other services that NICE has to offer, especially during the 'Learning about NICE' day in London.

"The scheme has given me the opportunity to display my leadership and teamwork skills which were highly sought after qualities in my pre-registration interviews.  I have gained an appreciation for teaching which has always been an area of interest to me, but this scheme has allowed me to explore this on an extracurricular level.

"The skills I have developed whilst being a student champion will no doubt be of use in my future career in secondary care.  Given the fact that I am informed about how NHS Evidence collects information and the reliability of sources, I have full confidence in promoting this service through my pre-registration as well as throughout my career as a pharmacist.”

Eliot Rees – Medical student, Keele University

"Participation in the NHS Evidence Student Champion scheme has been a valuable experience.  Through the scheme I have undoubtedly developed my teaching skills, and ability to search for evidence; both of which are important graduate attributes.

"It was great to work with a group of students with a common goal.  We shared our experiences of running the workshops with each other, in order to continually improve our workshops.

"The learning about NICE day was fantastic.  It was an excellent opportunity to meet students from other health disciplines and universities.  Furthermore, I learnt about other resources available from NICE that I believe will help me both in running the scheme next year and in my future career.

"The experience was looked upon very favourably during my interview for an intercalated degree.  I have been accepted to present an oral presentation at the Association for the Study of Medical Education’s (ASME) annual scientific meeting on the evaluation of the Student Champion Scheme at Keele.

"Next year, with a new group of student champions at Keele, we shall be working on developing workshops to put a greater  focus on how the resources obtained through NHS Evidence can be used to inform patient care.

"I would encourage anyone considering getting involved in the programme to do so. There have been countless expected and unexpected benefits for me so far.”


I would encourage anyone considering getting involved to do so, there have been countless expected and unexpected benefits for me so far