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Respiratory and sleep physiology patients to receive more holistic care

Ian Cliff, head of the respiratory and sleep physiology department at UHNM

Patients will receive more holistic care thanks to the work of a clinical scientist at University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust (UHNM). Ian Cliff, head of the respiratory and sleep physiology department at UHNM, has become one of only two people in the country to gain a doctorate in clinical science (DClinSci). Ian began the programme in 2015 and was due to graduate in the summer of 2020 - but the Covid-19 pandemic added a further two years onto his studies.

Ian completed the Higher Specialist Scientific Training (HSST) programme, which seeks to train and develop an increased number of very senior consultant clinical scientists who can lead the development of new research, technology and practice working within multi-professional clinical teams to deliver quality improvement, innovation, and world-class outcomes for patients.

The programme is commissioned by Health Education England (HEE) through the Manchester Academy for Healthcare Scientist Education (MAHSE).

Ian said: “The DClinSci has given me the opportunity to experience new areas of learning, including imaging, pathology, acute work, transplantation and more. This has allowed me to embed this into my clinical practice and better understand patients holistically.

“The ability to appreciate incidental findings and to act accordingly ensures that patients in my care are managed appropriately. This has also become common practice within the service I lead, where key clinical  findings are acted on and communicated to the relevant medical teams and services to better treat patients both acutely and as part of their on-going care.

“The work-based curricula developed through joint working with the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, scientific professional bodies, employers, and patients has given me the opportunity to develop my clinical understanding and skills. In addition, it has enabled me to better support services outside of my routine clinical field."

Dr Martin Allen is a training officer at UHNM and supervised Ian through his work-based competencies and academic studies.

He said: “I am absolutely delighted that Ian has been successful in obtaining this prestigious qualification.

“Together with only one other person in England he was the pioneer of this HSST programme and is now best placed to train our physiology and clinical leaders of the future.”