Rough Guide to Healthcare Science

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What is Healthcare Science?

Healthcare Science describes the branch of the NHS staff that use technology and science to help patients by prevention, diagnosis and treatment of a large number of clinical conditions.

NHS Scotland's Healthcare Science workforce spans more than fifty specialties which can be broadly categorised within the following four divisions:

  • Bioinformatics
  • Life Sciences
  • Physical Sciences and Biomedical Engineering
  • Physiological Sciences

We are the 4th largest group of NHS staff with approximately 6000 healthcare scientists in post across NHS Scotland.

The NES Healthcare Science core team act as the national focus for Healthcare Science education and training in three ways: we commission training, we offer generic CPD resources and we quality assure training departments.

Page last updated: 10/12/2021

An overview of Healthcare Science

Click on the above image, or the Launch button below, to begin this e-Learning module and find out what Healthcare Science is, and how we at NES Healthcare Science contribute to the scientific workforce.

Click on the above image to begin this video clip to find out what Healthcare Science is. Video provided by Scottish Forum for Healthcare Science.

For further information on Healthcare Science careers and current vacancies please see NHS Scotland Careers website by clicking here

What is our purpose
Safe and accurate services - HCS word cloud

Providing Safe and Accurate Patient Services

  • Carry out tests and investigations that assist in the diagnosis of the patient or help in monitoring disease/ condition
  • We are involved in approximately 80% of clinical decisions within the hospital
  • We are also involved in clinical research – advancing how we test patients to make it quicker and better
Who are our staff?

The Healthcare Science workforce is comprised of a range of staff: support workers, technicians, practitioners, cytologists, mortuary technicians; Clinical Scientists and Biomedical Scientists. Many staff within Physical and Physiological services are voluntary registered via their professional bodies or through the Academy for Healthcare Science (AHCS) overseen by the Professional Standards Authority (PSA).  Many physiologists are registered with the Registration Council for Clinical Physiologists. Clinical Scientists within all disciplines are statutorily registered with the Health and Care Professions Council as are the Biomedical Scientists within the Life Sciences division.

There are opportunities to become involved in quality related roles; Project management; Information Technology and education and training.

Laboratory staff
Useful Resources for HCS

Guide to Healthcare Science

An overview of the various specialised disciplines within Healthcare Science, our various levels and the Common Core List

The above link is directed to our Healthcare Science NES website for information on the disciplines, education and training, and career opportunites.

This link is a video provided by the Scottish Healthcare Science Forum on the highlights and achievements, celebrating 70 years of success in the NHS.