Fellows and scholars

Our fellows and scholars programme is open to those working in the UK within the health and social care sector. The programme is available for professionals, academics and those with an interest in the sector. It offers an opportunity to get involved with the work we do.

  • NICE fellows -- senior influential leaders who act as ambassadors for NICE for three years. They use their strong networks to promote the work of NICE at a regional and national level.
  • NICE scholars -- scholarships are one year opportunities for individuals from across health and social care to undertake, and be supported during, a NICE related improvement project within their local organisation.

We support our fellows and scholars in their learning about the inner workings of NICE through a series of workshops, access to an adviser, and contact with our experts.

We also give them the chance to network with like-minded advocates of evidence based practice.

Highlights of 2016-17:

Spreading the word and seeing a change

Our 27 fellows have presented at various conferences and meetings, including:

  • Caring Times conference
  • Royal college of midwives annual conference
  • Healthcare infection society international conference

Their efforts have helped ensure NICE guidance has been incorporated into the curricula of local academic institutions, including:

  • Medicine at Plymouth University
  • Nursing at Swansea University
  • MSc Surgical Innovation, MSc Paediatrics and Child Health modules  masters at Imperial College London 

They have also helped to bring our guidance into virtual e-learning modules commissioned by Health Education England, including the musculoskeletal e-Pain modules covering the science and management of pain/chronic pain. This set of modules was created by Gail Sowden, one of our fellows.

Driving improvement in the quality of care

Last year, one of our fellows, Jane Viner continued her work on improving the quality of care for those in care homes.

Based on NICE quality standards, including patient experience in adult NHS services, Jane has been involved with the creation of a ‘contracting for quality’ standard. This ensures care home contracts include a clear set of standards that can be monitored and managed.  This will help ensure consistently high services across South Devon.

As part of the monitoring there will be announced inspections, which will include conversations with care home users about their experiences.

A local quality risk assessment and monitoring tool has also been developed based on the NICE quality standards.

Using our guidance for positive change

Simon Jones, a NICE scholar who is working at the Lifeways Group in London, developed a project using the NICE guidance on challenging behaviour and learning disabilities.

The project aimed to reduce the number of people in the group who are labelled as ‘challenging’ and to reduce the use of physical intervention.

The Lifeways Group supports more than 5,000 individuals, of which more than 1500 display ‘challenging’ behaviour.

When Simon began his project, there were 535 individuals who had a physical intervention protocol as part of their support plans.

He devised a positive behavioural support approach, which included:

  • Individuals spending time doing what they want and like to do.
  • Ensuring individuals were fully informed about their treatment.
  • Assessing the cause  of “behavioural concern” before physical intervention.

An audit after 12 months of implementing this approach revealed physical intervention protocols had been removed from a fifth of support plans and 18% had experienced 5 or fewer interventions.

Using NICE guidance to spot the warning signs

At the Southern Health and Social Care NHS trust, one of our scholars, Caroline Beattie has used NICE guidance on acute kidney injury to create a checklist of the warning signs for use on inpatient wards in hospitals. This includes testing a patient’s urine for the presence of blood and proteins.

Since this checklist was introduced, there has been a major improvement in recognition of acute kidney injury within the trust, jumping from 60% to 100% in a 5 month period.

Welcoming the new cohort

We awarded nine fellowships and nine scholarships in 2017. Appointments include: 

  • A pharmacist working in a GP practice who will be investigating the potential benefits / downsides of prescribing antibiotics over the telephone.
  • The head of hospital inspections at the Care Quality Commission (CQC) who will be working with us to incorporate quality standards into their inspections.
  • A professor of orthogeriatric medicine who will be collating the recommendations we give in our guidelines for the care of older people.

Now that you've finished this page we think you might be interested in reading about our 'Student champion scheme' or 'NICE in the news'