Meet our network of NICE experts

Dr Nigel Beasley discusses his fellowship

I would warmly recommend the NICE Fellowship to colleagues, health practitioners or senior social professionals.

The NICE Fellows and Scholars scheme aims to raise awareness of NICE guidance and products among NHS organisations, the social care sector, and local government. This year, we awarded 7 Fellowships and 10 Scholarships to a range of professionals working across the health and social care.

NICE Fellows act as ambassadors for our work, promoting our guidance, engaging with commissioners and channelling information between NICE and frontline staff. They also speak at meetings of professional societies and contribute within their areas of expertise.

Previous NICE Fellows have built up a range of achievements. They have collected awards, published papers, had their work featured in publications, and given presentations on national platforms. Fellows and Scholars from recent cohorts have taken guidance processes through NICE accreditation and supported the design of new NICE processes in Wales and Northern Ireland.

As NICE Fellows come from a diverse range of backgrounds, the work they carry out as part of their Fellowships varies too. Dr Mojgan H Sani is Chief Pharmacist at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, King’s Lynn, and a new NICE Fellow. Dr Sani will be acting as an ambassador for NICE and taking forward her personal interest in medicines management and optimisation. Dr Amini Aitsi-Selmi is a Senior Specialist Registrar in Public Health, and became a NICE Fellow this year. Dr Aitsi-Selmi will be using her role to build links between public health practitioners at national and local level.

This year’s intake includes a representative from the social care sector – Andy Tilden, Director of Sector Development at Skills for Care. Mr Tilden aims to spread the word about NICE, and provide vital input into this new area of NICE’s work.

Mr Tilden said: “I am honoured to have been selected as a NICE Fellow and I intend to spend my three years raising the profile of social care. I have a keen interest in providing clarity about the many diverse sets of standards that exist with a special focus on taking NICE guidance and standards to parts of the sector where they have not gone before.

“Explaining the benefits of the guidance and standards to employers as a way of recruiting their workforce, developing their workforce and raising the quality for those who receive care and support will be a key part of my Fellowship.”

NICE 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.

The ten new scholars recruited this year come from a range of disciplines including neurosurgery, pharmacy, general management and physiotherapy.  Their projects are diverse, and examples include implementation of NICE guidance, using care pathways to standardise the process of managing violence and looking at how individual surgeon data can be used to improve outcomes.

Professor Gillian Leng, Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Health and Social Care for NICE, said: “Our Fellowships and Scholarships offer invaluable opportunities for exceptional individuals to better understand how NICE works and the services we provide.

“As the health and care sectors develop new ways of working, a connection between NICE and the advice of an established network of experts across evidence-based practice is an exciting prospect for both individuals and their employers.”

Read more about our Fellows and Scholars on our website.

Interview with Dr Micheline Tremblay - a NICE Fellow

Dr Micheline Tremblay, Consultant in Adult General Psychiatry at Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, is a current NICE Fellow. She is interested in adapting an integrated care pathway in the management of bipolar disorder for use with patient electronic record systems.

What first drew you to the NICE Fellows programme?

Evidence-based practice is an interest of mine, and I was attracted by the prospect of drawing connections between NICE and my work. Given NICE’s reputation, I also felt it would be an honour to have my work affiliated with the organisation.

What area of your work are you concentrating on as part of your Fellowship?

My interests are in the use of evidence-based practice to deliver standardised levels of care through care pathways. In particular, I am looking at adapting the concept of the Integrated Care Pathway in the management of bipolar disorder for use with Patient Record Systems.

The health and social care landscape, particularly within mental health, has changed so much in recent years. We are now at the stage where non-medical professionals such as nurses, social workers or occupational therapist are called to deliver interventions previously provided by medical professionals. They have taken on elements of work, but they haven’t necessarily received medical training. So as a practitioner, I feel it is important to harvest the knowledge that comes with experience and make it accessible to people.

I also think it’s key that practitioners address variance in practice. Take the car industry for example. If you were to buy a car, you would expect the same level of service wherever you are in the country. This level of consistency in the efficient delivery of services should apply equally to healthcare.

What advice would you give to senior health and social care leaders who are considering becoming a NICE Fellow?

I would warmly recommend the NICE Fellowship to colleagues, health practitioners or senior social professionals. It’s of mutual interest for NICE and for senior practitioners to work together. NICE has a history of tackling variations in practice through implementation of its evidence-based guidance. Working with practitioners who deal with real-life patients on the front line, provides a direct engagement that can further help with good practice and service delivery. Furthermore, practitioners can play a vital role with helping in the development of guidance.

Being a NICE Fellow provides anyone who is interested with behind the scenes access to understanding the mechanism of the organisation. Like the TARDIS, NICE is deceptively vast! The NICE Fellowship programme represents a fantastic opportunity to discover the complexity of NICE’s work, and is useful for making networking connections between similarly-minded people. The NICE Fellowship Programme can become a powerful lever to health innovation, and galvanise professional enthusiasm for efficient delivery of services.