Home > Education & Training > Leadership work

Leadership Work

Realising new visions for the NHS, expanding the workforce and enhancing patient outcomes presents a challenge to all Healthcare Scientists; consequently, the need for skilled and creative leaders in Healthcare Science has never been greater.

Ruth Thomsen, NHS England’s Scientific Director (London) and Dr Sue Fergy, developed a package of leadership training programmes delivered by the AHCS, that can be commissioned by NHS Trusts for their own staff:

  • Practical Skills in Education, Training & Leadership (PSEL) – Delivered since 2017 to over 650 healthcare science leaders, PSEL was the first programme focus on developing self-awareness and refining leadership skills. This is a 4-day programme with 4 facilitated Action Learning Sets. You can find more information here.
  • Online Practical Skills in Education, Training & Leadership (OPSEL) – An online version of the PSEL programme was developed during the COVID pandemic, as a means of continuing to support and develop leaders when they needed it most.
  • Practice Educator Programme (PEP) – The Pathology Practice Educator Programme (PEP) is a 9-day, bespoke, online leadership development programme. It runs over 8 months and is designed to develop leadership capability and support for PEs across England in new and challenging roles. The online programme offers the opportunity for Practice Educators (PE) to develop the knowledge, skills, techniques and behaviours required by new workforce development roles. In particular, PEP promotes in-depth professional networking and collaboration to enhance a national awareness and implementation of new initiatives and achievements, the sharing of good practice. The programme is informed by a developmental, personal and professional growth philosophy to promote the empowerment of PEs. You can find more information here.


Both the PSEL and PEP programmes and faculty members have won awards for innovation and excellence.

Practical Skills for Professional Education and Leadership in Healthcare Science (PSEL)

The PSEL programme was recognised at the 2019 NHS Healthcare Science Awards, receiving the award for “Excellence in Workforce Development”.

The PSEL team were announced as the winners by Vivienne Parry OBE and presented with the award by Lord Prior of Brampton.


Practice Educator Programme (PEP)

The PEP programme was awarded Highly Commended in “The Excellence in Healthcare Science Workforce Transformation Awards” category at the 2022 Chief Scientific Officer’s Excellence in Healthcare Science Awards.  The Workforce Transformation award recognises how Healthcare Scientists are educated, trained and their skills used in innovative ways that are vital in ensuring healthcare scientists are able to work at the highest level and play their vital role in healthcare, reach their potential and do the best by patients.

The 2022 Chief Scientific Officer’s Excellence in Healthcare Science Awards celebrates the tremendous contributions and achievements of the healthcare science workforce and the impact they have on patient outcomes, by championing inspiring case studies of quality improvement, innovative partnerships, and pioneering service delivery.

Faculty Awards


Chairman’s Award

Ruth Thomsen, AHCS Leadership Ambassador, received the AHCS Chairman’s award for the successful development of the Leadership Faculty.  Its alumni is significant and Ruth also supported the vision to have a Healthcare Science peer reviewed leadership journal.

AHCS Honorary Fellowship

Dr. Sue Fergy received an Honorary Fellowship for her contribution in delivering excellent and innovative services and supporting leadership training for Healthcare Scientists.


Action Learning Sets – Evaluation Report

Action Learning Sets (ALS) are an approach to problem solving, and involve taking action and reflecting upon the results. Action Learning Sets aim to improve problem-solving processes and simplify the solutions developed by the action learning team.

Action Learning Sets have proven to be very effective in developing a number of individual leadership and team problem-solving skills. As a result, they have become a component in corporate and organizational leadership development programs, such as PSEL, OPSEL and PEP.

The Evaluation Report presents the findings of an Action Learning Sets in which Healthcare Scientists in Cancer Diagnostics engaged, over a period of 7 months, from January 2020 to July 2020.

The Action Learning Sets were part of Christopher Sibley-Allen’ s Healthcare Scientist in Cancer Diagnostics Fellowship Project, which was aimed to engage the Healthcare Science workforce in the NHS.

The purpose of the evaluation of the Action Learning Sets (ALS) was to measure the experiences of the participants and the impact of their engagement with the activities.

An independent evaluator, Dr Ann Ooms, who is an Evaluation Consultant in Healthcare and Healthcare Education, conducted the evaluation.

Click to read the full Engaging Healthcare Scientists in Cancer Diagnostics through Action Learning Sets: Evaluation Report

Meet the Facilitators

Lynn George

System Leadership & Infrastructure Programme Lead

Kathleen Sullivan

Leadership Faculty member

Sue Nash

Leadership Faculty member

Anne Benson

Leadership Faculty member

Kev Wyke

Leadership Faculty member

Dr Sue Fergy

Leadership Faculty Lead

Bottom Avatars


Join A RegisterSearch A Register