Module - Integration of Specialist Scientific Software In and For Health and Social Care (HBI113)


Aim of this module

Bioinformatic analyses require specific IT skills that are often distinct from IT skills found in ‘traditional’ NHS IT departments and in the competences of those with embedded health informatics skills in their portfolios. In addition, the IT infrastructure of the NHS represents a unique environment and one that may not yet necessarily be aligned to supporting typical bioinformatics practices in health and social care. Consultant Clinical Scientists will not need to be experts in IT infrastructure as this is a role of systems administration, but CCSs will be required to make decisions with respect to existing/planned IT infrastructure and lead and develop services that capitalise on the infrastructure, systems, data and professional resources of the organisation.

By the end of this module Clinical Scientists in HSST should be aware of existing infrastructure (both local, and national, and delivered to support the NHS in its activities) as pertains to bioinformatics and of the constraints on NHS systems due to regulatory and security, confidentiality and privacy issues, as well as the need to support legacy systems. They will need to be able to initiate, assist, or oversee development of IT infrastructure to integrate bioinformatics into clinical diagnostic work streams and other applications of informatics into healthcare services. The Clinical Scientist in HSST will also be expected to consistently demonstrate the attitudes and behaviours necessary for the role of a CCS leading safe clinical bioinformatics services.

Knowledge and understanding

By the end of this module the Clinical Scientist in HSST will be able to analyse, synthesise, evaluate and critically apply their expert knowledge of IT infrastructure in the NHS. They should have an ‘outside’ perspective (e.g. international and/or industry) to inform strategy both within a laboratory or clinical setting and NHS more broadly, including:

Wider NHS:

Network and communication protocols, ICT standards:

IT security issues:


Operating systems:

System administration:


Database administration:

Documentation and maintenance:

Technical and Clinical Skills

Clinical Scientists in HSST will be able to identify potential opportunities for developing informatics solutions to clinical bioinformatics requirements and problems and be capable of leading such solutions. Achievement can be demonstrated through involvement in the following activities:

The Clinical Scientist in HSST will critically reflect on their own abilities as they develop a range of scientific, technical, clinical and communication skills to enable them to work in partnership with colleagues making decisions with respect to the IT infrastructure supporting the bioinformatics function. In particular they should be able to: