Title Health Technology Assessment
Type Stage Two
Code HPE127
Requirement Compulsory

Module objective

By the end of this module the Clinical Scientist in HSST will be able to analyse and synthesise their knowledge with respect to the role, aims and value of health technology assessment (HTA), and the processes and methods used for clinical and economic assessment of medical technology, including the synthesis and meta-analysis of clinical and economic data. This will also contribute to the design, implementation and evaluation of HTA studies relevant to the specialism and the dissemination of the findings. The Clinical Scientist in HSST will also be expected to consistently demonstrate the attitudes and behaviours necessary for the role of a Consultant Clinical Scientist.

Knowledge and understanding

By the end of this module the Clinical Scientist in HSST will analyse, synthesise, evaluate and critically apply their expert knowledge of HTA with respect to:

  • Epidemiological, demographic, economic and technological drivers of HTA in the NHS.
  • Health technologies, including categories of medical devices, their place in patient pathways, their life cycle, and relevant EU and UK legislation.
  • Research and innovation pathways for health technologies, including funding and evaluation mechanisms, support for and obstacles to innovation and diffusion, the nature and elements of HTA and its place within the overall pathway.
  • Clinical evidence for HTA, including the hierarchy of evidence, trial design (e.g. retrospective and prospective observational studies, randomised controlled trials), the use of registers and databases, systematic review, meta-analysis and data synthesis.
  • Health economics for HTA, including economic terminology, cost- effectiveness and cost-benefit analysis, measurement of outcomes and costs, measurement of quality of life, the QALY concept.
  • Controversies in HTA: methodological criticisms, ethical concerns, political concerns.
  • Benefits and challenges of patient and public involvement in HTA programmes.
  • Organisations involved in HTA and sources of funding.

Technical and clinical skills

By the end of this module the Clinical Scientist in HSST will reflect on their own abilities and demonstrate a critical understanding of current research while demonstrating the ability to apply, adapt and master the following skills and techniques, and will:

  • Identify issues that need to be addressed as part of an HTA evaluation.
  • Search for clinical evidence using electronic databases of literature and other sources.
  • Manage references.
  • Analyse clinical data.
  • Analyse simple economic data and models.
  • Present the data in written and oral formats using language appropriate to both a scientific and patient/public audience.
  • Understand the patient perspective and how to use it in the HTA context.
  • Communicate effectively as part of multidisciplinary HTA teams.

Attitudes and behaviours

By the end of this module the Clinical Scientist in HSST will consistently demonstrate the attitudes, insights and behaviours needed to deliver a professional, patient-centred approach to HTA, working within the limits of professional competence as part of a multidisciplinary team, including the following:

  • Consider the needs of a range of stakeholders, including patients, as part of HTA processes.
  • Consider relevant legislation, standards and guidelines (for example in the areas of medical devices, and data protection).
  • Identify and perform thorough and objective collection and consideration of all relevant evidence.
  • Consider the ethical issues in clinical research and HTA and work within ethical and governance guidelines.
  • Consider attitudes, behaviours, sensitivities and barriers to change when communicating with different groups of healthcare professionals and with patients.


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