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Projects and Programmes

The Academy leads on a number of projects and programmes.

Projects are usually short-life, one off pieces of work, that address a particular area of healthcare. These are often commissioned by external stakeholders who look to our expertise and unique constituency to deliver high quality work to help shape the way healthcare is delivered across the UK.

Programmes are typically longer-running pieces of work to support healthcare in areas where clinical expertise is essential or the reach of the Academy makes it best placed to lead on the work. Programmes are also usually sponsored by external stakeholders such as NHS England.


There are currently five live programmes running with the Academy. More information on each is detailed below.

Medical Training Initiative

The Medical Training Initiative (MTI) allows international doctors to come to the UK to train within the National Health Service (NHS).

Suitably qualified International Medical Graduate doctors (IMG) can receive a maximum of two years training and development in the NHS. The knowledge, skills and techniques learned in that time can be used to improve patient care in their home country on their return.

The scheme’s primary purpose is to improve the quality of healthcare in lower-income countries by sharing knowledge, experience and best practice.

Evidence-based Interventions

The Evidence-based Interventions (EBI) programme is an initiative designed to improve quality of care. It helps ensure a national approach to quality improvement and reduce unwarranted variation across the healthcare system.

Created by both doctors and patients it aims to reduce the number of medical or surgical interventions (as well as some other tests and treatments) which the evidence shows are inappropriate for some patients in some circumstances. In some instances, clinicians recommend carrying out more procedures because this will result in an improved quality of life for patients in the long term.

As well as improving outcomes it also means we can free up valuable resources so they can be put to better use elsewhere in the NHS. This is more important than ever as the NHS recovers from the impact of COVID-19 and restores services. We also know that sometimes these interventions can do more harm than good.

The programme is supported by five partners: NHS England, NHS Confederation, the Patients Association, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and Getting it Right First Time (GiRFT).

National Clinical Advisory Group

NHS Pathways triage system is a clinical decision tool used for assessing, triaging and directing the public to urgent and emergency services in the following settings:

  • NHS 111 (and NHS 111 online)
  • 999
  • Integrated Urgent Care Clinical Assessment Services
  • Urgent care or emergency departments.

To ensure that the clinical content within the system remains relevant and in line with the latest guidance, we have partnered with NHSE to provide clinical assurance of the clinical content. We do this through the National Clinical Assurance Group (NCAG), which we set up to support this process.

NCAG members are clinical subject matter experts who represent either their medical royal college or faculty, or other professional medical body. They provide expert advice based on their expertise, experience, and the latest relevant standards and guidance.

  • British Dental Association
  • College of Paramedics
  • Faculty Of Sexual and Reproductive Health
  • National Institute for Health and Care Excellence
  • NHS 111
  • Royal College of Anaesthetists
  • Royal College of General Practitioners
  • Royal College of Emergency Medicine
  • Royal College of Midwives
  • Royal College of Nursing
  • Royal College of Physicians Edinburgh
  • Royal College of Paediatrics & Child Health
  • Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
  • Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh
  • Royal College of Ophthalmologists
  • Royal College of Psychiatrists
  • National Ambulance Services Medical Directors’ Group (NASMeD)
  • Urgent Health UK


The WE-R NHS (Workforce, Education and Research NHS) is a resource catalogue focussing on health and clinical education and workforce research. The catalogue has been created by NHS staff for NHS staff from across NHSE education. It is collated in one place on NHSE’s learning hub making it easy for anyone with an NHS email to access.

The catalogue has articles, case studies and links to useful resources for anyone interested in health education and workforce research.

WE-R NHS enables colleagues from different regions to share their resources and potentially link with others working on similar areas to generate new ideas. Our resource bank is growing all the time and we encourage anyone to share their original research via our submission form.

How to access the learning hub

Choosing Wisely

Choosing Wisely UK is part of a global initiative aimed at improving conversations between patients and their healthcare professionals.

The focus of Choosing Wisely UK is shared decision making. Encouraging patients get the best from conversations with their healthcare professional by asking four questions:

What are the Benefits?
What are the Risks?
What are the Alternatives?
What if I do Nothing?


Some of our recent and current projects include:

YouTube Health.

The Academy was commissioned by YouTube Health convene a range of stakeholders such as medical royal colleges, healthcare regulators and content providers to develop a way for social media platforms to assure the quality of health information online. The work focused on ways to promote accurate, evidence-based healthcare advice from reliable and credible sources.

Working better together

A study commissioned by NHSE to audit steps doctors in both general practice and secondary care have taken to ease patient flow and reduce friction between the two domains. The two criteria for inclusion in the rapid research project were that first, the measure must be in place and having an impact and second, that it should cost nothing or next to nothing to implement. More than fifty simple fixes were profiled.

Children and young people’s gender services

The Academy is currently completing its work on providing an induction package for clinicians taking up posts in the NHS’s children and young people’s gender services. The work draws on the specialist expertise of many of its members and will enable a new service to be operational from the planned date in 2024.

2024 roundtable discussions

The Academy is drawing on its exceptional convening power and partnering with Impower to host a series of roundtable discussions in 2024 on the way we need to deliver health and care in the future. It will call on health and care leaders from across the UK to take a cold hard look at our current models of care and ask what works, what doesn’t and what do we need to do to fix things for the benefit of patients?