Training junior doctors

"Sonja's (the Associate) tremendous achievements through the partnership with the University of Plymouth have enabled us to more effectively reconcile the training and service delivery needs of junior doctors in line with EU legislative requirements." (Dr Adrian Dashfield, Director of Postgraduate Medical Education, Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust)April 2006

A KTP Partnership based at Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust established training practices for junior doctors and spearheaded the local Medical Workforce Skills Mix Analysis group - leading to a successful bid for £106k from the Strategic Change Fund.

Among the many challenges facing NHS Hospital Trusts nationally is the delivery of more effective clinical training and deployment policies for junior doctors, with a focus on reconciling training and service needs within the constraints of the EU Working Time Directive. The Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust collaborated with the University of Plymouth on this ESRC-funded Knowledge Transfer Partnership project which addressed long-term strategic issues related to the educational experiences of junior doctors.

The KTP Associate's work largely focused on establishing a baseline of training practices. She developed a 'Training/Service Continuum', highlighting the balance of education and service in junior doctors and factors affecting this balance. The importance of this work was recognised nationally. The Associate also developed spreadsheets and systems dynamics models to investigate the impact of change to junior doctor's activity, enabling management to experiment with different future scenarios.

The work greatly assisted the Trust in achieving a cultural shift towards training, embedding the importance of quality. It also led to increased awareness of issues surrounding 'effectiveness' and knowledge of cognitive mapping and its use in decision-making. Through training sessions the Associate's work helped junior doctors to identify best use of their time.

Impact

  • The KTP Associate was influential in leading the local Medical Workforce Skills Mix Analysis group. Results from this work led to a successful bid for £106k from the Strategic Change Fund to pilot new ways of working.
  • £270k per annum cost savings made through improved technological and structural support
  • Improved quality of training at the Trust
  • Provision of data to assist decision-making and knowledge surrounding time 'effectiveness' of junior doctors

Further information

This KTP partnership was funded 50 per cent by the ESRC, and 50 per cent by NHS South West.