LEADit: education platform sharing experiences and learning to benefit patients NHS and abroad
Evolution noun ee-vuh-loo-shun any process of formation or growth; development
LEADit was borne out of a dire need for the Emergency Department at Leicester Royal Infirmary like most other A&Es in the UK to maintain safe staffing levels in times where NHS is already at a breaking point. Like innumerable other Emergency Departments (ED) in the UK, Leicester faced difficulties with recruitment and retention of medical staff at all levels. A core team was formulated to concentrate on the process of recruitment, support, training and retention of international medical staff. Many good ideas were implemented.
The invaluable 3 month induction period, supervisor meetings, focus on shop floor assessments etc. Like everything in nature however, evolution is constantly necessary. With more and more international graduates hearing about the program and the supported working environment in the department, there was a need to evolve and change our program for better. A teaching schedule was formulated. What was initially once a month for all international graduates, has now progressed into a twice a month event with a longer time duration slot on alternate Thursdays. Doctors are allowed off the shop floor to attend these teaching sessions which are Consultant/Senior registrar lead with junior doctors delivering presentations to get more teaching/presentation experience in a supervised setting. The time table has been extended onwards to the end of the educational year with topics covering all aspects of emergency medicine. The Trust’s Doctors in Training committee now has a trust grade representative to forward ideas about development of trust grade doctors in the hospital. More participation is being sought from other specialities as well into this process using this forum.
Plans are in place to develop an online resource for these lectures and teaching delivered for new recruits to access and learn from. Topics discussed are not just clinical but relevant to anyone moving from a different country. Challenges faced by new recruits are not only clinical but related to local language as well! Getting a simple Wi-Fi connection can be a multi-step task as explained by one of our international recruits recently. Practical shop floor teachings are soon to be commenced to include procedures commonly done in the department varying from a simple urinalysis to the much dreaded slit lamp examination. Another Trust wide induction conference is also in the works to explain the NHS, its’s structures, GMC – appraisal and revalidation, and other non clinical aspects that international graduates have never faced before to make sure the transition into a new system is seamless.
In the current times where hospitals all over the UK are stressed in every capacity, there needs to be a renewed focus so that we can deliver good quality and safe care to the patients regardless. Walking into the A&E should not be a lottery where you don’t know if you’ll be treated by a trainee or a “service provider” trust grade who was traditionally considered not as competent. LEADit eliminated the distinction of a trainee v/s a non trainee with equal focus on their personal and clinical development to ensure good quality care to all of our patients. LEADit continues to show the way to the future , with excellent staff retention and great feedback from our doctors.