Medical education

We believe in sharing what we know through teaching, so that what we learn can help patients everywhere. 

Continuing professional development ensures the delivery of high-quality care and promotes professional confidence and competence. Staff at the Trust are able to take advantage of a range of training programmes both in-house and through external education and training programmes. We also collaborate with other healthcare organisations to share our learning and knowledge.

Human factors programme

Human factors education is well-established at the Trust, forming part of our patient safety training programme since 2005. The current multi-professional in-house training programme was launched in 2015, and more than 600 members of staff have attended the one-day course to date. The course is open to all staff and introduces a basic understanding of the aspects of human factors that are likely to affect staff and patients in the healthcare setting. 

Two-day ‘master class’ courses and ‘train the trainer’ sessions are also available.

Imperial College Health Partners (an expert partnership of healthcare providers in north west London) and commissioners were enthusiastic about the Trust’s education model, in particular the multi-professional aspect of it, and will look to learn from our experience in this area. 

Simulation-based non-invasive ventilation training

The pilot of a training programme to improve confidence in delivering non-invasive ventilation (NIV) has been held at the Trust, with overwhelmingly positive feedback from participants.

Evidence existed to suggest that medical and nursing staff felt unprepared to deliver NIV in accordance with British Thoracic Society guidelines. To address this, a one-day training programme was designed, aiming to improve the confidence and competence of technical and non-technical staff.

The interactive course provided practical experience for any professional involved in NIVs. It involved part-task training workshops and high-fidelity simulation sessions. Scenario participants acted in their usual professional roles, and semi-structured debriefs were held after each simulation, covering technical and non-technical skills.

Those taking part included doctors, nurses and physiotherapists, all of whom regularly manage NIV. They commented that their confidence and skills had significantly improved following the training. Positive feedback was received from all attendees and it is intended that the course will now run three to four times a year.

The training echoes the Trust's organisational values, particularly 'we believe in our staff', by supporting them in their work to provide the best healthcare we can.

Multidisciplinary approach to airway management Medical education

Managing airway emergencies, particularly those involving patients with a tracheostomy (a tube inserted into the airway to help a person breathe) or laryngectomy (removal of the part of the throat that houses the vocal cords), requires a strong multidisciplinary approach. The Trust has introduced an Altered Airway Care Inter-Professional (AACIP) course, which ran five times during 2016/17.

The course combines lectures with practical workshop sessions focusing on equipment and routine care, safety checks, and emergency algorithms. It brings together all the diverse disciplines that are involved in the management of altered airway patients.

A study day on paediatric and neonatal tracheostomy emergencies also ran for the first time this year, giving staff the practical skills needed to provide high-quality care for young patients with a newly formed tracheostomy.

Optimising strength and resilience

It has long been recognised that psychological factors play a significant role in overall health and wellbeing. A new Trust project, ‘Optimising Strength and Resilience’, has been launched to address the problems of psychological distress in patients, occupational stress in NHS staff, and poor organisational culture.

The programme, which is supported by an award from the Health Foundation, promotes an integrated approach to physical and psychological health through education and training. The training is based on the latest advances in health, stress management research and third-wave cognitive behavioural therapies. The training is offered to patients, relatives and staff. 

Resilience is especially important for healthcare professionals, who often face challenging and complex situations in their daily work. 

Dr Anne-Marie Doyle, consultant clinical psychologist, said: “In the world of medicine, there is a lot of talk about compassion for patients, but clinicians also benefit from compassion for themselves.

“The training echoes the Trust’s organisational values, particularly ‘we believe in our staff’, by supporting them in their work to provide the best healthcare they can.” 

The staff training sessions aim to build on individuals’ strengths, support effective team-working, increase staff engagement and contribute to the delivery of the best possible specialist treatment.

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