If Richard Branson was PGDME he might say……..

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A thought for all those preparing to welcome our new doctors in August. Train them so well that they want to stay here or come back as a consultant. It’s no small task and we are not an airline, but there is truth in those words. As DME it’s pretty clear to me that although there is clearly a link between workload and satisfaction there is a also a strong association between satisfaction and being valued. We need our trainees to feel part of a team, to feel valued and to feel they are learning here in a hospital with fantastic developmental opportunities.

One to think about in the last few weeks before the biggest induction of the year.

Look after your staff and they will look after your customers (patients)



The GMC reports on training at CMFT

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GMC-1Last year we had the pleasure of meeting the GMC when they visited the NW region. Our visit was part of a wider process looking at medical education across the North West and at all stages from undergraduate through to postgraduate training.

All stages of the process are described in this glossy document

Although the visits took place last year it is only now that the full reports have been released online and they are freely available to everyone. The GMC have a policy of disclosure so trainees, trainers, the public and press get to see what was written about us and about the quality of training across the NW in general.


Well, we can all do better as they say, but in all honesty the region and the trust gets a good report. We had one area of good practice highlighted (skills teaching for undergraduates) and five requirements relating to induction, workload for CMT trainees, the organisation of year 4,  the use of the SHO nomenclature and time in job plans for trainers.

Regionally there are themes of workload intensity, lack of time for training and clinical supervision and career advice. The summary document sets these out well and identifies where problems were found across the region. It’s a short but informative document which may be worth sharing with clinical and management colleagues as they can be used as tools for change and support to clinical education here at CMFT.

You can (and should) read the full report about training here together with our response to the GMC

On the same site you will find the reports for Manchester medical school and the wider NW deanery. Again, for those with an interest in the organisation and delivery of training these are useful reading to see what’s going on across the region.

It’s always interesting to read what the regulator thinks about training. They obviously have a huge influence on current and future training patterns and as those of you at the recent educators conference know, change is inevitable and may be quite radical.

My only concern with the report is that the GMC only looked at a few small elements of postgraduate training here at CMFT and that’s a shame as we did not get that much of an opportunity to showcase what we do well. I think this is a consequence  of the GMC’s policy of targeting visits to areas where they believe there may be concerns, but it is a bit of a shame. We all like our report cards to have lots of positives as well as areas of improvement.

I hope you find the reports interesting and valuable.



Are you an optimist?

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Descartes_mind_and_bodyIf you managed to attend the educators conference last week you may have been lucky enough to hear Shirley Remington from the deanery/Health Education North West talk about resilience. Shirley is the associate dean with responsibility for CMFT and she helped support the conference with an update on training to start the day and then with workshops later. She also has deanery wide leadership for trainees in difficulty and therefore has a wealth of experience to share.

The workshop on resilience gave us lots to think about with self assessment on our optimism and pessimism tendancies leading to an increasing understanding of how these may affect us in the workplace and in particular how it might affect our interactions with trainees and vice versa. I took many things away from this talk, but in particular the concept that for trainees in difficulty we need the right person to support them and that does not mean just anyone, you;re not always the right person at the right time and awareness of this can make us all better educators.

So, enough of the praise….what was actually said is more important and although I can’t summarise here (you’ll have to come to the next educators conference if you missed it) there are some useful links shared on the day that you might find helpful. Firstly there is is the rainy brain sunny brain ideas from Elaine Fox. You can visit the website here where there is a short quiz to determine your current outlook and there is also a short video on the principles here (which will work in the trust if you use the chrome browser and not IE6).

We also heard of the concepts of resilience and RQ which again has an associated website and online test to get yourself a baseline on Nicholson McBride scores.

There was much more, but in the avoidance of spoilers and in the interests of enticement, to know more you’ll just have to come and hear her speak at the next conference (if we can persuade her to come back).

Hopefully, we will here more summaries of the workshops in future posts.



Tools to be a better educator

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This post and the associated page (which should be permanent and here) support the ‘So you think you’re a good educator’ workshop held at CMFT today.


The following resources can help you develop as an educator by actively seeking information

on your ability as an educator.


Peer review of teaching



If you are a career educator then you may want to go further and complete a full multi source feedback (MSF) about your teaching. This is a form that can be used to achieve this. Educator conf Educational MSF



Bleep Bleep Bleep Bleep…… then silence

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NumericPagerNope, not a cardiac arrest call. Rather an invitation to a meeting on hospital comms beyond the bleep system.

This Thursday the trust is hosting a ‘Beyond the Bleep’ discovery event (whatever that is) at NOWGEN and whilst this is arguably more operational than educational there is not a junior doctor on the planet who has not expressed an opinion about ‘Bleeps’ at some point. Most of the comments would be ‘bleeped out’ of course, which is possibly the most tenuous and rubbish joke of the year.

Star Trek comms anyone? wikimedia commons
Star Trek comms anyone?
wikimedia commons

Anyway, it’s worth attending to see what the future might look, feel and sound like. Personally I’m rather hoping for something that works like the communicators in Star Trek……

Here’s the link for information. beyond the bleep



New trust Social Media guidelines out.

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If you are following the blog then it’s quite likely that you will have some interest, or at least access to social media.

Here in postgrad we believe social media (#SoMe for any twitteratti) is a fantastic tool for learning and sharing. In the trust we’ve got some great examples such as the undergrad team’s work on youtube, and the EDs work on socio-constructivist e-learning.

However, there are potential downsides to social media and it’s possibly (if you’re a bit daft) to get yourself in a spot of bother with patients, your employer and even the GMC. You may even remember the junior docs who were suspended for lying down on the job….

Quick look busy…. and stop planking!

There’s quite a bit of guidance out there already, including the latest release of trust guidelines on the use of social media by staff. If you’re into this sort of thing give it a quick read. There’s little controversial in there and it’s all basically sensible stuff.

In summary the rules for social media are pretty much the same rules as in all other forms of communication. Be sensible, be wise and don’t say anything online that you would not be prepared to be overheard whilst talking at a bus stop.

Social media does not make clinicians make errors, it’s just that when they do make mistakes it has the potential to be done in front of a much wider audience. As a colleague once put it…

‘social media does not make someone an idiot, it just helps them announce it to many more people’

My only concern is that we do not get carried away with the potential dangers of social media without also embracing the incredible potential for education and development. Learning through social media is already commonplace in many professions and within some medical specialities, it is inevitable that we will see a growth in clinician involvement and participation over the next few years.

#SoMe is the future…., well it is in Emergency Medicine anyway😉



New Foundation docs: Linnet Clough 2013

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IMG_1644 We are delighted to welcome the new foundation dos to CMFT. Forty-Eight new starters across the trust who will be integral to patient care here for years to come. First impressions are that we’ve attracted a bright bunch of enthusiastic and engaging trainees which is fantastic, and having completed 2 weeks of shadowing they are up and running as of this week.

Let’s not forget that the foundation years can be tough though. The first rung of the medical career ladder represents one of the biggest changes to a doctor (the other being the step up to Consultant), and it’s vital that our trainees have great support. Whilst the trust can and will support trainees there is no doubt that your peers in the same grade are really important.

So, to help speed up the bonding process, to learn some leadership skills, to find out more about each other and the foundation teams we spent a day in the Peaks training, running, climbing, paddling and swimming.

Did it work?

In the view of the instructors – absolutely! At the start of the day the 8 teams – well they weren’t really working as teams….. We saw groups working as individuals, but by the end of the day they were clearly working together, supporting each other and achieving their goals. All this will be important in the workplace and especially during those first on calls.

The activities were

  • Orienteering
  • Raft Building
  • High ropes
  • Low ropes
  • Plus, getting there, on time, not getting lost, looking after an egg for the entire day (Ed- Why the egg????)

So, here are a selection of photos from the day. If you want more then get in touch. As you can see…..some rafts were better than others!!!

Low ropes course – team tasks
No prizes for rafting on land!!!!
Confidence before floatation
Errr………not sure that’s what you were hoping for.
Swim for it!
Is she floating???
A fab bunch – we’re lucky to have them with us.
The teams developed a strong sense of self……, this led to some cheating😉
Hmmm, I’d write your own caption for this one….
One of these rafts worked slightly better than the other. Can you tell which?

I’d like to personally thank all the trainees who showed willing to take part and get stuck in, but especially to the instructors and organisers of what turned out to be a fantastic day.

Sharon Gibbs gets top marks for once again organising the day beautifully.