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)



Starting as an F1 – can you remember what it’s like?

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Our new juniors start next week and it’s a really exciting time for them and us, but can you remember what it’s like?

These docs can. Watch, listen and remember…., and once you remember then reflect on what we can do to help them through this amazing transformation from Med Student to Doctor.

This tremendous video from Short Sharp Scratch productions, a great bunch of docs in Birmingham. Check out their website for more awesome (especially if you love ENT)



Local induction guidance is now out

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Screenshot 2014-07-08 09.08.27We are working hard to improve local induction. Medicine is perhaps a strange profession in that our juniors are often expected to turn up and work almost immediately with little preparation or planning. Historically as DME and as foundation lead I have seen docs fall into difficulties as a result of a lack of an effective local induction. We really need to make sure that our new starters are safe to practice for the benefit of our teams, our trust and most importantly for our patients.

So, with a few weeks to go it’s time to think hard about how you are going to make this year’s induction the best that it has ever been.

Click on the link below to look at our guide for local induction and do the best that you can for our new starters. Welcome them into the trust, train them, help them and welcome them.

Local Induction Leaflet

At CMFT we have an induction lead for the trust in John Bright (Acute Medicine Consultant) who can be contacted for further information and help.




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.



AoMRC and NHS Employers on ensuring safe induction

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August from: Très Riches Heures du duc de Berry. Wikipedia Commons
August from: Très Riches Heures du duc de Berry.
Wikipedia Commons

Summer has (sort of) arrived in Manchester. The pattern of work has changed in some departments (Paeds ED is all trauma rather than the winter D&V) and most of our staff are settled into their roles. August will soon be upon us, and in postgrad that means that minds are turning towards induction.

There is a great deal of work to do to ensure that new starters are safe to practice. In foundation training we have the luxury of a 2 week shadowing period to bring our new starters up to speed, but at other grades there are frequently difficulties in balancing the need to complete all aspects of induction alongside delivering an effective and safe service. As a supervisor I often feel the paradox of needing to ensure that the department is staffed (for patient safety reasons) whilst also inducting the new docs (for patient safety reasons). Whilst this will remain a challenge, (particularly in the acute specialities), a new document from NHS Employers and the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges places an emphasis on the delivery of training to ensure our junior docs are safe.

You can download the guidance here. safe-trainee-changeover, but in summary the document identifies 4 themes to facilitate trainee changeover.

  • 1. Consultants must be appropriately available
  • 2. Flexible and intelligent rota design
  • 3. High quality clinical induction at all units
  • 4. Reduction of elective work at changeover times

To some extent this is stating the obvious. However, the suggested mechanisms for rota changes are perhaps interesting enough to deserve a read. The implication of not putting trainees on out of hours rotas when they first start will be a challenge to many and indeed impossible for some. In that case we must look to new and innovative ways to deliver induction content (such as e-learning packages).

I was also interested to see that work is being done to stagger changeover for trainees to avoid the ‘all change at once’ situation currently faced by some specialities. This would in my opinion be a great step forward and with a report from AoMRC/CoPMeD due any day we should be looking out for this soon.

So, as the Summer wanes (as far as I can make out it started and ended last week) it is time to think about how we deliver induction this year. June is a great month to dust off last years plans and to ask ourselves whether they are still fit for purpose, but if you did not manage it then, July will do just fine.