Welcome from Dr Mark Forrest

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I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself as the new Director of Medical Education for CMFT. For those who don’t know me, I’m Mark Forrest and I have been a Consultant in Cardiac Anaesthesia and Intensive Care here since 1998 and have been extensively involved in Training and Education most of that time. I have been an Educational Supervisor, College Tutor, Associate Foundation Programme Director and Associate Director of Education in that time and have experienced successes and challenges in all those roles.

I think that training and education at CMFT has come a long way in recent years. There is no doubt, however, that significant challenges and areas for improvement still remain. Within PGME we will be working hard to overcome those challenges using the tools we have, and the quality improvement  framework devised by my predecessor Professor Simon Carley and the management team..

There are also, and we too easily overlook this, some excellent examples of the very best of educational practice within the confines of this trust. I want to spread that good practice as far and wide as possible within CMFT and beyond. I hope to do this using this blog and other social media platforms, but also with Quality Improvement forums where I would like to give those who have demonstrated excellent practice a platform to share their expertise and educate us all.

On top of this there are external influences that we must be cogniscent of. There is plenty of evidence that morale amongst trainees is low and falling. The BMA announced three more periods of industrial action over the coming months and even the government’s negotiator has pointed out the need for a coherent strategy to improve junior doctor morale. Service reconfiguration with Healthier Together and DevoManc will bring changes to our trainee establishment that are currently difficult to foresee. The same can be said of “Shape of Training” possibly a little further down the line.

How can we assess whether we are moving in the right direction? What measure might be considered as success? No red flags in the GMC survey? This might be difficult to achieve in what can be a capricious tool. Certainly to have more green flags than red, that would certainly be a start. To have every specialty scoring above average, for say overall satisfaction when compared to other hospitals in the UK. I would like to think that ought to be an aspiration for one of the premier teaching and research trusts in the country.

I look forward to working with you towards some of these goals.

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