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17 July 2018
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Stage of training specific forums

Many issues arising at the start (foundation year) and end of training (specialist registrar) are significantly different and this disparity often warrants dedicated sub-forums for stages of training, as well as for individual specialties. The success of distributive leadership models relies on the strength of individual sub forums.

Registrar forum

The Oxford University Hospital (OUH) case study includes a description of a specialty registrar forum as well as its outcomes. These forums often have a strong focus on leadership development, targeted for senior trainees.

Creation of specialist registrar forums can be a powerful resource to improve levels of medical engagement of the whole junior doctor cohort. Many registrar forums are heavily involved in consultation on new trust initiatives and often devise development schemes to support junior colleague (eg CMT careers fairs).

The Tameside Hospital case study highlights how specialist registrars can be isolated and not engage with a trust-wide JDRG. Tameside’s bi-monthly ‘yellow forum’, resulted in several QI projects as well as the development of a senior leadership shadowing programme. This was of benefit to both junior doctors and senior management.

Foundation forum

Finishing medical school and starting a foundation training post is one of the biggest transitions in a doctor’s medical career. Foundation year forums or JDRGs could be a place where a trust could tap into new ideas from multiple regions, continue leadership development and increase rates of socialisation and the understanding of the NHS, and the organisation culture.

Buckinghamshire NHS Trust Foundation Forum

This forum was initiated by the trust’s foundation programme director (and now current DME). It was created due to increasing numbers of foundation year junior doctors, poor feedback on GMC surveys and lack of resolution to ongoing training and service issues. The forum consists of eight foundation year junior representatives and is chaired by the associate director of the foundation programme to provide organisational memory. Meetings take place four times a year, with a formal agenda and minutes, and are paired with informal interim meetings to discuss progress on action points.

The eight representatives were given study leave to attend a funded leadership course, specifically designed for foundation year doctors. This consisted of eight half day sessions which included guest speakers and interactive workshops on topics such as communication skills, NHS structure, and using basic leadership skills to enhance effectiveness.

Recent achievements arising from the Buckinghamshire Foundation Forum 

Medical education and training

  • Improved educational opportunities and clinical support for foundation doctors working in Trauma & Orthopaedics.

Quality improvement

  • Audit and research presentation evening with peer-reviewed prizes and a regional competition.

Junior doctor morale and engagement

  • Development of feedback pathways from forum members to foundation programme committee, and from forum members to trainees
  • Trainee feedback survey focusing on clinical supervision process.

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Authored by Dr Marc Davison, Director of Medical Education, Buckinghamshire NHS Foundation Trust; Dr Tasmin McAllister; Dr Amir Khaki

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