The clinical academic workforce of the future

A cross-sectional study of factors influencing career decision-making among clinical PhD students at two research-intensive UK universities | BMJ Open
Image source: Nottingham Trent University – Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Objectives: To examine clinical doctoral students’ demographic and training characteristics, career intentions, career preparedness and what influences them as they plan their future careers.

Results: Respondents were mainly in specialty training, including close to training completion (25%, n=80), and 18% (n=57) had completed training. Half (50%, n=159) intended to pursue a clinical academic career (CAC) and 62% (n=198) were at least moderately likely to seek a clinical lectureship (CL). However, 51% (n=163) had little or no knowledge about CL posts. Those wanting a CAC tended to have the most predoctoral medical research experience (χ2 (2, N=305)=22.19, p=0.0005). Key reasons cited for not pursuing a CAC were the small number of senior academic appointments available, the difficulty of obtaining research grants and work-life balance.

Conclusions: Findings suggest that urging predoctoral clinicians to gain varied research experience while ensuring availability of opportunities, and introducing more flexible recruitment criteria for CL appointments, would foster CACs. As CL posts are often only open to those still in training, the many postdoctoral clinicians who have completed training, or nearly done so, do not currently gain the opportunity the post offers to develop as independent researchers. Better opportunities should be accompanied by enhanced career support for clinical doctoral students (eg, to increase knowledge of CLs). Finally, ways to increase the number of senior clinical academic appointments should be explored since their lack seems to significantly influence career decisions.

Full reference: Lopes, J. et al. (2017) The clinical academic workforce of the future: a cross-sectional study of factors influencing career decision-making among clinical PhD students at two research-intensive UK universities. BMJ Open. 7:e016823.


Elective care: model access policy

We’ve produced this policy in response to requests from providers and wider health systems for guidance and support in producing their own elective access policies | NHS Improvement

model access

The purpose of this policy is to ensure all patients requiring access to outpatient appointments, diagnostics and elective inpatient or day-case treatment are managed in line with national waiting time standards and the NHS Constitution.

The policy:

  • is designed to ensure the management of elective patient access to services is transparent, fair, equitable and managed according to clinical priorities
  • sets out the principles and rules for managing patients through their elective care pathway
  • applies to all clinical and administrative staff, and services relating to elective patient access at the trust

Access the full policy here

NHS trust board good governance maturity matrix

The NHS trust board good governance maturity matrix is designed to help NHS trust boards to self-assess whether they are achieving the expected desirable outcomes of good governance practice. | Good Governance Institute


There are a number of ways this matrix can be used by NHS organisations:

  • as an assessment tool to agree current status
  • as a developmental tool at a board development workshop, whereby members of the board could ‘vote’ where they felt the trust is on the matrix and then, through a facilitated discussion, agree a group decision about current scorings and developmental aspiration within a given timeframe
  • as a benchmarking tool to enable the comparison of NHS organisations and to identify examples of good practice that other NHS trusts could learn from

The Maturity Matrix can be downloaded here

Experiences of domiciliary care

Home care: what people told Healthwatch about their experiences  | Homewatch

This report analyses the experiences of over 3,000 people, their families and front line staff with home care services.  The information is intended to be used to inform the development of new service contracts, to shape care packages around what people want and to set out new ways to monitor performance from a user perspective.

Full report available here

Additional link: Healthwatch press release

Developing accountable care systems

Developing accountable care systems: lessons from Canterbury, New Zealand | The Kings Fund

This report examines how the Canterbury health system  in New Zealand has moderated demand for hospital care, particularly among older people, by investing in alternative models of provision and community-based services.  The transformation has taken more than a decade and required significant investment; this report considers the lessons that the NHS can learn.

New model of Primary Care provision

New report from the Nuffield Trust evaluates an initiative called the Primary Care Home (PCH) model developed by the National Association of Primary Care (NAPC).

The primary care home model was developed by the National Association of Primary Care as a response to workforce challenges, rising demand and opportunities to shape transformation in local health and care systems across England.

Image source:

This report from the Nufield Trust suggests that the new models of primary care provision are showing early signs of success but will need more resources and support for these models to work well on a permanent basis.

The evaluation found that participating in the primary care home programme had strengthened inter-professional working between GPs and other health professionals while also stimulating new services and ways of working, tailored to the needs of different patient groups.

It was judged to be too early in the scheme’s development for the Nuffield Trust to quantify impacts on patient outcomes, patient experience or use of wider health services.

Full report: Primary Care Home. Evaluating a new model of primary care.

Related: New primary care model needs resources, say experts | OnMedica