Current state of medical recruitment in England

British Medical Association (BMA) finds nearly three quarters of all medical specialties had unfilled training places last year, and many specialties were suffering year-on-year recruitment shortfalls. 

The BMA has warned that a shortage of doctors across most specialities of medicine is putting patient care at risk. The BMA obtained data from 2013 onwards, on the current state of recruitment into pre- and postgraduate medical education and training.

Analysis of the data revealed that:

  • Although still highly competitive, fewer people are applying to medical school.
  • Foundation programme posts and applications are decreasing.
  • Applications to specialty training are decreasing.
  • Nearly three quarters of all medical specialties faced under-recruitment in 2016.
  • There are geographical variations in recruitment trends, with the northern regions bearing the brunt of the recruitment crisis.

To address this workforce crisis, the BMA is calling for greater career flexibility, improved health and wellbeing services, rota gaps to be tackled, maintaining the NHS’s ability to recruit from overseas and improved workforce planning.

Full briefing: The state of pre and post-graduate medical recruitment in England,
September 2017

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Health Education England: annual report

Annual report and accounts for Health Education England for 2016 to 2017.

The fourth HEE Annual report  outlines the achievements over the last year: outlining
how HEE continue to help improve the quality of care for patients by focussing on and investing in the education and training of the workforce which delivers that care,
now and in the future.

This vision of higher quality care is articulated in the Five Year Forward View (5YFV), which HEE co-created and now helps deliver nationally, regionally and locally through Local Workforce Action Boards (LWABs).

LWABs are where the workforce issues of Sustainability and Transformation Plans are worked through together with HEE’s partners; making sure the right conversations happen with the right people at the right time.

NHS Bursary Scheme rules 2017

Information about the NHS Bursary Scheme new rules applicable for the academic year 2017 to 2018, including 2 new schemes | DoH

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Students who began their studies before 1 September 2012 and are continuing training in the 2017 to 2018 academic year should refer to the NHS Bursary Scheme old rules (seventeenth edition).

Transitional Arrangements for 2017 to 2018 (first edition) is a scheme for new students beginning eligible pre-registration programmes between 1 August 2017 and 31 July 2018. Eligible programmes include postgraduate healthcare programmes, dental hygiene and dental therapy programmes and part-time programmes within the transitional capping arrangements.

Learning Support Fund for 2017 to 2018 (first edition) gives information about allowances for eligible students beginning pre-registration healthcare programmes on or after 1 August 2017. Allowances include:

  • Child Dependants Allowance
  • Exceptional Support Fund
  • Travel and dual accommodation expenses

NHS Bursary Scheme new rules for academic year 2017 to 2018

Digital literacy important for delivering better & safer care

Our TEL Programme is excited to be working in partnership with the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) on some of our digital literacy work | HEE

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Image source: HEE

The RCN has endorsed our work to date and are working with us on promoting the widest use across the health and care landscape of our definition of digital literacy and the digital capabilities that sit within that definition. Our latest document‘Improving digital literacy’, published today, explains what digital literacy is and why it is important.

Ian Cumming, our Chief Executive, and Janet Davies, RCN’s Chief Executive and General Secretary, have written the foreword for the joint document which outlines:

  • Why digital capabilities are so important in the provision of the best care
  • Why the right digital knowledge, skills, behaviours and attitudes are important and relevant to each and all of us working in health and care
  • What those digital capabilities are
  • Work undertaken to date on the digital literacy programme of work.

The document also highlights the RCN’s focus on developing digital capabilities in the nursing and midwifery workforce and why this will bring tangible benefits to citizens and patients.

Dementia training programmes for staff working in general hospital settings

Although literature describing and evaluating training programmes in hospital settings increased in recent years, there are no reviews that summarise these programmes | Aging & Mental Health 

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Objectives: This review sought to address this, by collecting the current evidence on dementia training programmes directed to staff working in general hospitals.

Results: Fourteen peer-reviewed studies were identified with the majority being pre-test post-test investigations. No randomised controlled trials were found. Methodological quality was variable with selection bias being the major limitation. There was a great variability in the development and mode of delivery although, interdisciplinary ward based, tailor-made, short sessions using experiential and active learning were the most utilised. The majority of the studies mainly evaluated learning, with few studies evaluating changes in staff behaviour/practices and patients’ outcomes.

Conclusion: This review indicates that high quality studies are needed that especially evaluate staff behaviours and patient outcomes and their sustainability over time. It also highlights measures that could be used to develop and deliver training programmes in hospital settings.

Full reference: Scerri, A. et al. (2017) Dementia training programmes for staff working in general hospital settings – a systematic review of the literature. Aging & Mental Health. Vol. 21 (no. 8) pp.783-796

Feasibility and Utility of Online Dementia Care Training for Hospital Staff

Hobday, J.H. et al. (2017) Research in Gerontological Nursing (10)2 pp. 58-65

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The current project tested the feasibility and utility of the CARES® Dementia-Friendly Hospital™ (CDFH) program, a 4-module, online training program for nursing assistants (NAs) and allied hospital workers (AHWs) who provide care to individuals with dementia.

A single group pretest/posttest design was used for 25 hospital NAs/AHWs, and quantitative and qualitative data were collected to determine whether NAs’/AHWs’ knowledge of hospital-based dementia care significantly increased, and if CDFH was perceived as useful and acceptable.

Dementia care knowledge increased significantly (p < 0.001). Open- and closed-ended data suggested that the delivery of online training to NAs/AHWs to enhance dementia care is feasible, useful, and efficient.

Ongoing gaps in care exist for individuals with dementia in hospitals, and delivering robust training for NAs/AHWs may serve as an effective modality to enhance quality of dementia care in such settings.

Read the full article here

Expansion of undergraduate medical education

Government outlines plans for expanding medical training | Department of Health | OnMedcia

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The Department of Health has published details of its plans to expand the number of undergraduate training places in England, which include expecting newly trained doctors to work for the NHS for more than five years.

The plans, revealed in a consultation document, aim to increase the home-grown medical workforce by 25%. Currently more than 6,000 university training places are available each year for prospective new doctors, but the plan is to increase this number by up to an extra 1,500 each year from September 2018.

It costs £230,000 to train a doctor in England, and the proposals include plans to obtain a return on this investment, by expecting new doctors to work for the NHS for a minimum number of years, otherwise they will be expected to repay some of their training costs.

A similar system “return of service” programme is already used by the armed forces for certain professions. The consultation asks whether a similar system should be introduced to the NHS for doctor training courses and, if so, how long this minimum term of service should be, suggesting that anything from two to more than five might be expected.

Full document: Expansion of undergraduate medical education: a consultation on how to maximise the benefits from the increases in medical student numbers.