Aims/Background Leadership and management skills are increasingly recognised as fundamental aspects of doctors’ clinical practice and drive high-quality, safe healthcare services for patients. However, availability of specific leadership training is limited for junior doctors, with national bodies including the GMC, calling for increased availability of relevant training. We aimed to evaluate the need for and educational impact of a leadership course for paediatric trainees approaching registrar level.
Methods We ran a three day course for thirty paediatric ST3s, entitled ‘Transition to Leadership’, consisting of two training days in ST3 (SHO) and a third day after trainees had progressed to ST4 (registrar). The course incorporated the NHS Leadership Academy ‘Health Leadership Model’ and covered areas such as delegation, negotiation, supporting junior trainees and leading at night. In addition, key updates were included on safeguarding, consent and end-of-life care. We collected evaluation data from attendees at three time points: prior to the course, after day two, and after transition to ST4.
Results Paediatric ST3s felt unprepared for the transition to registrar, frequently citing concerns directly related to leadership and management capabilities. Following the course, trainees reported increased competence consistently across eight aspects of leadership and management. Perceived competence in two control aspects not covered on the course was unchanged, indicating a specific effect on leadership skills. Paired t tests demonstrated a significant increase in competence ranking seven of the eight leadership domains (t23 < –2.01, P < 0.06 for the seven domains). This increased competence continued after transition to ST4 indicating a sustained improvement in leadership abilities. Trainees attended all 3 days where possible, allowing them to build rapport with other attendees, creating a safe environment to share and discuss concerns, and to gain peer support and reassurance from group problem-solving sessions (Table 1 and Figure 1).
Conclusions Our Transition to Leadership course was well-received by trainees and resulted in significant and sustained improvements in competence across a number of leadership and management domains, demonstrating its potential for longitudinal impact on trainees’ performance. We now aim to produce a nationally available comprehensive teaching package and offer faculty training nationally, to make the course accessible to more trainees and expand its educational impact.
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