Scheme to improve training goes national

A PILOT scheme designed to improve medical training and patient care is to be rolled out across England.

Health Education England (HEE) has decided to implement the Better Training, Better Care programme (BTBC) nationally.

The programme was designed to deliver recommendations made in two key reviews – John Temple’s Time for Training, which looked at the impact of the working time directive, and John Collins’ Foundation for Excellence report into the foundation training programme.

Under BTBC, 16 NHS trust projects were piloted in a bid to improve medical education for trainee doctors. They covered areas such as handovers, communication, potential benefits of technology/simulation, and multidisciplinary working.

Among the pilots was a project in North Bristol NHS Trust assessing the benefits of video recording and playing back outpatient consultations to help trainees develop their consultation skills. In Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, juniors were given networked mobile “e-handover” devices such as iPads to summarise patient issues and note details such as actions planned in order to improve the handover process.

National pilots were also carried out with the aim of improving the curriculums and frameworks underpinning UK medical training.

A paper presented to the HEE board said BTBC demonstrated “improvements to patient safety and care” and that the pilots were “viewed positively by doctors in training, trainers and consultant supervisors.”

“For doctors in training,” the report added, “the ability to attend training sessions, the presence of consultant input, and the support from the wider team are some of the aspects that had a positive effect on them”.

After the end of the project, HEE said it was “planning for the next phase of national spread and adoption.”

Find out more about Better Training Better Care at http://hee.nhs.uk/work-programmes/btbc/