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Journal cover: Leadership in Health Services

Leadership in Health Services

ISSN: 1751-1879

Online from: 1997

Subject Area: Health Care Management/Healthcare

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Junior doctors and service improvement

Document Information:
Title:Junior doctors and service improvement
Author(s):Francesca Garrard, (Severn Foundation School, Bristol, UK)
Citation:Francesca Garrard, (2012) "Junior doctors and service improvement", Leadership in Health Services, Vol. 25 Iss: 3, pp.167 - 169
Keywords:Audit, Junior doctors, Leadership, Mentoring, Service improvement, Training
Article type:Viewpoint
DOI:10.1108/17511871211247615 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Acknowledgements:This work was based on the experiential learning of a junior doctor, during a year out of training. This year out was sponsored by the Health Foundation's Shine programme.

Purpose – In these cash-stricken times, healthcare commissioners are calling for all staff to deliver more for less. In the UK, there is a growing focus on involving junior doctors in this change. This paper seeks to address these issues.

Design/methodology/approach – This article considers the barriers in involving doctors in training in change and mentoring future clinical leaders, based on the observations of a junior doctor.

Findings – There are many barriers between management and junior doctors, including the invisibility of junior doctor work and the transient nature of their employment. However, the next step is to go beyond a simply audit requirement, to encourage service improvement training as part of the postgraduate curriculum. This will only happen if journals, conference organisers and other agencies incentivise complex service evaluation projects, by providing opportunities for presentation and publication.

Research limitations/implications – It is important to look beyond a four-month rotation and consider the many years service doctors will give to the NHS. Junior doctors need to be mentored through projects that focus more on the process of change, rather than completion of the audit cycle. This will mentor future leaders, but also give juniors an understanding of their organisational role and the demands of service.

Originality/value – This article provides an interesting perspective on the difficulties faced by a junior and view on steps to improving the links between service and training.

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