In April 2009 the former Worthing and Southlands Hospitals and Royal West Sussex NHS Trusts were merged to form the new Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust. In August 2009 a Director of Medical Education (DME) was appointed, one aspect of the DME’s remit being to oversee a process of educational integration for the new multi site organisation. The DME is supported by a Clinical Tutor at each site, with both sites having a fully functioning post graduate education centre run by highly effective Medical Education Managers (MEMs).
Since the merger the functions of education and research have enjoyed a considerably higher profile within the Trust than previously and the Executive welcomes the decision by the Trust Chief Executive and the board to make training and education a core activity for the new Trust. This commitment is demonstrated by the desire to achieve University status for the Trust and by the invitation to the DME to attend Trust board meetings.
The inaugural meeting of the Educational Executive was concerned chiefly with the infrastructure of, and process of integration for, education across the new Trust. This document reflects the agenda for that meeting.
The Educational Executive
Prior to the merger in April 2009 education was overseen by the Local Academic Board (LAB) on each site. The primary aim of the LAB was to provide quality assurance for the education function according to KSS Deanery and in accordance with the educational contract between the Trust and the Deanery. Immediately following the merger this structure remained unchanged and it seemed unlikely that the two site-specific LABs would merge in the near future. The DME therefore set up the Educational Executive, this consisting of the DME, the clinical tutors and the MEMs. The advantages of this group are that:
- The Executive is small and wieldy. It can hence be proactive in a way in which the LABs, which meet just three times a year, can’t be.
- The Executive draws equally from the sites for its membership (the DME appointment being a Trust-wide appointment).
- The Executive is formed by the most senior consultants with educational remits within the Trust and by two full-time MEMs.
- The Executive will meet at least monthly and will be very hands-on in providing an overview and continuity between the two sites.
The remit of the Educational Executive will be:
- To set a programme for the integration of education across the Trust
- To determine policy and strategy for education within the Trust and to consult on and disseminate this widely
- To fully consult with the LABs as to the above policy
- To provide a mechanism for interaction with the Trust through the DME and clinical tutors
- To advise on wider educational issues where appropriate
- To maintain a balance between the requirements of PMETB guidelines, HEKSS educational contract and the clinical, service and financial needs of the Trust; the Executive intends a pragmatic approach to these sometimes conflicting needs.
It was initially felt that the Educational Executive would disband once amalgamation of the LABs had been achieved. However after discussion it was felt that the Executive should be a permanent part of the education infrastructure and continue to set strategy and policy, as well as lead on the day-to-day management of education. The LAB will be consulted and will debate and discuss the recommendations of the Executive in addition to it’s current role.
The Roles of the Director of Medical Education and Clinical Tutors
The roles of the DME and CTs are largely set out in the job descriptions and contracts as entered into with the Trust and with HEKSS. However these roles have significant overlap. The following will hence apply:
The Clinical Tutors will:
- Manage and authorise study leave
- Communicate with LFG chairs at their respective sites as required
- Oversee the management of trainees in difficulty
- Continue to provide pastoral care for all trainees
- Attend site induction
The DME will:
- Attend board and other meetings as required.
- Develop strategy for education in the wider context of the needs of the Deanery and the needs of the Trust as key stakeholders
- Chair the Educational Executive
- Sit on the CEA awards committee
- Liaise with external bodies as required
- Set the agenda for educational integration and enter into such consultation as is necessary to enable this
- Lead the bid for University status and interact with external bodies, such as Brighton and Sussex Medical School, the PCT, the SHA and other acute Trusts as required.
- Sit on Trust committees as required, eg Research and Innovation Group, Clinical Management Group, Clinical Governance Group.
- Have overall responsibility for the educational function of the Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust.