First GP mentors in Highland
20th March 2019
For the first time in Highland GPs working in the area now have access to mentor support to help promote staff health and wellbeing.
NHS Highland's Mentoring Scheme, which saw the first trained mentors graduate in 2016, was recently extended to include GPs as trained mentors and a group of 10 mentors were successful in graduating last month (February).
Dr Emma Watson, Associate Medical Director for Medical Education, Quality and Transformation, explained that the aim of the scheme is to provide doctors at any stage across primary and secondary care with a safe space to discuss challenges, issues and decisions.
She said: "Mentoring programmes in healthcare are of well recognised benefit and the establishment of this scheme highlights NHS Highland's desire to provide medical staff with access to activities that promote staff health and wellbeing which will in turn lead to improved quality in all aspects of clinical work.
"Mentoring is an invaluable activity to allow professionals overcome challenges and take opportunities. Using a framework called ‘Egan’s Skilled Helper Model’ your mentor will work with you to find your own solutions to professional situations.
“The mentor, who will have completed mentoring training, will listen and ask questions, offer a space to think, help identify blind-spots and facilitate movement and change. It is completely confidential and totally separate from any assessment of appraisal."
‘Egan’s Skilled Helper Models’ uses a three stage approach to help the mentee by exploring the current situation, help identify in an ideal world what they want to achieve and what is a realistic goal to work on, and how best to achieve that ideal situation. They will use skills such as active listening, reflection and challenging blind spots to help the mentee achieve their goals.
Dr Watson added: “Mentoring supports medical staff in all aspects of their careers and professional development. It is an activity that promotes success within the workplace and I’m delighted that we have welcomed our first GP mentors."
GP Practices who took part were from the Western Isles, Orkney, Lochgilphead, Kilcreggan, Newtonmore, Inverness, Grantown on Spey, Munlochy and the Highland Hospice.
Dr Kirsty Brightwell, who is based in the Western Isles, said: “Having a GP mentor has helped me to gain perspective, build on my own strengths and abilities to move to action. I feel that this approach is enormously beneficial in work but also in life generally and I believe all GPs could benefit from this resource.”
NHS Highland plans to open up hospital visiting times so that patients can benefit from more flexible arrangements at the end of this month (July 2019). Rather than having visiting hours at set times, the board's Welcome / Failte Initiative will see patients being able to ask friends, relatives and carers to visit at times that better suit everyone involved.
The University of the Highlands and Islands has welcomed its first cohort of students onto an innovative new midwifery course. Nineteen students gathered at the Centre for Health Science in Inverness on Monday 7 January 2019 to begin the shortened midwifery programme.
NHS Highland has created a handy list of telephone numbers to help improve access to healthcare services in Caithness - including a single point of contact number for community health and social care. The information is given on a laminated double-sided A4 flyer with timely advice about the health board's services and the relevant telephone numbers for these and associated services.
NHS Highland has agreed that the Caithness General Hospital will be heated by energy delivered by the wood fuelled district heating scheme in Wick. Supply of low cost renewable energy will begin immediately.
A ward at Caithness General Hospital has been closed to new admissions and visitors are being asked to stay away while staff deal with several cases of diarrhoea and vomiting. Bignold Wing currently has seven patients affected and samples have shown that norovirus is present in the ward.
Statement From NHS Education Scotland (NES) NES quality management visit, Caithness General Hospital. NHS Education Scotland (NES) is accountable to the General Medical Council (GMC) for assessing whether doctors in training are in an appropriate training environment. We carried out a quality management visit to Caithness General Hospital on Friday 13rd February to assess the quality of the learning experience and learning environment for postgraduate medical trainees in line with General Medical Council Standards. The visit was prompted by a shortage of substantive consultants in post and continued heavy reliance on locums and therefore the potential impact on the quality of training and supervision of doctors in training.
NHS Highland recently discussed the new Patients Rights Act. The Patient Rights (Scotland) Act 2011 aims to improve patients' experiences of using health services and to support people to become more involved in their health and health care.
The new Caithness District Partnership will meet in full for the second time on Friday 28 September, as part of the new arrangements under the Planning for Integration (P4i) partnership between the NHS and The Highland Council. Partners will consider a report from the NHS steering group, who are recommending a Stakeholder Engagement Plan.
NHS Highland has emerged as one of the top two health boards in Scotland in a national assessment of patient safety standards. The board has scored an "exceptional" 4.0 on a five-point scale set by the American-based Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), in conjunction with Healthcare Improvement Scotland.
The Henderson Maternity Unit at Caithness General Hospital has been re-accredited as Baby Friendly, which means it is internationally recognised by UNICEF (United Nations Children's Fund) as providing high quality support to mothers and babies. Staff at the Wick unit were originally presented with the prestigious Baby Friendly Award in March 2010.
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