Recent weeks have felt like a time to take stock. With our various partners we have been looking back at what we have achieved, and looking forward at what needs to happen next.
My senior colleagues and I are currently undertaking contract review meetings with all our providers. We also recently held our staff conference where we reflected on the remarkable achievements of the last year. If you haven’t already, please do see our booklet and film for some stories from the frontline that show how, together, we are making a real difference to health and care.
We have also been looking at what more we want to do, and I am excited about the potential of our new research, innovation and evaluation unit to develop the evidence base to embed the work stemming from our skills development strategy. Patient safety is one of our top priorities, and there have been several important patient safety events in recent weeks.
Nationally, Health Education England has proposed changes to the structure of the organisation and Local Education and Training Boards (LETBs) of which we are one.
More details on all these issues are available below, along with other updates on developments across the region.
Finally, I am delighted to welcome Mark Devlin as our new Chair after a short period as interim, a role he also held when HEKSS was established in shadow form. In an ever-changing healthcare landscape, Mark’s vision and extensive experience will, I am sure, help lead HEKSS to continued success as we develop our people to improve health and healthcare across the region.
Thank you for your continued support.
Health Education England proposes structural changes
HEE has proposed structural changes to the organisation that are intended to create greater alignment between the national and local offices, reduce running costs and increase efficiency across HEE. Under the proposed plans, the 13 LETBs will remain, as will their chairs and governing bodies. Additionally, each LETB will have a vice-chair drawn from providers from the governing body.
The proposed changes mean the senior management structure at the local level will change significantly, as one local director would replace each LETB’s managing director, director of education and quality and head of finance. These three current roles existing in each of the 13 LETBs will be replaced by four regional posts of a national director for each geographical region, together with a regional director of education and quality and head of finance.
It is proposed that HEKSS would be in the Southern Region along with Thames Valley, Wessex, and South West. The role and seniority of each LETB’s local director are not yet determined. A postgraduate dean will remain for each LETB but their roles will be reviewed and they will report to the regional director of education and quality.
Each LETB function will be reviewed to determine what can be carried out most effectively nationally, regionally and locally.
HEE have invited feedback from stakeholders by 22 June. For more information, please see A sustainable future for HEE – Realising our potential which includes key questions for stakeholders and how to feedback.
Mark Devlin appointed as HEKSS Chair
Health Education England has appointed Mark Devlin as the independent chair for HEKSS. Mark, an experienced NHS chief executive, has been acting as interim chair in recent months and was instrumental in the early establishment of HEKSS in 2012.
Many of the organisation’s achievements, particularly the development of the five-year skills development strategy which prioritises and coordinates action for improving health and healthcare for the population of the region, were initiated under Mark’s initial stewardship.
Read the full story on the HEKSS website.
Abdol Tavabie appointed Interim Dean Director
Professor Abdol Tavabie has been appointed Interim Dean Director for postgraduate medical and dental education. Abdol has been with the organisation for over twenty years, most recently as GP Dean and Deputy Dean Director. He is a visiting professor at Brighton and Kent universities, and has been a lead visitor for the GMC.
Philippa Spicer, Managing Director, said “I am delighted to announce Abdol’s appointment. He has great experience and has demonstrated a passion for improving patient care through multi-professional education and learning.”
Ground-breaking research, innovation and evaluation unit established
As part of its multi-professional integrated education strategy, HEKSS has established a research, innovation and evaluation unit to support the implementation and on-going development of the skills development strategy (SDS). This dedicated research-based evaluation and innovation capability is novel in the way it integrates the three activities and will underpin the work of the SDS.
Headed up by recently appointed Dr Chris Loughlan, a former senior NHS executive with extensive experience in education, research and evaluation, a key priority for the unit will be to focus attention on the future sustainability of each of the skills development strategy’s work programmes.
Dr Loughlan said: “We want to ensure that educational investment achieves value for money and meets the needs of providers. I’m looking forward to working with our partners across the region, and HEE nationally, to ensure the benefits of the skills development strategy continue to be fully realised, transforming care and outcomes for local people”.
For more information, please visit the HEKSS website.
HEKSS and BSMS conferences bring patient safety to the fore
Two major events in recent weeks have put training and education at the heart of patient safety in the region, building on the findings of the Francis Report and Berwick Review.
Over 150 stakeholders attended the HEKSS annual conference in Gatwick in April with a focus on multi-professional working to improve patient safety. Attendees including NHS executives, university deans, heads of schools, clinical tutors and trainees explored the use of technology to improve systems and processes, approaches to shared decision making and enabling better communication to enhance teamwork and safe care.
Materials from the event, including videos of presentations, are available on the HEKSS website.
In May, Brighton and Sussex Medical School held a multi-professional patient safety conference for final year students including medical, nursing, pharmacy and allied health professionals. The event stressed that medical knowledge alone is not sufficient to ensure patient safety. Topics included safe prescribing, raising concerns at work, human factors, communication skills, learning from errors and how the culture of the NHS affects patient care.
Conference organiser Dr Rob Galloway, Emergency Medicine Consultant at Brighton and Sussex Universities Hospitals Trust, said “This was the first conference that we have organised like this and we hope to develop it further and make it an annual conference with the medical school working alongside HEKSS and partner organisations.”
The event closed with a passionate talk given by Julie Bailey, founder of ‘Cure the NHS’. She spoke of her traumatic experience of losing her mother whilst she was under care at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust. Julie was instrumental in exposing the failings of the trust which led to the Francis Report.
HEKSS recruitment on track to meet targets
Following a series of highly successful recruitment rounds, HEKSS is on track to meet recruitment targets for the region and on course to make significant improvements in the fill rate for ‘hard to fill’ specialties including emergency medicine and the introduction of the new DRE-EM programme building further entry points into emergency medicine.
• 99% fill rate in core and run through specialties
• 100% fill rate to 236 GP training programmes.
Attendance at the BMJ careers fair and recruitment events held by the Specialty Workforce Team have been credited with a large number of high-performing applicants accepting positions across the region.