This is another post with two weeks rolled into one since I took a couple of days off for Easter w/c 1 April and things were generally quiet that week with so many other people being off.

Quality 2020 E-Learning Platform

On Friday morning (5 April) I attended a working group set up to take forward the E-learning workstream from Quality 2020.  The workstream is being led by Dr Cathy Jack, Deputy Medical Director at Belfast Trust and we had a very productive meeting with well chosen participants.  The group quickly drilled down to the most important issues and came up with a vision and strategy for developing and delivering awareness sessions and mandatory training to healthcare staff via a user-friendly and accessible e-learning platform.

It’s amazing how quickly you can make progress with the right team and the right leadership, with a clear focus on deliverables.  This was a very productive meeting with a focus on the 80:20 principle, high impact interventions, collaboration, and value delivery.


Social Media Strategy

On Friday evening I met with Coirle Butler, Healthcare Development Manager at Napp Pharmaceuticals.  We discussed their support for this year’s Medical Leadership Symposium and Coirle asked me to help with the pre-event and on-the-day social media strategy for an independent prescribing conference at the University of Ulster in September.

I’m looking forward to helping incorporate social media into another conference.  It definitely enhances the reach and engagement and makes the event more dynamic and valuable.  Watch this space for details of the dedicated Twitter account and hashtag!


Medical Leadership Symposium

If you’ve ever organised a large event or conference you’ll not be surprised to hear that my weekends and evenings over the past couple of weeks have continued to be dominated with organising the symposium.  However, I’m pleased that the dedicated symposium website is now coming together nicely.  Still outstanding is the addition of the logo and graphic design to make it look all sparkly and nice!


Dr Anne Kilgallen Embarking On A Health Foundation Quality Improvement Fellowship

On Tuesday evening (9 April) I had a great phone conversation with Dr Anne Kilgallen, Medical Director of Western Trust.

Anne has earned a coveted place on the Health Foundation Quality Improvement Fellowship Programme and will be heading to Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA in June to undertake her year-long fellowship at Harvard and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.  She is only the second person from Northern Ireland to earn a place on this programme and is naturally very excited about it.

We discussed what Anne hopes to learn and gain from undertaking the fellowship and how she will bring this learning back home, share it, and ultimately use it to make a positive difference for patients.  Anne was telling me how she wanted to reflect on the learning in real time and would love to be able to share her reflections in real time too.  This led us to a discussion about healthcare social media and Anne was very excited about the idea of starting to Tweet and starting a blog where she could reflect on her learning while in the USA.

Healthcare social media has the potential to greatly enhance the value of Anne’s fellowship by allowing her to share her learning more widely, through blogging and discussing topics with those back home in real time.  This has the potential to transfer important learning back home much more efficiently than if she just waited until she returned in a year’s time.  Reflecting and discussing her learning in real time with those back home should also help Anne develop her thinking about how to apply what she is learning in the USA to make improvements to the healthcare system back here in NI.

I’m very excited about the prospect of Anne live-tweeting and blogging during her year-long fellowship in the USA and I look forward to helping her get started with a Twitter account and a blog.


GMC Social Media Guidance

On Wednesday (10 April) I was at a meeting in Craigavon Hospital with Mr Colin Weir (@colin_surgeon) and afterwards we discussed the GMC Social Media Guidance.  It seems both of us had read the draft guidance and then been surprised by the disquiet around the final guidance when it was published.  Colin later shared a link on Twitter to a Facebook post by the GMC giving some explanations and reasons behind certain aspects of the guidance.

I think it’s good that the GMC are prepared to respond to concerns raised by doctors about their guidance and publish an explanation such as this.  It would have been too easy to adopt a different stance and not engage in this way.


The Future Of Medical Leadership

On Friday evening (12 April) I stopped in Saintfield on the way home from Craigavon to meet yet another medical student who is enthusiastic and energised about leadership and making a difference.  Her name is Amy Sharkey.  She’s a local girl currently in her 3rd year at Oxford.  She’s already getting involved via FMLM, which seems to be providing a useful focus for medical students interested in leadership.  We had a chat and have arranged to do a project together over the summer.  Amy also agreed to speak at this year’s medical school application course in June.

It’s very encouraging to see the energy and enthusiasm many medical students have for leadership and quality improvement.  And it’s great that organisations such as FMLM are doing somehthing to grow and nurture this.  I think that existing medical leaders can play an important part as individuals too – by supporting, coaching and mentoring these young people, and by removing hurdles and opening up opportunities for them.  These young people are the future of medical leadership and we should make sure they get off to a good start!