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NHS Education for Scotland

A skilled and sustainable workforce for a healthier Scotland

Applying research and innovation to support training and wellbeing

Applying research and innovation to support training and wellbeing

Applying research and innovation to support training and wellbeing

In the latest NES medical directorate annual report the Scottish Medical Education Research Consortium (SMERC) highlights examples of education, research and innovation carried out during the pandemic.

The diversity of projects completed has produced some practical solutions to issues facing the service namely how to provide training that helps to redress the effects of lost learning opportunities and supporting wellbeing.

The work of the Safety, Skills, Research and Improvement Collaborative (SKIRC) has shown the importance of simulation-based training and education to catch up on clinical skills and knowledge. Examples include the delivery of safe face-to-face simulation-based learning at the NHS Louisa Jordan and simulation boot camps for internal medicine trainees.

In a first for SMERC, the project ‘Supporting Doctors’ Wellbeing during COVID-19’ involved all five Scottish medical schools and NES working as one unit. It looked at how to support wellbeing in doctors through change and transition in the COVID-19 crisis and its aftermath in Scotland. The Chief Scientist Office (Scotland) provided funding of £230k with £75k from NES. The research highlights the need to value and support the NHS workforce for the benefit of patient care and to take steps to improve the experience for staff of working in NHS Scotland.

Projects included in the report cover the two main NES research themes: developing the workforce and developing the learning environment:

  • Developing the workforce
    o Supporting Doctors’ Wellbeing during COVID-19
    o Career Decision Making
    o Developing Staff
  • Developing the Clinical Learning Environment:
    o The Learning Environment

During the pandemic, most higher education institutions and NHS organisations paused their research. Some SMERC projects stopped and several researchers returned to full time clinical work.

However, even in these challenging circumstances, SMERC continued to produce valuable work. It did so by adopting new ways of working, designing and conducting research.

Professor Peter Johnston, Interim Director of SMERC, said:
“Our members, their collaborators and affiliates have achieved a great deal during this testing time for the NHS. They have continued to produce high quality research that is solution focussed and has practical benefit to the recovery of education and training.”

Medical Directorate Education Research and Innovation Annual Report 2021


May, 07 2021