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Perspectives on medical engagement

Our interviews showcase the work of a number of organisations in England that have created cultures in which doctors are engaged in the management, leadership and improvement of services.

The interviews capture different perspectives on the opportunities and challenges of medical engagement, and offer advice for other medical leaders wanting to engage across their organisations.

University London College Hospitals

Gill Gaskin, Medical Director at University College London Hospitals, gives her advice to other medical leaders who are seeking to engage their medical workforce.

This includes remembering that engagement is a two-way process – clinicians need to be given responsibility, but must also have the authority to make changes. Gill also highlights the importance of using language, stories and narrative which appeal to the passions of clinicians and which is designed around patients, improvement and quality.

Jonathan Fielden, Medical Director at University College London Hospitals, gives his advice to medical leaders wanting to engage across their organisations.

Key to this is having clarity of vision around what medical leadership is and what the organisation is seeking to deliver for patients, developing the vision around patients' needs and giving clinicians the autonomy to succeed but also learn from failure.

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

David Evans, Medical Director at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, explains how clinicians can benefit from being involved in an engaged process, by being able to take control and improve the services they provide to patients.

If starting to develop medical engagement in the organisation again now, David would involve junior doctors and trainees right from the beginning so they can experience being part of an engaged system.

5 Boroughs Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Sandeep Ranote, Associate Medical Director, shares her experience of developing medical engagement at 5 Boroughs Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

Before the medical workforce were engaged, Sandeep describes staff as disenfranchised and disconnected – 'stakeholders' and not 'shareholders'.

Some of the key steps in developing medical engagement included participating in the medical engagement scale, consulting and listening to staff, dedicating a deputy medical director role to medical engagement and leadership, and empowering staff to have a voice and make collective decisions.

NHS Tayside

Sam Majumdar, Consultant Surgeon, explains how medical engagement has been developed at NHS Tayside through the creation of a network to support clinical groups.

Sam describes managers and clinicians as two forces, both trying to improve patient quality and safety but with values and goals that are not aligned. The biggest challenge to medical engagement is changing this culture and aligning these values and beliefs.