Transition to Consultant Course

Transition to Consultant Course

Key contacts

Hermione Race, Camilla Sen, Caroline Scott-Lang


We have run a transition to consultant course in London for the past 3 years. We are more than happy to share our experience of doing this and our resources!  Two days of the course involved workshops, interactive lectures and small group discussion facilitated by new consultants. These face-to-face days were separated by several months during which we encouraged trainees to do self-directed learning and shadow an NHS manager and consultant. We used a matching scheme to pair trainees with suitable managers and consultants according to trainee learning needs. A Whatsapp group facilitated networking and peer support. Using questionnaires and peer group discussion we encouraged trainees to develop their reflective practice throughout the course. This enabled trainees to recognize the depth of their learning and explore areas for further development.

Progress made: What have you learned from doing this?

  • Medical training teaches us how to treat the patient in front of us but not how to look after the system.
  • Many trainees feel inadequately prepared for the non-clinical aspects of consultant work including management, leadership and supervision.
  • Empowering trainees to develop these skills is essential for delivery of high quality care to patients and sustainability of the NHS.

What’s your take home message?

Consultants and trainees identified similar concerns about the transition to consultant: increased responsibility and perceived lack of leadership and management experience.

Following the course trainee self-evaluation showed significant improvement in leadership, management, quality improvement, clinical governance and educational supervision skills (p<0.05). Trainees felt more prepared for consultant interviews (p<0.05) and better understood the consultant role (p<0.05). Overall, trainees felt better prepared to become a consultant (p<0.05). In addition, the course helped them to develop an action plan for ongoing learning (p<0.05).

Trainees highly valued the shadowing opportunities. They felt it improved their understanding of hospital systems and strengthened relationships between the professionals. The course made trainees feel inspired and empowered in many non-clinical skills. These are essential for delivery of high-quality patient care and continuous improvement within the NHS.

Community resuscitation training for children – Restart a Heart day

Community resuscitation training for children – Restart a Heart day

Caroline Scott-Lang – team leader; Naomi Hosking – co-developer; Bea Liddell; Practice Champions manager, Connecting Care for Children; Fran Cleugh, Paediatric A+E consultant



Knowing how to perform basic life support can be lifesaving. Our team already ran BLS classes for parents and carers, but doctors and nurses at Imperial wanted to support international Restart a Heart Day, to help young people learn an essential skill and build relationships with local schools.


Specific: We planned to deliver adult basic life support training sessions in two local schools, across different year groups, on Restart a Heart Day 2016 (Tuesday 18th October). Schools were selected by a Consultant in Paediatric Emergency Medicine and the Connecting Care for Children (CC4C) team who had previously established interest in outreach teaching by the hospital team. Teachers liaised with clinical staff in advance to identify the numbers involved. Faculty was drawn from the Imperial Emergency Medicine, Paediatric Emergency Medicine, and Paediatrics departments. Staff were cross-covered from clinical duties where required. BLS mannequins were provided by the Trust resuscitation team. 90 minute teaching sessions were delivered at Westminster Academy and Queens Park schools. Emphasis was on children feeling comfortable with the technique of BLS whilst teaching them why we do what we do and using interactive discussion, video and role play to bring the session to life.

Measurable: Our aim was to teach BLS to as many children as practically possible on the day. Children’s understanding and technique was checked by experienced staff to ensure they had learned the skills safely. Although we did not collect formal feedback, verbal feedback and email contact from the schools afterwards was very positive. One child told us: “I feel like a hero, I can now save someone’s life.”

Attainable: Schools were consulted in advance to identify year groups who would engage well with the teaching and had time in their programmes to accommodate the session. The team took guidance on what would be helpful and we agreed our lesson plans with their teachers. Key teaching objectives were agreed by the teams visiting each site and adult BLS was taught according to St John’s Ambulance standards. The biggest resource required was clinical time, but the skill to be taught is a basic one and we were able to recruit faculty from a range of specialties and clinical roles (nursing, medical, outreach practitioners). This enabled us to have a faculty of 10 clinical staff without impacting on the running of the departments involved. Relevant: Knowing how to perform BLS is an essential life skill and empowering young people with the knowledge of how to respond in an emergency can be hugely beneficial. The Imperial teams were keen to develop relationships with local schools and raise our profile both locally and nationally, using social media to engage with a large-scale event.

Time bound: As the event was to take place on a specific date, all planning was done with this in mind and took place over a short period of time (around 2-3 weeks).


Progress made:

After the success of the first events, run in 2 schools, we now know we have a sustainable model and the potential for an annual event that can grow to include more children.


What have you learned from doing this?
– have built relationships with local schools – have developed a reproducible lesson plan that has been well received by students – closer working relationships with staff from other teams (Emergency Medicine, Outreach team) – effective use of social media to join in national campaigns – commitment to join national efforts on an annual basis
What’s your take home message?
This is a simple but essential skill that most clinicians would feel comfortable teaching to others. Children and their schools are very receptive to hospital teams reaching out to deliver this teaching. Pinning a project to a national event (e.g. Restart a Heart day) can provide a platform for better engagement.
Take the stairs!

Lift counting


Specific: We want to increase the number of staff and visitors using stairs, rather than the lift, in hospital using posters at the point of decision as the intervention.

Measurable: We will count the number of people choosing to use the lift and the stairs in the same place, and at the same time in a week, before and after the intervention.

Attainable: Data will be collected over a limited time period. Assistance from children at local schools will be sought in poster design, and further help from public relations department at the hospital.

Relevant: Increasing stair use rather than lift use encourages physical activity to be incorporated into daily life.

Time bound: Initial data collection completed in May 2017, posters created through June 2017 and final data collection after intervention in July 2017.


Initial data has been collected showing that 55% of people use the stairs, whilst 45% use the lift. Excluded from the study where those people who appeared not to be able to use the stairs, for example those with mobility aids. We are currently working with a group of primary and secondary school children to develop posters that we will put up at the point where people make the decision to use the lift or stairs.