They say time flies when you’re having fun, but, it seems it also flies when you’re working in an increasingly pressured health service. It’s been another tough year in terms of the daily demands on healthcare, albeit quite different from the preceding two years. In some ways it has been much better – we’ve had some semblance of normality returned to us in the form of social lives, hobbies, holidays and mask-free time outside of the hospital. But in other ways it has been a much more challenging period of time – never before has the health service been under such strain, and as healthcare workers, never before has so much been asked of us. And yet, we have seen so many rise to the challenge, to go the extra mile, and then the next mile, and the next. For that, as Chief Residents, we’d like to thank you.
We’d also like take the opportunity to reflect on what we have worked on this year to try to improve the experience of doctors in training, and also the wider healthcare team, in Forth Valley over the last 10 months.
Roving Junior Doctors’ Forum
Some of you in various departments (including paediatrics, emergency medicine, and intensive care) may remember we visited you to listen to your experiences and feedback on working in your departments. We took on board what was raised and fed that back to the medical education and hospital management teams, so hopefully training environments will continue to improve, thanks to your engagement.
Well-being Week 2022
We were delighted to see so many people able to enjoy the programme of events during Well-being Week 2022. The marquee at the main hospital entrance was transformed into the main wellbeing hub, where a wide variety of activities took place, from tai chi to tie dye and, everyone’s favourite, the gorgeous dogs from Therapets! We hope that everyone who made it down to the Wellbeing Marquee left with full hearts and full bellies and overall felt restored.
Thriving in Medicine
Anyone who is, or has ever been, a foundation doctor will know what a tough two years it can be. It’s a time of massive transition both professionally and personally for many, and coping with the stresses of working long hours in a high-pressure setting can be so challenging. The aim of introducing the Thriving in Medicine workshop (created by NHS Education for Scotland specifically for foundation doctors) in Forth Valley was to help new doctors learn and develop some tools to cope with error and uncertainty that come with the job. The feedback following the workshop was overwhelmingly positive and as a result, the workshop will be integrated into the foundation teaching programme for the next cohort.
The feedback from the Thriving in Medicine workshop also raised, again and again, how much those who attended appreciated the opportunity and space to debrief with their peers about some of the challenges they had faced in their time as junior doctors so far, with many asking for further similar sessions in the future. As a result, one of the exciting projects in the pipeline is Peer Support for doctors in training/junior doctors in Forth Valley. We hope this will be available shortly after changeover, with formal psychology training for the future facilitators, and we wanted to make DiTs remaining in Forth Valley, and also trainers, aware that this service will hopefully soon be up and running.
Finally, we’d like to take this opportunity to wish everyone moving on to a new post the very best of luck, and thank you for getting involved with all of our projects this year!
Morven, Vishali, and Isabella
Chief Residents 2021-2022