Interview with Professor Anne Greenough
This interview was featured in the King's Health Partners staff e-bulletin on Friday 17 August 2012.
King’s Health Partners is one of the largest centres of healthcare education in Europe. Professor Anne Greenough is Director of Education and Training for King’s Health Partners and Head of King’s College London School of Medicine. Professor Greenough talks about the recent changes to commissioning education and training, and how King’s Health Partners helps to spread clinical innovations across south London to help improve care:
In July, hundreds of students graduated from King’s College London School of Medicine and Dental Institute. As Head of the School of Medicine, what advice would you give those starting out in their medical careers?
Firstly, I want to congratulate all those who graduated. It’s wonderful to see students reach the end of their degree to become the next generation of doctors and dentists.
My advice to those at the start of their careers would be to never stop learning. Medicine is an ever-evolving field and it’s important to grasp opportunities to learn throughout your career. Also, make the most of the opportunities that being part of our Academic Health Sciences Centre offers. Whether you are interested in child health, psychosis or imaging – there are fantastic research and education opportunities available to you.
Why are education and training fundamental to King’s Health Partners’ vision to ‘pioneer better health for all’?
Whether working in the acute or community settings, staff need to be appropriately skilled to deliver the best care and to carry out research. This can only happen if we ensure our staff and students have opportunities to learn and train in their respective clinical and research areas. By investing in the development of our future health professionals, we will be able to pioneer better health for all.
How is the College, as part of King’s Health Partners, leading education and training for south London?
We are building a comprehensive network of education programmes for students and improving the provision of training for our staff in our NHS organisations. For example, this year several new postgraduate courses have been launched to provide specialist training. The Department of Health accredited two new Masters programmes based at the College in Clinical Engineering and Medical Physics. Those courses reflect the changing landscape of healthcare and will equip the next generation of clinicians and scientists with the skills they need to provide the best care for patients.
Also this year our three partner Trusts (Guy’s and St Thomas’, King’s College Hospital and South London and Maudsley) with St George’s were awarded £77 million funding to be lead providers for postgraduate education in south London. This is a great achievement and I believe that given our collective strengths in both research and clinical expertise, we can provide the very best training.
Our partner organisations are only part of a wider healthcare education landscape. How are we working with the rest of south London?
Another of my roles is as Design Lead for the South London Local Education and Training Board (LETB). The LETB is responsible for commissioning education and training across the workforce and is working towards authorisation in October this year. It is incredibly important and I am confident we will be successful given the wealth of expertise and experience we have here in south London.
King’s Health Partners is also working closely with St George’s and other south London providers to create an Academic Health Science Network (AHSN). The AHSN will mirror the geography of the LETB and build on the success of the South London Health Innovation and Education Cluster (HIEC), to improve the diffusion and adoption of innovation in the NHS.
How are you ensuring innovation is embedded in our education and training?
One area of innovation which springs to mind is our simulation programmes and facilities. Simulation is an increasingly important tool for our students and staff to learn and practice a range of procedures and clinical skills in a safe environment.
Earlier this year, the Simulation and Technology–enhanced Learning Initiative (STeLI) awarded over £450,000 funding to King’s Health Partners for new equipment for ultrasound simulation programmes. The £3million modernisation of the Chantler Clinical Skills Centre is another large project. The new centre, which will be based in Shepherd’s House at the Guy’s Campus, will include a high fidelity clinical simulation suite. It’s scheduled to open later this summer and will be a great facility for all our staff and students.
One of King’s Health Partners aims is to integrate physical and mental healthcare – how are our education and training programmes fulfilling this aim?
Mental health and physical health are inextricably linked and our education and training programmes need to reflect this fact. Earlier this year an e-learning module on depression in diabetes was launched through the South London Health and Innovation and Education Cluster. Recognising depression in patients with diabetes is something that primary care workers have identified as an important training requirement, and the e-learning module will meet that need. We are developing other new integrated education programmes to provide holistic care.
You manage to keep up a clinical role as a neonatologist at King’s College Hospital as well as supervise PhD students and conduct research. Is it realistic for our staff to be involved in education, research and clinical care, as you are?
King’s Health Partners has a tripartite mission to deliver excellent education and training, research and clinical care. All staff can have a role in delivering that mission.