Three new ways we’re driving excellent education and training

King’s Health Partners Neurosciences education and training lead, Dr Gez Finnerty [pictured below,right], shares three ways the Institute is providing excellent education and training opportunities for staff.

gez finnertyEducation and training play a vital role in helping us achieve our ambitions at King’s Health Partners Neurosciences. By ensuring we provide staff and students with the latest evidence-based knowledge and skills to provide the best possible patient care, our current and future workforce can develop their skills and continue to be at the cutting edge of new developments in neurosciences.

Our large portfolio of high-quality education

We offer an extensive portfolio of high-quality education and training opportunities for clinicians and scientists, preparing people for roles in research or clinical practice. These range from undergraduate courses to PhDs, as well as postgraduate clinical training and continuing professional development opportunities. We host scientific fellowships funded by external organisations, such as the Medical Research Council, Wellcome Trust, Royal Society and Research Councils UK Career Development Awards, and Senior Fellowship Awards. We also provide specialist clinical fellowships in neurology and neurosurgery. 

We continue to develop our education programmes, for example, we recently launched a postgraduate certificate in advanced medical training, with the opportunity to specialise in neuroscience, children’s health, haematology or women’s health.

Here’s just a few ways we aim to be a leading centre in the UK for education and training: 

1. Developing clinical leadership

The current King’s Health Partners Neurosciences work programme is keen to support emerging leaders to promote innovation and deliver excellence in clinical services.

An inspiring example is Darzi Fellow, Dr Kit Wu, who is working in collaboration with the South London Neurosciences Operational Delivery Network.

Dr Wu has made major advances on two fronts. First, she and colleagues have recorded a range of short, 10 minute training videos to improve the management of patients who present to their local hospital with neurological conditions.

The training videos will be hosted on the King’s Health Partners Learning Hub so that they are widely available to staff across our partnership.

Secondly, Dr Wu has developed a training course in systems leadership management using a “Mini Darzi” approach. The course facilitates clinical staff in developing their own quality improvement projects, firstly by attending a one-day workshop, then implementing a project, followed by showcasing their work and sharing learning at a second workshop.

The workshop course has been piloted and is being rolled out to neurology doctors in a second phase. In the future, we aim to run the course for King’s Health Partners staff and students.

2. Developing academic training for clinical staff

Critical to our success in driving improved outcomes for people with neurological conditions is having a wide range of staff who are active in research.

We are growing the number of academic neurology trainees through successful applications to National Institutes of Health Research (NIHR) training programmes.

Our basic science training has received a boost with the recent award of a prestigious Wellcome Trust PhD programme entitled “Neuro-immune Interaction in Health and Disease".

We are working to develop Fellows in digital technologies and AI who can build on our strength in analysis of digital medical records analysis, for example using Cogstack.

We’re eager for all clinical staff to have to have the chance to be involved in academic work and we’re currently exploring ways to develop a robust pipeline of opportunities. Schemes such as the South London Clinical Research Network’s Greenshoots programme, which supports staff in the early stages of their research careers, are vital and we are delighted that two members of our neuroscience staff have just been accepted to this programme.

3. Providing quality educational material

It’s our ambition at King’s Heath Partners Neurosciences to increase the range, quality and quantity of educational material and to focus on innovative delivery methods. We have continued to introduce new courses and expand recently established courses. For example:

  • the stroke simulation course, which started in 2019
  • the stroke and vascular anatomy of the brain e-learning, available on the Learning Hub
  • the highly rated functional neurological disorder masterclass which is now in its third year and attracting national interest.

We are working closely with patients to develop learning materials and courses for them, their families, carers and staff. The training videos developed by our Darzi Fellow, Dr Wu, are helping to shape our plans to reach out to a wider audience across south London and create opportunities for developing skills and make knowledge more accessible.

We’re keen to continue building on our current education and training offer to ensure that King’s Health Partners Neurosciences is well equipped to continue to improve outcomes for patients living with neurological conditions and by doing so, we continue to cement our place as a world-leading centre for neurosciences.