Better Training Better Care - evaluation reports


19 / 1 / 2015 9am

Health Education England (HEE) published two evaluation reports in January 2015: one on the Better Training Better Care (BTBC) pilot project and one on the report to the national elements. Both reports set out what was achieved, the benefits that were realised and opportunities that have arisen, as well as the challenges and lessons learnt. 

The BTBC programme was established in 2011 to deliver on the key recommendations of  Sir John Temple's Time for Training report and Professor John Collins' Foundation for Excellence report. 

It was designed around nine distinct work streams, the first of which focused on supporting NHS trusts to implement pilot projects to improve education and training in order to improve patient safety. 

The pilot projects were evaluated against three key recommendations from the Temple report:

  • Making every moment count for training and education.
  • Ensuring there is appropriate supervision.
  • Ensuring that service delivery explicitly supports training. 

There were 96 national bids to test these recommendations from which 16 pilots were selected.

NHS Employers led the evaluation of these projects to ensure a level of independence. There has been ongoing interest from local education and training board directors of education and quality, postgraduate deans, directors of medical education and employers, and of course trainees. 

The evaluation found that the projects had a positive impact on culture and behavioural change for doctors in training, trainers and patients. By putting more structure into medical education, the evaluation results show that this created positive change for clinical practice, engagement and communications increased with multi-professional teams, unanticipated efficiency savings were made, and most importantly, the quality of service and the safety of patients improved.

Through our involvement in the evaluation of the pilot projects we have seen exactly what individual employers can achieve when given the right incentive and environment to create positive change.

In setting out to improve the delivery and quality of postgraduate medical training, these pilot projects have not only achieved that aim, but have also increased engagement among trainees and among other members of the multi-disciplinary team, and have successfully improved services for patients. 

There has been a growing area of research in the NHS showing the links between good engagement and training, and these projects have demonstrated clear impacts from improvements made in these areas.

The challenge for employers, educational supervisors and trainees is now to make some of these initiatives part of the everyday life of doctors across the NHS, and rapidly. The pilot projects evaluation reports give clear evidence needed to support this change.

Organisations will want to look seriously at whether their change projects have the sound footing of the critical success factors that supported the positive results seen in the pilot projects. If they don't have these, they need to act quickly to make sure they are in place at every level of the organisation.

Health Education England will now be sharing the learning from the projects with wider organisations and supporting the national spread of these projects across multi-professional teams. NHS Employers' participation in this project has helped us to identify where employers can create the most impact on improving medical training, and we will be supporting HEE going forward.

Read Health Education England's evaluation report to the Better Training Better Care (BTBC) pilot projects and the evaluation report to the national elements 

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