Background Changes in the NHS dictate that staff in general practice (GP), public health (PH), SRH and GUM work closely together. This integration cannot be achieved by processes and structures alone. It requires a substantial change in attitude and understanding between the protagonists.
Aim To develop a training programme to increase trainees' understanding of the philosophy and ways of working of other disciplines involved in delivering sexual health care, so as to facilitate collaboration and integrated working.
Methods The day-long programme, first held in February 2011, was delivered to 21 specialist trainees reaching the end of their training in GUM, SRH, PH and GP. The London Deanery funded the innovation and invited participants from among its trainees. Each day was structured to cover: understanding population health; an update on the future of the NHS; workforce planning; involving patients and public; developing services, financial considerations and examining patient pathways. There was humorous stereotyping of specialties followed by group work to dispel misconceptions and understand each other's viewpoint. Speakers represented all invited disciplines and included a senior manager, a third sector leader and a member of the government's Listening Forum. A detailed evaluation of the day included an interval questionnaire after 4–8 months.
Results Two training days have now taken place; a third is oversubscribed for February 2012. Trainees said it was excellent, they found it inspiring and thought provoking. They requested more workshops which have been incorporated. Interval evaluations showed trainees had undertaken joint working and used their learning to prepare for consultant interviews. The model has now been used by London Deanery in related generic training programmes for other professionals and other disciplines.
Conclusion This model programme delivers effective training in leadership and culture change.
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