Background Collaboration between BASHH and the Royal College of Physicians saw the development of a National mentoring scheme for newly qualified consultants in GUM. Mentors were recruited from senior GUM clinicians, and invited on a tailored mentoring course. On appointment, new consultants are offered and allocated a mentor for 18 months.
Objectives To determine the effectiveness of the mentoring scheme thus far.
Methods Voluntary interim questionnaires were distributed via Survey Monkey to mentor/mentee pairs who had joined the scheme for >3 months in January 2011. Responses were anonymous and quantitative data are presented.
Results 18 mentees and 17 mentors responded. The mean time from mentor allocation was 9.1 months (ranging 3–17). 80% of mentees found it easy to arrange their first meeting with their mentor, 72% had met their mentor between 1 and 4 times in person. Almost three-fourth (71%) felt they had received ample contact with their mentor, and in those who hadn't, time constraints and multiple competing service demands were repeatedly cited as barriers. Encouragingly, 69% of mentees felt the programme had helped them, with a further 25% responding, “not yet” as it was “too early in their mentorship”. 93% of mentors responded they felt confident to support their mentee, and 79% perceived the relationship with their mentee was going well. Mentee feedback particularly favoured greater structure, including alerts to encourage meeting prioritisation and further guidance on what could be covered within mentorship.
Discussion The mentoring scheme, which now hosts 67 BASHH mentors and 41 mentees, is providing significant support to new GUM consultants. By developing a mentoring module with clear guidance for final year registrars, and opening the scheme to them prior to commencement of their substantive posts, we anticipate that these changes will bring further benefits to those in the mentoring programme.