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Age Ageing. 2016 April; 45(Suppl 1): i14.
Published online 2016 April 4. doi:  10.1093/ageing/afw029.04
PMCID: PMC4890405


Introduction Doctors are expected to lead. The capacity to influence organisations alongside an ability to plan (and importantly deliver) innovative services is vital for the contemporary NHS. Thus, during the design of the 10 day Psychiatry of Old Age Module (MSc Geriatric Medicine, Salford University) we embedded leadership and management into the programme.

Methods We organised two half-day sessions that focused on service management and leadership. The first was delivered by a Medical Director of Psychiatric Trust and the Nursing Director of an Acute Trust. Current service organisation and management priorities were considered along with the impact of NHS reforms (including commissioning).

The second was facilitated by a psychiatrist who implemented a new liaison service. Trainees were challenged to devise an innovative service and “pitch” their idea.

These sessions were complemented by other topics including: delirium reduction in the acute hospital, mental health law, safeguarding adults and NICE's evaluation of dementia drugs.

Questionnaires after individual sessions and at the end of the programme were used to explore trainees' perceptions of the utility of the course.

Results Immediate feedback Trainees reported they better understood managerial challenges and the financial complexity of developing a business case after the targeted half days. One trainee reflected that exploration of real business plans would aid trainees' understanding.

End-of-programme feedback Comments included:

  • More confident in dealing with NHS related management issues
  • Awareness of the wider implications of the ageing population and the effect this will have on further provision/developing new services.
  • Some more teaching on economic aspects … would be helpful

Conclusions Trainees recognised the utility of the management orientated aspects of the programme. We will further develop the business case aspect: trainees need to be confident they will be able to formulate plans that translate the best available evidence into services that meet patients' needs.

Articles from Age and Ageing are provided here courtesy of Oxford University Press