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1.  Doctors who become chief executives in the NHS: from keen amateurs to skilled professionals 
Summary
Objectives
To investigate the experiences of doctors who become chief executives of NHS organizations, with the aim of understanding their career paths and the facilitators and barriers encountered along the way.
Design
Twenty-two medical chief executives were identified and of these 20 were interviewed. In addition two former medical chief executives were interviewed. Information was collected about the age at which they became chief executives, the number of chief executive posts held, the training they received, and the opportunities, challenges and risks they experienced.
Setting
All NHS organizations in the United Kingdom in 2009.
Results
The age of medical chief executives on first appointment ranged from 36 to 64 years, the average being 48 years. The majority of those interviewed were either in their first chief executive post or had stepped down having held only one such post. The training and development accessed en route to becoming chief executives was highly variable. Interviewees were positive about the opportunity to bring about organizational and service improvement on a bigger scale than is possible in clinical work. At the same time, they emphasized the insecurities associated with being a chief executive. Doctors who become chief executives experience a change in their professional identity and the role of leaders occupying hybrid positions is not well recognized.
Conclusions
Doctors who become chief executives are self-styled ‘keen amateurs’ and there is a need to provide more structured support to enable them to become skilled professionals. The new faculty of medical leadership and management could have an important role in this process.
doi:10.1258/jrsm.2011.110042
PMCID: PMC3046192  PMID: 21357980
2.  Admissions processes for five year medical courses at English schools: review 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  2006;332(7548):1005-1009.
Objective To describe the current methods used by English medical schools to identify prospective medical students for admission to the five year degree course.
Design Review study including documentary analysis and interviews with admissions tutors.
Setting All schools (n = 22) participating in the national expansion of medical schools programme in England.
Results Though there is some commonality across schools with regard to the criteria used to select future students (academic ability coupled with a “well rounded” personality demonstrated by motivation for medicine, extracurricular interests, and experience of team working and leadership skills) the processes used vary substantially. Some schools do not interview; some shortlist for interview only on predicted academic performance while those that shortlist on a wider range of non-academic criteria use various techniques and tools to do so. Some schools use information presented in the candidate's personal statement and referee's report while others ignore this because of concerns over bias. A few schools seek additional information from supplementary questionnaires filled in by the candidates. Once students are shortlisted, interviews vary in terms of length, panel composition, structure, content, and scoring methods.
Conclusion The stated criteria for admission to medical school show commonality. Universities differ greatly, however, in how they apply these criteria and in the methods used to select students. Different approaches to admissions should be developed and tested.
doi:10.1136/bmj.38768.590174.55
PMCID: PMC1450044  PMID: 16543300
4.  Emergency Care Handover (ECHO study) across care boundaries: the need for joint decision making and consideration of psychosocial history 
Emergency Medicine Journal : EMJ  2013;32(2):112-118.
Background
Inadequate handover in emergency care is a threat to patient safety. Handover across care boundaries poses particular problems due to different professional, organisational and cultural backgrounds. While there have been many suggestions for standardisation of handover content, relatively little is known about the verbal behaviours that shape handover conversations. This paper explores both what is communicated (content) and how this is communicated (verbal behaviours) during different types of handover conversations across care boundaries in emergency care.
Methods
Three types of interorganisational (ambulance service to emergency department (ED) in ‘resuscitation’ and ‘majors’ areas) and interdepartmental handover conversations (referrals to acute medicine) were audio recorded in three National Health Service EDs. Handover conversations were segmented into utterances. Frequency counts for content and language forms were derived for each type of handover using Discourse Analysis. Verbal behaviours were identified using Conversation Analysis.
Results
203 handover conversations were analysed. Handover conversations involving ambulance services were predominantly descriptive (60%–65% of utterances), unidirectional and focused on patient presentation (75%–80%). Referrals entailed more collaborative talk focused on the decision to admit and immediate care needs. Across all types of handover, only 1.5%–5% of handover conversation content related to the patient's social and psychological needs.
Conclusions
Handover may entail both descriptive talk aimed at information transfer and collaborative talk aimed at joint decision-making. Standardisation of handover needs to accommodate collaborative aspects and should incorporate communication of information relevant to the patient's social and psychological needs to establish appropriate care arrangements at the earliest opportunity.
doi:10.1136/emermed-2013-202977
PMCID: PMC4316834  PMID: 24026973
communications; management, risk management; prehospital care, communications; risk management; emergency care systems

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