To describe a successful mentoring scheme designed for mid-career clinician scientists and to examine factors associated with mentee report of positive career impact.
Mixed methods study including in-depth interviews and cross-sectional data collection via an online survey.
Academy of Medical Sciences mentoring scheme set up in 2002 and evaluated in 2010.
One hundred and forty-seven of 227 mentees took part in the study (response rate of 65%). Ten mentees, three mentors and eight stakeholders/scheme staff were selected to participate in in-depth interviews.
Main outcome measures
Qualitative data: Interviews were transcribed, and free text was analysed to identify themes and subthemes in the narrative. Quantitative data: We examined the associations of reported positive career impact of mentoring by performing simple and multiple logistic regression analysis.
Mentoring success was determined by a variety of factors including reasons for selection (e.g. presence of a personal recommendation), mentee characteristics (e.g. younger age), experience and skills of the mentor (e.g. ‘mentor helped me to find my own solutions’) and the quality of the relationship (e.g. ‘my mentor and I set out clear expectations early on’).
Our evaluation demonstrates that both mentor and mentee value mentoring and that careful planning of a scheme including preparation, training and ongoing support of both mentor and mentee addressing expectations, building rapport and logistics are likely to be helpful in ensuring success and benefit from the intervention.
mentoring; mentor; career; research; medicine; academic
The views of practitioners at the ‘sharp end’ of care provision are increasingly recognised as important indicators of quality of care. The National Health Service (NHS) Staff Survey in England has quantified employees' views on how far they would be happy with the standard of care provided by their organisation if a friend or family member needed treatment. We aimed to characterise the concerns that might affect the willingness of staff to recommend their own organisations.
Qualitative study involving semi-structured interviews. Data analysis based on the constant comparative method.
Members of clinical and managerial staff in four NHS organisations (n = 70), and senior stakeholders across the NHS including clinicians, managers and others with a strategic or senior-level perspective (n = 98).
One hundred and sixty-eight interviews were conducted: 70 in four case study organisations and 98 across the wider English NHS.
Main outcome measures
Asking study participants the ‘if a friend…’ question offered insider views on the quality of care. Some staff had no concerns, but others, identified significant problems with consistency, reliability and behaviour of staff. Participants identified reasons for poor care that included inadequate organisational systems; structural problems of understaffing and under-resourcing; weaknesses in professional cultures and professional competence and failure to deal with problems such as unacceptable conduct. Participants emphasised that staff were not always able to deliver high-quality care because they worked in difficult conditions.
Asking staff to give accounts of their willingness to recommend their organisation to family and friends elicits important insights into quality and safety of care. Such accounts might be able to provide warning signs that could signal organisational decline and avert healthcare scandals, but use outside a research context requires further evaluation.
quality of care; net promoter; staff concerns; soft intelligence; National Health Service
Norovirus infections pose great economic and disease burden to health systems around
the world. This study quantifies the investments in norovirus research awarded to UK
institutions over a 14-year time period.
A systematic analysis of public and philanthropic infectious disease research
investments awarded to UK institutions between 1997 and 2010.
UK institutions carrying out infectious disease research.
Main outcome measures
Total funding for infectious disease research, total funding for norovirus research,
position of norovirus research along the R&D value chain.
The total dataset consisted of 6165 studies with sum funding of £2.6 billion. Twelve
norovirus studies were identified with a total funding of £5.1 million, 0.2% of the
total dataset. Of these, eight were categorized as pre-clinical, three as intervention
studies and one as implementation research. Median funding was £200,620.
Research funding for norovirus infections in the UK appears to be unacceptably low,
given the burden of disease and disability produced by these infections. There is a
clear need for new research initiatives along the R&D value chain: from pre-clinical
through to implementation research, including trials to assess cost-effectiveness of
infection control policies as well as clinical, public health and environmental
interventions in hospitals, congregate settings and in the community.
norovirus; research; funding; investments; UK
Maintaining life span and quality of life remains a valid aim of surgery in elderly people. Surgery can be an effective way of restoring both length and quality of life to older people. Minimally invasive techniques and surgery under local anaesthesia make fewer demands on geriatric physiology; given that co-morbidity is a stronger predictor of outcome from surgery than age, this is a significant consideration.
Violence against women has a devastating effect on women's sexual and reproductive health, and also affects the health of their children. Such behaviour is rooted in gender inequality, which is sadly persistent, arguably throughout all societies. This phenomenon is a serious health and development concern, in addition to a violation of a woman's human rights. Violence can begin or escalate in pregnancy and has significant consequences for the woman, fetus and child. Questioning pregnant women about the presence of violence and offering referral to a secondary agency can help to break the pattern of abuse.