Bulletin 116, July 2019

From the Editor, Dr David Bogod

Welcome to the July issue of the College Bulletin

Morale, fatigue and burnout feature once more in this month’s issue, unsurprising after surveys by the GMC and the College have highlighted these issues and their impact, in particular on trainees. This time we focus on possible ways of improving well-being, and anaesthetists in training in the East Midlands and Scotland have written articles describing some of the solutions adopted in their regions. These run from a buddying scheme between novices and core trainees to a larger ‘family’ model of support incorporating trainees at several levels and junior and senior consultants.  Encouraging good sleep patterns for those working shifts and the appointment of welfare leads and well-being guardians are also part of the very comprehensive approach being followed in Scotland.

Following on from his article in the last issue about how working hard can actually cost you money – very timely in view of the recent media storm about tax on pensions – Jaideep Pandit turns his enormous brain to another counter-intuitive topic, how it is possible with the use of simple statistical tools to construct an operating list that stands a good chance of finishing on time. Where will this end?  Expect Professor Pandit to expound in the next issue on ‘Teaching orthopaedic surgeons how to read ECGs’, or something equally unlikely.

I am delighted that Carol Kenyon, a senior trainee in the Mersey Region, took up the challenge of the Cappuccini Test, which I originally described in the March 2018 issue of the Bulletin as an audit of the robustness of clinical supervision of trainees and non-autonomous SAS doctors working solo.  She not only carried out the test, but also came up with a number of  improvements, including the involvement of ODPs and theatre staff. Her findings came as something of a surprise, demonstrating breaks in the supervision pathway that she and her department did not foresee, but she goes on to describe some easily-implemented and cost-neutral novel solutions. Since then, the audit has also been trialled by Council members in their own trusts, and the Cappuccini Test, in its new improved format, was launched at Anaesthesia 2019 in May. Interested readers – and that should be all of us – can get a Cappuccini Test package, enabling them to run their own audit, by emailing Emily Basra on ebasra@rcoa.ac.uk.  

And finally, we carry a message from Ravi Mahajan thanking our departing CEO, Tom Grinyer, for all his good work over the last four years. I’m privileged as Editor of the Bulletin to be able to add my own farewell to a man who I have come to hold in the highest regard. I will miss his wisdom, wit, gentle support, even gentler admonishment, and above all our chats about politics and cricket. I know that all the staff and Council wish him well in his new position as Chief Executive at the BMA.