A qualitative evaluation of the Scottish Staff and Associate Specialist Development Programme

Jennifer Cleland, Jacqueline Burr, Peter Johnston

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Abstract

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: The continued professional development of staff and associate specialist doctors in the UK was ill served prior to the introduction of the new staff and associate specialist doctor's contract in 2008. The aim of this study was to independently evaluate NHS Education for Scotland's approach to improving professional development for staff and associate specialist doctors, the staff and associate specialist Professional Development Fund.

METHODS: Semi-structured telephone interviews with key stakeholders, framed by a realistic approach to evaluate what works, for whom and in how and under what circumstances. An inductive and data-driven thematic analysis was carried out and then the realist framework was applied to the data.

RESULTS: We interviewed 22 key stakeholders: staff and associate specialist doctors, staff and associate specialist educational advisors, programme architects and clinical directors, between end February and May 2014. The resultant data indicated five broad themes: organisational barriers to continued professional development for staff and associate specialist doctors, the purpose of funding, gains from funding, the need for better communication about the staff and associate specialist Programme Development Fund, and the interplay between individual and systems factors.

CONCLUSION: The staff and associate specialist Programme Development Fund has changed the opportunities available to staff and associate specialist doctors in Scotland and, in that sense, has changed the context for this group - or at least those who have realised the opportunities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)92-96
Number of pages5
JournalScottish Medical Journal
Volume61
Issue number2
Early online date10 May 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2016

Keywords

  • Staff and associate specialist doctor
  • qualitative research
  • continued professional development

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