School of Oncology
The Christie School of Oncology continues to lead the way in the delivery of local, national and international programmes of education and training. The School has been involved in a number of key developments with this year, including the development of the new Christie Proton School, the launch of GatewayC, the primary are education tool nationally, and the delivery of the hugely successful Greater Manchester Cancer Conference.
The development of the Christie workforce to maximise each individual’s potential and ensure that the Trust is responsive to the needs of our patients is a core objective of The School.
The Workforce Education team has worked closely with all services across the Trust to identify staff training needs and commission effective training. This includes delivery of an increase in uptake of apprenticeships. This has involved supporting the development of new opportunities for both current and future staff. Since 2018 there has been a 92% increase in the number of apprentices at the Trust. Growth has been seen across all staff groups, with apprenticeships being undertaken at all academic levels, including those leading to degree and masters level qualifications. The Trust is proud to have supported its third cohort of Nurse Associates through training, and is reporting a 42% usage of the apprenticeship levy spend (in year).
The Clinical Skills Training Team has continued to deliver effective clinical skills training programmes across the Trust, which ensure staff deliver a high standard of practice. The team have worked closely with partners in the organisation to streamline the Nurse Induction Programme, and have supported the implementation of several new initiatives across the organisation, including introduction of the UKONS Systemic Anti-Cancer Therapy Competency Passport.
The School’s Medical Education Team have gone from strength to strength, overseeing the introduction of Physician Associates into the organisation, and setting up inductions and support systems for them. The School has launched a very successful medical leadership programme, offering all senior medical trainees, medical fellows, non consultant grade doctors, advanced nurse and clinical practitioners and junior consultants the opportunity to develop these vital skills. In addition to this, a new training programme was introduced for ward based junior doctors, including skills training in clinical procedures.
The team have continued to increase their involvement in the undergraduate medical education curriculum at Manchester University. Christie placements continue to be highly evaluated, leading to us welcoming the biggest ever cohort of medical students electing to undertake project placements at the Trust.
The School has also successfully embedded the new Student Nurse Curriculum into the Trust and has met the national challenges to support workforce shortages by increasing student nurse placement opportunities by 25%. Our Practice Education Facilitator, and our ward supervisors continue to be highly evaluated with several being nominated by students for recognition awards.
The team has also worked closely with the HR department, Stockport and Trafford College, and The Job Centre (Department of work and pensions) to develop pre-employment placements for individuals who find it hard to gain successful employment. These placements have been highly successful, with a number of staff going on to gain full time employment at The Trust in clinical and non-clinical areas. Additionally, the Team are working with Loreto College, in Manchester, to provide work experience placements for BTEC Level 3 students across a range of clinical placements.
The School’s Education Events Team and Education Centre continue to provide a service to organise and deliver a number of high profile local, national and international meetings for the cancer community. Over the year many thousands of health professionals, service users and Christie supporters have used the Trust facilities to listen and learn about the latest developments in cancer care and treatment from Christie experts and international guests.
The Centre team has also been instrumental in ‘live-streaming’ communications within the Trust. The team have successfully live streamed events to over 20 sites nationally. This is an exciting development across all School teams, as it allows access to education from anywhere in the world.
The Maguire Communications Skills Training Team is specialist part of our events portfolio which focuses on teaching clinical communication skills. The team, who have a national reputation for excellence, have delivered events across the UK and have been invited to Qatar to deliver a workshop for medics. The team have national programmes of work supporting Macmillan specialist nurses and have now been commissioned to develop and deliver a programme of training in communication skills in clinical trials by by an international pharmaceutical company to deliver.
This year has significantly seen the launch of The Christie Proton School. This is a new collaboration between The Trust’s clinical proton service, The School, and the University of Manchester Precise (proton research) team. The Proton School have developed and launched a programme of events aimed at sharing knowledge regarding the development of proton therapy services and research internationally. The School has a newly built learning environment which will be formally opened this year.
Our Library and Knowledge Service continue to offer highly specialist advice and support to the cancer community. In April 2020, a new Clinical Librarian was employed within the team to work alongside clinical staff in accessing the latest evidence to support service delivery. This includes one day per week with the Radiotherapy Team. The intention will be to bring contribute to the library’s commitment to deliver high-quality evidence in a form, and at a time, when staff and students need it. This is another development which will see the service contribute to the Trust’s position as a local, national and international leader in evidence based education.
The Library team have also built upon the success of the Library Blog by advertising evidence-based materials to all Christie learners on social media. This new initiative has been well received and is popular amongst users.
The School is constantly striving to push boundaries in education and find new ways of bringing learning to individuals in a way that meets professionals’ needs and fits with clinical and service demands. We have therefore invested in a Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) team. The team works with all education teams to develop creative learning opportunities, whether this is to support face to face learning or in the development of the highest quality on-line learning. The team plays a pivotal role in developing and delivering innovative and engaging education, and has been key in supporting key Trust initiatives, for example embedding learning from incidents, and supporting roll out of the UKONS passport. Most recently the team have been working with The Christie Library in starting to look at opportunities and develop virtual reality education. The first project very successfully focused on developing a virtual walk through of the proton therapy treatment centre.
GatewayC is the School’s education portal for primary care. Its focus is to support detection, decision making and patient discussion regarding referral into cancer pathways, although it also supports primary care in caring for patients during and after cancer treatment. GatewayC has been hugely successful. It currently has over 4,100 professional users in England and is now fully funded by Heath Education England. GatewayC uniquely takes a proactive approach to sending registered users key information about cancer symptoms, responding to news items and ensuring users are up to date with current cancer policy. The portal has 16 full modules of learning which are RCGP accredited and contains bite sized GP led Cancer Conversations which take an investigative approach to key cancer issues in primary care. CRUK have formally supported the platform which is also undergoing NICE accreditation. The Team is developing relationships with all Cancer Alliances, CCGs and major cancer charities across the UK to ensure maximum uptake and usage of the training. Data continues to suggest that the system has a significant impact on users’ knowledge and confidence in decision making regarding referral into the secondary care system.
The Christie established the PET-CT Academy in 2017 to bring together experts in Radiology, physics, radiotherapy and education to deliver training for the PET-CT system nationally. The academy’s reputation has grown nationally and internationally as its novel and unique blended approach to training clinical professionals, particularly radiology reporters. The training has now received NICE endorsement and is undergoing review by The Royal College of Radiologists.