The Dean's blog

To all our 5th years - a big thank you and a bigger request!

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Dean Blog

I get very upset when we constantly hear about a “failing NHS”; no wonder that this creates demoralization in junior doctors that I know filters through to you all as our fifth year students. As highlighted in this independent report from the King’s Fund, whilst 4 hour A&E waits have indeed increased this is explained on the huge increase in demand. When I was involved in Acute medical takes as a Consultant in the mid 2000’s something like 15 million patients/ year were attending A&E. In 2015/16 this figure was 23 million, and the data I see as a Non-Executive Director at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust would suggest a further 11% increase over the recent winter months. The reality is that the NHS has never worked harder. Life expectancy has risen by 8 years in my short time in Medicine, but sadly healthspan (the length of time in our lives where we remain in optimal health) has remained flat. Increased burden of chronic disease in an elderly population with cognitive decline at a time of significant cuts to social care budgets has left the NHS, and particularly our hospitals as the default route of care. 

Clearly longer term solutions are needed and hopefully many of you will contribute to and maybe lead on future discussions, but in the short term your collective activity in assisting with winter pressure shifts across our partner NHS Trusts (over 60 such shifts in LTHT alone) was extremely well received. I have received nothing but praise for all your hard efforts and feedback from many of you on the additional clinical experience that this offered, all preparing you for your FY1 posts. A big thank you from the Dean! 

The big request is that you all complete the National Student Survey, with a deadline for completion at the end of April. Part of your commitment to the GMC Tomorrow’s doctors curriculum, over and above responsibility for learning and professionalism/ conduct is to provide us with feedback. We take this feedback very seriously as a constant cycle of improvement; student Engagement is a key objective for the School. This year, we widened our activities to encourage engagement from student groups who have felt under-represented in other forums. The “You Said, We Listened, We Did” reports summarise issues raised and addressed so far this year (Student Engagement folder - VLE organisation page). A few examples I might dwell on include the development of Super Assistantships, developing cross-Yorkshire movement of students to undertake Post Finals Assistantships in their destination posts, review and update the pharmacy prescribing workshops - to introduce new clinical skills prescribing sessions, a review of clinical placement content and titles and the release of clinical placement details on MEDEX. 

Finally, as many of you are aware we continue to drive forward with our pioneering technology enhanced learning platform and the adoption of MyPal, (My Personalised Adaptive Learning) e-system into the curriculum, which was launched in years 3 and 5 this year. MyPAL provides a ‘dashboard’ for you all to evaluate their own assessments and feedback.

I look forward to seeing you all at the Graduation ball and on Graduation day – in the meantime do please fill in the NSS form!

Paul M Stewart, Dean of Medicine

Pages in this document

  1. To all our 5th years - a big thank you and a bigger request!
  2. Antimicrobial resistance – action needed now
  3. Brexit …. “primum non nocere” - March 2016
  4. What do I do when I qualify? General Practice, Generalism and Specialism - December 2015
  5. Coping with change - October 2015
  6. Exams, Drones and Hannah’s sweets - June 2015
  7. The added joys of life @ Leeds Medical School - March 2015
  8. The Year of the Sheep - February 2015
  9. Urgent message from the Dean - January 2015
  10. Turing, War of the Worlds and Christmas! - December 2014
  11. A face-lift for Worsley – the home of the Medical & Dental Schools at The University of Leeds - October 2014
  12. Graduation and Student to Alumnus – we wont forget each other - July 2014
  13. Historical nuggets - June 2014
  14. Inaugural Lecture Series - March 2014
  15. Apples, Jobs and Private Medical Schools - February 2014
  16. Home for Christmas? - December 2013
  17. Greenaway, Lifestyle and the Ashes - November 2013
  18. Leeds and Leadership, October 2013
  19. Welcome from the Dean