East Midlands mentoring exists to embed a sustainable culture of mentoring in the East Midlands healthcare system by:
• Offering high-quality training courses in mentoring to members of the healthcare community, with the intention of increasing significantly the numbers of trained mentors available to the healthcare workforce.
• Offering refresher courses to keep our trained mentors up-to-date.
• Providing the healthcare workforce with an online database of mentors who have completed the accredited training course.
• Providing online mentoring resources for mentors and trainee mentors.
Our innovation advisor, Dr Gordon French, leads on mentoring within the Health Education East Midlands and has a long background and strong commitment to mentoring as well as being an Anaesthetist by clinical profession. Dr French has been deeply involved in the design and delivery of the mentoring programme, as well as maintaining and building the mentoring services’ reputation.
Why is this important to the HEEM?Mentoring is possibly the most cost-effective method of developing talent within an organisation and has been shown to improve retention, increase motivation and reduce stress.Most successful companies regard mentoring as a fundamental part of their culture and many health organisations are waking up to this fact and developing mentoring schemes for their employees. However, we must be precise in defining what we mean by mentoring as it is often used to describe many different processes.
In short, it is about self-development. It is a powerful way of encouraging individuals to move things forward by taking ownership of the solution to a situation; it is about developing opportunities as well as solving problems. East Midlands Mentoring aims to embed a culture of mentoring as good practice in healthcare.
Benefits to patients and serviceImproving Working Lives for Doctors, published by the Department of Health in 2004, is a study commissioned by the Doctors’ Forum. It suggests that the benefits of mentoring can be felt by doctors at all stages in their career, from medical students to newly appointed consultants. Of course, this is not just true for doctors, but for anyone working in healthcare.
The report concluded that those surveyed appreciated the value of:
- having someone to go to who makes you feel you were being well listened to;
- being able to address problems and dilemmas in a risk free environment;
- dealing with real problems during mentoring development programmes;
- the action orientation of mentoring – finding ways of addressing real problems; and
- seeing another’s point of view and the ability to challenge one-sided views.
More specifically, doctors reported benefits relating to:
- Regained confidence and job satisfaction;
- Improved working relationships;
- Enhanced problem solving;
- Increased sense of collegiality; and
- Making career choices.
Productivity and impactSince 2004 the East Midlands Mentoring programme has developed and been delivering a tailored ‘Mentoring in Healthcare Organisations’ programme across the East Midlands. To date the service has organised 16 courses, training 280 mentors across the region. Our mentor network consists of Primary Care, Secondary Care clinicians as well as medical students from Nottingham and Leicester Medical School.
The service has trained mentors available to deliver the programme and access to a wide network of trained facilitators and simulated mentees. As well as a providing a well-developed and enhanced mentor training programme the service has a strong regional and national reputation.