Barts-MS Clinical Training Fellowships

The Barts-MS training environment:

Barts-MS is one of six regional neuroscience centres in London that manages patients with MS. It is part of a network of 4 centres under the UCL Partnership. In total UCLP manages the care of over 10,000 people with MS. We are therefore one of the largest groups managing MS in the world. Our network provides secondary, tertiary and quaternary care for people with MS and have a large number of patients referred into our network from outside our regional referral base; this included international referrals. At Barts-MS we have five full-time neurologists, five MS clinical nurse specialists and other para-clinical staff dedicated to the management of MS.

Barts Health NHS Trust is an NHS Trust operating in the City of London and East London. It is part of UCL Partners. It is the largest NHS Trust in the UK and has five hospitals under its management; (1) Mile End Hospital, (2) Newham University Hospital, (3) The Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, (4) St Bartholomew's Hospital in Smithfield in the City and (5) Whipps Cross University Hospital.

The Barts-MS Fellowship Programme:

The Barts-MS clinical fellowship is a formal training programme where the clinical fellow will be exposed to a wide range of topics. The fellowship is hands-on in that all trainees are expected to see patients and get involved with clinical research and service development. Our training philosophy is that fellows should learn from seeing and discussing cases rather than attending didactic lectures and learning facts. In our opinion, case-based learning is far superior, and offers a deeper and richer learning experience, to theoretical or factual learning.

Our strengths at Barts-MS: 

(1) very active MS clinical trials unit and MS basic science research group, (2) formal training in data-basing and data analysis, (3) an active public and patient engagement programme (PPI), (4) early adopters of treat-2-target of NEDA, (5) regular MDT (multidisciplinary treatment) meetings, (6) regular MS preceptorships, (7) weekly neuroradiology teaching, (8) opportunity to get involved with clinical audit and clinical research, (8) expectation to get involved in MS service developments and improvements, (9) opportunity to publish original work, (10) formal evaluation programme.

Our weaknesses at Barts-MS: 

(1) we don't offer a formal University ratified diploma course in MS, (2) fellows have to speak and understand English, (3) fellows have to be GMC (General Medical Council) registered to physically see patients - if they are not GMC registered they can only observe, (4) and as we are based in London living expenses are higher than most other European cities.

What the clinical fellow will have to do as part of the fellowship?

  1. Attend one Barts-MS Preceptorship
  2. Attend weekly MS clinics and monitor patients on the MS infusion suite
  3. Perform one MS-related clinical audit around MS service provision
  4. Help assess patients with MS enrolled in clinical trials
  5. Attend the bimonthly MS multi-disciplinary team (MDT) meetings
  6. Attend weekly neuroradiology meetings
  7. Attend weekly grand rounds
  8. Attend weekly MS-related laboratory meetings and journal clubs
  9. Perform a small MS-related research project and write up the results
  10. Enrol in some of the following courses via our graduate training school (these courses are run by the University and attendees will get an official certificate of attendance):
  1. How to write a grant
  2. Basic and advanced medical statistics
  3. Presentation skills
  4. Medical ethics
  5. Good clinical practice (GCP) course
  1. Help Barts-MS with their PPI (public-patient involvement) programme
  1. Write and publish Barts-MS Blog posts
  2. Attend an annual UCLP MS Research day
  3. Attend UCLP MS roadshows (regular visits to our regional hospitals)
  4. Attend MS focus groups
  5. Attend Barts-MS Digesting Science courses; these are course to educate children of people with MS about the disease

At the end of the Barts-MS Fellowship the clinical fellow will have achieved the following:

  1. Have acquired theoretical knowledge about MS and its management; this knowledge base will include a large amount of both clinical and basic science
  2. How to set-up run and manage a multi-disciplinary MS service
  3. How to set-up perform and interpret a clinical audit and put in place a 360 degree loop to implement change and to then reassess its effectiveness
  4. How to do a clinical research project and write-up the results
  5. How to engage the public and people with MS using multiple formats (social media, meetings, focus groups, etc.)
  6. How to use innovative methods to manage MS, email, skype and group clinics
  7. How to write and implement an integrated care pathway for managing a particular clinical problem
  8. Generic skills to help him with their future career; (a) grant writing, (b) presentation skills, (c) medical statistics, (d) GCP, (e) medical ethics, (f) use of social media in clinical practice, (g) etc.
  9. Know how to do clinical data-basing and use the data in day-to-day clinical practice to perform audits and improve patient care
  10. How to manage MS actively by implementing treat-2-target of NEDA and adopting a holistic approach to the management of MS

Evaluation:

At the end of the fellowship the clinical fellow will be formally evaluated by their outputs:

  1. Audit report
  2. Publications
  3. Blog posts
  4. Case reports
  5. Care pathways
  6. Certificates of attendance of graduate training programs, Barts-MS Preceptorship, and other conferences and course

In addition, to the above the clinical fellow will be expected to complete a clinical diary to document the cases he has seen and what he has learnt from studying each case. The diary will be reviewed prior to completing the fellowship. The fellow will also be expected to complete a list of objectives and be encouraged to self-reflect on these.

Supervision:

The clinical fellow will have weekly or biweekly meetings with his/her supervisor(s) to make sure his/her fellowship training programme is running according to plan and to address any specific issues. The fellow will be expected to write an essay describing their fellowship and to reflect on the programme including its weaknesses and strengths. The essay will form the basis of an exit interview he will have with his/her supervisor(s); the aim of the interview is to improve the experiences of future fellows.

London:

London is one of the most vibrant, multi-cultural, creative and energetic cities in the world. We would expect the fellow to take full advantage of this unique opportunity to see and experience Greater London. Fellows will be encouraged to experience and learn about London and its history outside as part of their training.

If you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact us via bartsmsblog@gmail.com.   

 2.0, 13th March 2017