SIGN health professionals in training group – who, what, why?

In 2009, SIGN Council established a subgroup to look at the needs of healthcare professionals in training and
ways in which SIGN could support these. The group exists to:

Current membership of the core group is:

John Kinsella Chair, SIGN
Lisa Conway SpR, Psychiatry, Forth Valley
Katherine Farquhar Undergraduate Medical Student, Glasgow
Aisha Ghaus Undergraduate Medical Student, Glasgow
Julie Gray GP ST1, Edinburgh
John McQueen Undergraduate dental student, Glasgow
Nora O’ Murchu StR Paediatric Dentistry, Glasgow
George Ramsay ST4 General Surgery, Aberdeen
Lydia Simpson StR Obs &Gyn
Eleanor Watson StR GI, Edinburgh
Ben Wiffen Trainee psychologist, Glasgow

With support from the SIGN Executive.

There are two main areas of current activity:

  1. helping healthcare professionals in training to acquire skills for audit, which is often an essential
    component of their educational contract
  2. working alongside NHS Education Scotland (NES) to provide educational modules within DOTS
    from 2011.

This work complements the priority recently given by SIGN to the dissemination and implementation of their
guidelines. It is hoped that making guidelines accessible and relevant to healthcare professionals in training
may facilitate this. We have, therefore, designed audit tools which may be helpful towards both objectives.

Survey of Health Professionals in Training awareness of SIGN

SIGN Guidelines and Audit – tools for junior medical staff

SIGN guidelines provide an ideal framework for audit. They define current evidence based practice, against
which local practice may be compared and measured. Practice can then be adjusted and re-audited to test for
improvement. Through implementation of PDSA methodology (Plan-Do-Study-Act), whereby small samples
of patients are audited frequently, practice may quickly be improved and compliance with the guideline
achieved. There is, therefore, potential benefit for both the healthcare professional in training, and their

Knowing where to start can be a problem, so we have devised a series of audit tools which should allow
interested individuals to audit their local practice.

A poster describing the work of the group was presented at SIGN’s 20th anniversary event on 4 November 2013 with the title “The SIGN Healthcare Professionals in Training (HPiT) Group: What, Who, Why?” All posters can be viewed online.



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