We are keen to help doctors develop new clinical skills and sub-specialisation – including training attachments elsewhere if required. We are also enthusiastic about supporting doctors to develop and take on non-clinical roles such as patient safety, training of both graduates & students (based in our very modern education centre), management roles, and a number of leadership roles for which training and study support can be given.
We have had a number of doctors take on national roles in important initiatives – such as person centred care and mental health projects, and would support doctors to take on these roles.
Service developments can and have been taken forward by collaborating with managers to develop business cases for prioritisation of service developments – but because we have a balanced financial situation, we have been able to take most business cases for new services/equipment forward much more promptly than would be the case in larger hospitals.
Overall we aim to allow doctors to feel supported in developing new services or skills so that the posts can be richly rewarding, and allow individuals to grow throughout their career.
We have a very active tradition of research, producing far more than would be expected from a small healthboard. Currently there are more than 150 research projects on the go, ranging from region wide research into HPV urine testing as an alternative to cervical smear tests covering the entire population, to small thesis work to support PhD and MSC degrees.
Of the studies currently underway, 20 are international, 96 are associated with major charities and institutions, and 59 are associated with universities. A further 15 await approval. The research unit has excellent links with the Chief Scientist Office, the pharmaceutical industry and our local university – the Dumfries campus of the University of Glasgow.
Large scale collaborative studies involving multiple sites are underway, and for individuals there are a range of local supports: e.g. IT packages, data management & statistics support, mentoring, applications for ethical approval, research nurses support etc. And best of all is the regular Research Department Evening where a small number of researchers present their findings in 20 minutes each to an audience – up to 120 people will turn up for these meetings – a measure of their success and breadth of appeal.