Monthly ArchiveJune 2014

Right Skills, Right Team, Right Now: Agents for Change 2014

BMJ Quality No Comments

Dr Marc Wittenberg

Dr Marc Wittenberg

It’s just under a month to go until the Agents for Change 2014 conference [], the biggest national medical event for trainee doctors, by trainee doctors, and it’s being held on 26-27 June at BMA House in London.

This year, the theme is ‘Right Skills, Right Team, Right Now’. What does that mean? It means equipping trainee doctors with the capacity and capability to make healthcare better. This might be quite a grand statement but as Sir Bruce noted in his report on the 14 hospitals, “trainee doctors are our most powerful agents for change.”

For me, this means that there is an expectation from the system, and particular from patients, that trainee doctors need to step up and make change happen to secure the future of high quality healthcare. This means constantly questioning the norms, not accepting the status quo, and making the business of quality improvement part of our daily work.

Many trainee doctors are already doing fantastic work around the country, working above and beyond to improve patient care. It is worth taking a look at  the open-access BMJ Quality Improvement Reports journal to be inspired and get ideas:

Improving the accessibility of trust guidelines for juniors doctors

Instituting a block room for regional anaesthesia 

Signposting GP trainees to learning opportunities

Agents for Change is In its 6th year now. This will be the first two day event and will include video and poster entries, both of which will be published in a special BMJ QIR supplement. All delegates will also get free access to BMJ Quality, which will enable them to undertake QI projects and submit their own work for publication.

We also have key-note speakers by top medical leaders including Dr Fi Godlee, editor-in-chief of the BMJ, Sir Bruce Keogh, medical director of NHS England, Professor Ian Cummings, CEO of Health Education England, Sir Mike Richards, Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Mahmood Adil, professor of value-based healthcare at Department of Health, and Dr Jennifer Dixon, CEO of the Health Foundation.

In addition, we are delighted to welcome world-renowned speakers from the US and Ireland: Dr James K Stoller will give a perspective from the Cleveland Clinic, one of the most reputable institutions in the world, and Margaret Murphy will offer a deeply moving and personal view of patient safety as one of the WHO’s patient safety envoys.

The Strategic Advisory Board, made up of fellows from the National Medical Director’s Clinical Fellow Scheme, together with BMJ colleagues are working hard putting the finishing touches to the programme, sorting last minute logistics, and compiling the abstract supplements, amongst other things. This is all to ensure that the conference is the best that it has ever been.

We hope that by attending the conference, trainee doctors will be inspired to go back to their workplaces and put this into reality. Through a series of expert workshops, delegates will acquire some of the skills and connections that they need. For example:

Getting the Right Skills in leadership, human factors, influencing others and coaching
Building the Right Team through networking with HEE, FMLM, DAPS and
Being inspired to start Right Now with the NHS Change Day team and Inspire Improvement project team

To paraphrase Don Berwick, doctors need to both do their jobs and also work to improve their jobs by improving the systems they are working in. In order to do this, and to be taken seriously, we need to have the ability and the confidence to make change happen.

Places are going fast, so register today at then follow us @agents4c and on