Northern Trust secures national contracts with its training innovation

North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust have developed a Critical Appraisal training module which has won contracts with several leading organisations.

The module teaches staff how to interpret medical and clinical research and has been snapped up by the British Medical Association, Health Education England and the British Medical Journal.

It allows individuals to better understand research data and identify good and bad health news as well as providing the skills to properly understand statistics used in clinical evidence. The course lead identified a need within the Trust for staff to develop this essential skill. Through an innovative approach, he developed the course which is open to individuals from across the country. Since it was launched, over 2000 students have completed the course.

The format of the course is facilitation; individuals are given pieces of research and assisted in their analysis. Following an introductory lecture, the facilitator asks students questions which they then find the answers for in the research article. The course facilitator provides them with techniques to interpret research. The courses also look at how someone should review their own research and appraise research quality.

The Trust is the first to hold national contracts for this specific training module. It fulfils a requirement for staff, especially doctors in training. The courses range from an introductory single day course, to multiple days for a more in depth look at understanding research in healthcare.

The course facilitator, John Blenkinsopp, Deputy Clinical Effectiveness Manager at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust said: “This course provides participants with a valuable skill that can be used across various disciplines, ultimately improving skills in how to read and appraise written research. Being able to offer this course at a national level is an excellent opportunity for the Trust and opens up avenues for further development in the future.”

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