GP educators honoured for supporting failing GP trainees to pass the CSA

Two GP educators have received the RCGP Paul Freeling award for their work to help failing GP trainees pass the Clinical Skills Assessment of the MRCGP exam.

Pictured (l-r): Dr Anne Hawkridge, Dr Bob Kirk, Dr David Molyneux
Pictured (l-r): Dr Anne Hawkridge, Dr Bob Kirk, Dr David Molyneux

RCGP examiners Dr Anne Hawkridge and Dr David Molyneux developed a support programme for re-sit candidates in Health Education England’s North West region (HEENW), offering personal analysis of their educational needs and a blend of face-to-face and online learning.

Pass rates for trainees retaking the CSA for the third or fourth time have since reached 73% for international medical graduates and 89% for UK graduates, compared to similar national cohorts achieving rates of 43% and 58% respectively.*

The award was presented at the May 2019 RCGP Annual Spring meeting in London. Deputy Dean for HEENW Dr Bob Kirk said: ‘Anne and David have led a highly effective and valued programme for our trainees, co-authoring a raft of resources and training a group of educators to support trainers and trainees. Careful evaluation and reappraisal of the work has resulted in excellent outcomes.’

The CSA consists of 13 ten-minute simulated patient cases selected from the RCGP curriculum, each marked by a different examiner. Most trainees pass in the final year of GP training and those who do not must apply for additional training time, which usually lasts 6-12 months and involves a change of training practice.

GP trainees retained for local workforce

The HEENW programme avoided 12 GP trainees from requiring additional training time last year, which is expensive and delays their transition into the local workforce. Publication of the results in Education for Primary Care has also attracted interest from other medical royal colleges, and the GMC has cited the programme as an exemplar.

Dr Hawkridge said: ‘We are delighted to receive recognition from the RCGP on behalf of our CSA programme educators, our trainers and trainees, all of whom have used the resources so successfully.

‘It is very exciting to now be working with two other regions wishing to reproduce the programme across their own training communities. This has been made possible by the online hosting of the CSA toolkit by appraisal toolkit providers FourteenFish.

‘We are also thrilled that our region has benefitted from extra trainees joining our local GP workforce. Without the programme, it is likely that this group of trainees would have reached the maximum four attempts allowed and risked being lost from our specialty.’

*MRCGP Annual Report, 2016-2108

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