Thank you for coming to this page. Ward is not just something that is done. It is an ideal. An ethos that is attempting to change the culture amongst junior doctors. We want to move away from the current often toxic environment where juniors are in competition with each other, do not look out for each other and are told "feel free to cope".
Medicine can be extremely rewarding but it can be very hard as well. Thats why as a WARD doctor you're not just signing up to provide peer mentoring or run a workshop.
You're signing up to a set of principles.
We would love all WARD doctors to
- Look out for your colleagues
- Be kind
- Stop and ask twice
- Be helpful
What is WARD?
WARD comprises of three main elements:
1. A wellbeing teaching curriculum - currently for foundation doctors. This covers what we feel are essential topics for junior doctor wellbeing. Examples include - Sleep, Nights and Fatigue, Physical Health, Safely Reflecting and Dealing with complaints (on a personal level)
2. An Advisor role. As senior trainees (ST3+), you will have a wealth of experience to draw on that could help a more junior colleague in their times of need. As WARD advisors you would receive training on mentoring and coaching (with certificates) and be an initial point of contact for your colleagues who need help and advice.
For example, as WARD advisors you may be asked:
Do you know who is best to speak to about getting on an ALS course in this trust?
My consultant won’t let me exception report - who should I speak to about this?
Something horrible happened on the ward and i’m struggling to continue working - what do I do?
These are real examples that were all signposted to to the right people/service to enable them to get the help they need. Without WARD being present, these worries may have gone unchecked and unheard for longer. This service is key to WARD - we’ve lost the traditional firm system but perhaps we can bring some of the good parts of that back.
3. Continuity across the deanery. With WARD operating in all the trusts in the deanery we can provide help and support under the one name. This ensure easy access to support services across the deanery especially when junior doctors can rotate between trusts so frequently. It also means that when WARD doctors rotate, then can easily plug in to the local team and continue the work they’ve been doing.
How can I get involved?
There is currently a very active WARD team at your Trust already. As part of the team you’d be expected to help:
1. Run 5-8 teaching sessions in your trusts foundation teaching
2. Advertise WARD wherever possible - we have posters, mugs, lanyards and pens.
3. Be available to provide support for all doctors that may need it - they can email or speak to you directly.
4. Do anything else you feel might be useful to improve the wellbeing of doctors in your trust. Organise social events, arrange drop in clinic style sessions, tai chi evenings etc etc - we can support with funding and contacts.
Although we are currently saying that the advisor role is for ST3 and above, those who are more junior can still help in organising the teaching, advertising WARD, helping keep your section of the website up to date etc etc and when you become ST3 and above you can then become an advisor yourselves.
There are a couple of core members of WARD that are running the project regionally who will be on hand to help.
What's in it for me?
There are a number of benefits to being a WARD doctor.
1. The satisfaction of having helped someone in need is wonderful!
2. We will be providing coaching and mentor training free of charge. (For all WARD doctors, not just advisors)
3. You will be helping something that is endorsed by the deanery, RCP, RCoA, AAGBI, HEE England, UK FPO and has national interest from the GMC, BMA, CQC and the government
4. We will soon be a charity and therefore you will in essence be working for a charity
5. We can provide documentation to verify your involvement in setting up WARD and being a WARD advisor - useful for your CV.
6. You will be helping create something that is a UK first - a wellbeing curriculum and an organised region wide peer support system.
7. Any research that we do will list you as a contributor unless you help author in which case you will be an author.
8. The regional network can help facilitate research ideas - let us know if you have any!
Thank you for reading this far.
If you’re in Severn and are interested please fill in the form below. If you are a GP, or in AWP/2gether, WARD is not currently operating in these places, but we are looking at ways we could expand into these areas, so please still get in touch!
If you're in Peninsula and interested then please fill in the form as well and we'll be in touch when we expand to Peninsula.
Looking forward to hearing from you