The first contact I had with my mentor, Professor Steve Field, was through his personal assistant. She got in touch with me via email to arrange for me and Steve to meet. As luck would have it, I had a day off on the day Steve was chairing the national panel for the general practice branch of the care quality commission. Therefore I was invited to attend, and observe the proceedings of the day.
It was quite daunting stepping out of the campus bubble and into the cooperate world, especially to meet such a high profile individual. When I arrived at the CQCs Birmingham offices, I was introduced to Steve and the rest of the panel, all of whom were thoroughly welcoming. After a short briefing of the structure of the meeting, the first conference call began. We spent the majority of the day going through inspection reports with their publishing inspectors, and then the panel discussed if any amendments needed to be made regarding either the content, or ratings within the report.
It was a side of clinical medicine to which I was completely oblivious to. Nevertheless, it was reassuring to see the core values of the NHS being upheld through the inspection programme, ensuring general practices are providing first class patient care.
When the panel had finished discussing the final report, it was around 4:00pm. So before we travelled back to the University for Steve’s evening guest lecture, we had some time to discuss the role of the CQC and the part that Steve plays within the organisation; a real informing conversation.
For me, one of the most useful parts of the day was actually on the car journey from central Birmingham to the medical school at UoB. It gave me and Steve chance to discuss my career aspirations and how I would reach them. Given Steve’s extensive experience in medical education and the health care sector, it wasn’t surprising the wealth of knowledge he had to offer; advice I would not have received without being part of the ALMP.
To round off the day, Steve gave a lecture in the medical school on his path to medical leadership and the role of the CQC in today’s health service. His passion for encouraging young talent to prosper in order to provide the medical leaders of the future is infectious, and I have definitely caught the bug.
I’m excited to see what the rest of the year holds for my ALMP experience, but I am certain there are more valuable experience to come.
3rd Year Medical Science Student
University of Birmingham