Top medical experts serving people of Hartlepool honoured for their inspirational work

Professor Jane Metcalf
Professor Jane Metcalf

Two top medical experts serving the people of Hartlepool have been named as among the most inspirational in the country.

Professor Jane Metcalf and Dr Christopher Wells, both consultants at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, are two of eight physicians named in the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh’s prestigious ‘Inspiring Physicians from 2018’ list.

Dr Christopher Wells

Dr Christopher Wells

The college celebrates physicians from up and down the country who have inspired others through their work and commitment to medicine.

Medical Director at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, Deepak Dwarakanath said: “This is a fantastic accolade for both Professor Metcalf and Dr Wells – I work alongside them both every day and I absolutely agree that they are an inspiration to both patients and staff alike.

"They are both truly committed to their area of specialism and ensuring that patients get the very best treatment at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust.”

Professor Jane Metcalf, deputy medical director and consultant gastroenterologist at the Trust, was recognised for developing a programme enabling qualified overseas doctors to best take up posts in the NHS.

The programme includes identifying learning needs through the assessment of clinical skills, a targeted training programme including communication skills, ethical and management frameworks in the NHS and career advice.

They are also offered on-going support through buddying, enhanced educational supervision and the opportunity to attend social events to welcome and promote integration.

The programme has been used in the Trust for five years and Jane has shared best practice across the North East and Cumbria to enable other organisations to implement a similar programme.

The research has been published in Medical Education and was awarded best research paper at the Association of Medical Education in Europe 2016. The research evaluation led to the development of a framework which is now being used to inform the GMCs work in this area.

Professor Metcalf has gone on to develop a programme to support refugee health care professionals back into practice working with the local Deanery and a charity.

The third cohort has now started, bringing the total to 37, 33 of whom are doctors and four are pharmacists.

They each have a clinical mentor and support with passing IELTS, then tailored clinical attachments with simulation, clinical and communication training and an external programme of speakers from the GMC, BMA and others. Finally, they are supported in applying for jobs – three have been successful and are now in post at the Trust.

Professor Metcalf said: “I am delighted to have been named as a top Inspiring Physician in the RCPE’s prestigious list. I am truly passionate about the Overseas Programme and ensuring that we make the most of medical talent in our country, where ever it originates from. I just hope that colleagues up and down the country read my story and get in touch so we can implement it at a national level.”

Dr Christopher Wells, consultant gastroenterologis at the Trust, was honoured for being universally valued and respected by his patients due to his excellent communication skills, his genuine compassion and his commitment to lifelong learning through his inquisitive mind and reflective practice.

The college said he is a hugely supportive colleague, the ‘go to’ person for second opinions and a sounding board for his colleagues.

He was cited as being "enormously supportive" of junior medical and other colleagues, identifying and addressing training issues in a supportive but challenging manner, always striving to improve patient and colleague experience.

Known as an excellent interventional endoscopist, Dr Wells regularly trains on local and national colonoscopy courses with the highest positive feedback from participants.

He seeks out and instigates service improvements as part of his normal working practices, for example seeking and listening to feedback to help implement an appointment system, ensuring the families of ward patients have easy access to doctors to receive updates about their loved ones health.

He said: "To have been recognised for the level of respect I have gained from my patients as well as my colleagues is truly overwhelming. I have a real passion for my area of work and identifying areas for improvement so that I can continue to deliver the highest level of care for my patients.

"To have been acknowledged by the RCPE is an honour.”