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The role and importance of the BSE Echo Quality Framework in our echocardiography service

Published 14 May, 2024

At Xyla, our diagnostics leadership team includes echocardiographers, which enables us to understand the importance of maintaining knowledge and skillset within our field. Providing learning and development opportunities for our clinical team ensures the best patient care is received by the patients we interact with and is also a requirement for a CQC-registered service. CPD involves the processes of how you learn and develop through your career, ensuring that your skills and knowledge are up to date to practice safely.

I feel this is especially important within echocardiography, as the techniques, guidelines and technologies involved are constantly evolving. On an individual level, proof of CPD activity is a fundamental requirement for both HCPC registration as a healthcare scientist and for BSE re-accreditation. Therefore, to keep up with the latest advances, it is essential for staff to participate in a structured programme of CPD.

In my current position as training and development lead, my job role involves developing and implementing a programme of CPD for our substantive staff and bank workforce. The perception can sometimes be that when working outside of a substantive NHS role, you may end up sacrificing some of the aspects of career development and progression, as roles tend to be more focused on addressing the more urgent demands of service delivery. From my experience, staff working in this environment are highly motivated individuals with a desire to progress within all aspects of their career, such as leadership and management, as well as keeping up to date with their clinical skills. I feel it’s important to offer opportunities for staff to develop themselves, to feel valued within an organisation. Additionally, it is key for individuals to continuously develop their clinical skills and knowledge to ensure that the safety of patients is upheld, considering that this group of staff make up around 10% of the workforce offering patient care within the UK.

In current times of unprecedented demands on cardiology diagnostic services; long-term objectives (such as CPD) are often abandoned to address shortfalls in other areas of service delivery. At Xyla, we recognise the detrimental effect that this can have on the motivation, productivity and satisfaction of staff providing such services. One way that we have tried to protect against this is to allocate dedicated time for staff to continue their professional development and provide varied opportunities for growth. We are passionate about creating a culture of shared learning, through regular meetings and discussion amongst peers, as well as providing opportunities externally for staff to develop further skills and experiences. Using the EQF as a framework, here are some of the key things we carry out to maintain CPD activities within our organisation is to:

  • Organise quarterly training days involving staff presentations, clinical updates, and ‘interesting’ clinical case discussion
  • Provide free access to leadership and training modules via LinkedIn Learning
  • Circulating and summarising clinical updates with staff
  • Creating a shared training folder to access guidelines, documents, study protocols and key textbooks
  • Supporting the STP equivalency process
  • Keep records of CPD activities (including training certificates, patient feedback etc.) for professional registration
  • Supporting staff with study time and financial support to attend clinical courses/conferences
  • Sponsoring BSE membership for our permanent team
  • Training on advanced topics, such as vendor-specific strain imaging/3D
  • Supporting further training and development, such as post-graduate qualifications (e.g. MSc in Business and ILM training)
  • Creating a learning and sharing culture through regular discussion through team meetings
  • Developing an online training platform with clinical modules and bespoke training pathways in specific

I believe that the commitment to improving the experience of our staff and maintaining the best patient care is what ultimately makes Xyla stand out from its competitors in the field of echocardiography. We encourage and provide regular opportunities for staff to feedback about their development and the latest survey results revealed that our staff felt they had excellent training opportunities across the organisation.

Do you want to join our team of award-winning echocardiographers? If so, please get in touch with catherine.hewson@xylaservices.com

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