NHS dentists are being encouraged to develop leadership skills by applying for a clinical leadership fellowship.
The national scheme is the only one designed for clinicians in all areas of the NHS across England.
It offers a chance to develop personal leadership skills, career, and contribution to improving patient care.
Dentist Mary Tomson, a specialist registrar in dental public health in the West Midlands, was awarded the fellowship this year.
Her service improvement project relates to the development of a more integrated model of dental commissioning in the Birmingham and Solihull PCT cluster with a view to creating a smoother link between primary and secondary care services.
As part of her Fellowship familiarisation activities, Mary spent some time with the dental policy team at the Department of Health offices at Skipton House in London where she shadowed CDO Barry Cockcroft for a day.
Mary said: ‘I am absolutely delighted to have been awarded a place on the Fellowship programme. We have received some excellent training already and have been given the opportunity to meet lots of interesting people.
‘I would encourage more dentists to apply for the Fellowship programme next year; many don’t realise how important their contribution to commissioning dental services will be when Local Professional Networks are up and running.’
Drawn from a wide range of clinical backgrounds, the 60 Fellows selected will be able to benefit from:
• High quality, on-the-job clinical leadership and management training, underpinned by sharing best practice
• Opportunities for bespoke leadership development linked to service improvements
• Multi-disciplinary and collaborative learning across regions involving all healthcare professional groups
• Designing a robust evaluation around improvements to the service alongside personal development that will provide the benchmark for future leadership programmes.
They are also working towards a postgraduate certificate in leadership and service improvement.
Applications close 7 June.
For more information, visit www.leadershipacademy.nhs.uk/fellowships2012.