East of England Cancer Alliances have pioneered a unique MDT training programme which is believed to be the first of its kind in the country.

The course, 'Training in Excellence: in the functioning of Multi-Disciplinary Team meetings for MDT co-ordinators', is led by international expert trainers from London and Cambridge and facilitated by the University of Suffolk.

MDT co-ordinators play a crucial role in bridging the gap between the service provider and patients to enhance patient-centred care.

The East of England Cancer Alliances identified a gap in training and education for MDT co-ordinators and agreed to invest in this specialist workforce and offer training in the skills they require, for the benefit of cancer care in the region.

The training workbook has been reviewed by some of the most experienced cancer managers in the East of England Cancer Alliances to ensure that it is fit for purpose.

The training programme has been funded by Health Education England and will enable the Cancer Alliances to deliver six training programmes to 120 MDT co-ordinators across the region.

The programme is delivered over six study days. The sessions are delivered through a learning platform with a combination of facilitator led and self-directed workshops and activities. Each day includes time for reading, reflection and discussion.

The aims and outcomes for each day are: -

o Day 1 – Programme introduction and care coordination – principles, cancer awareness, useful terminology – Introduction to 'Action Learning' sets

o Day 2 – Advanced communication and coaching

o Day 3 – Multidisciplinary team working

o Day 4 – Multidisciplinary team working

o Day 5 – Building resilience

o Day 6 – Leading and influencing others

Ben LambAt the end of the training the participants will have a greater understanding of their role and responsibility within the MDT along with enhanced knowledge of self-efficacy tools which will help to build their confidence, competency and resilience.

The material has been led by Ben Lamb and Tayana Soukup. It was facilitated by Noreen Cushen-Brewster and Rachel Heathershaw from the University of Suffolk.

Benjamin Lamb is a consultant urologist at Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Ben is Urology Cancer Lead and Urology MDT Lead and specialises in the management of prostate and bladder cancers. Since starting his PhD in 2009 on decision making in cancer MDT meetings, Ben has worked with clinicians and scientists from around the UK and overseas on understanding and improving cancer MDTs.

Tanya.jpgTayana Soukup PhD, is a research scientist at the Centre for Implementation Science, King’s College London, UK. A psychologist by training, Tayana has completed a PhD on cancer MDT functioning and teamwork, has worked extensively in the field, and has published numerous papers on evaluating and improving MDTs. Tayana’s expertise includes evaluations of MDTs in real-time, video-based team analytic methods, psychometric development of tools for MDTs, team-based quality-improvements, and implementation science.

Together, they have more than twenty years of experience in studying MDTs, delivering MDT improvement, and training MDT members in the UK and overseas.


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