A scheme which brings first-year emergency medicine students from Nepal to Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals (DBTH), to participate in two years of study and practise, has been nominated for a pair of Health Service Journal (HSJ) awards.
Quality Improvement Medical Education and Training (QiMET) was established by Dr Prakash Subedi, Dr Naushad Khan and Dr Jill Aylott, with the goal of addressing current workforce gaps within the medical profession by creating an international rotational educational system, for the benefit of all participating organisations and countries.
In simple terms, QiMET currently takes doctors in training from the Chitwan Medical College in Nepal, and, after preparatory work, places them within clinical posts at Doncaster Royal Infirmary and Bassetlaw Hospital. The students train for two years in the UK, gaining experience within a number of medical specialities and disciplines, before returning to Nepal to complete their studies. In early February, the first six students were placed at DBTH.
In 2019, figures showed that the NHS was experiencing a shortfall of both doctors and nurses. With increased demand and an aging population, health systems such as the UK’s often look internationally to recruit much needed health professionals, many of whom often settle and choose to remain in the country.
Introducing its concept of ‘Brain Share’, QiMET seeks to provide a mutually beneficial system in which the NHS can benefit from the expertise of international health professionals for a number of years, before they return home to care for patients, with the cycle starting anew with each cohort of students.
Dr Prakash Subedi, Consultant in Emergency Medicine, said: “Globally, we are seeing a shortage of health professionals, an issue which is often exacerbated by certain recruitment practises. With QiMET, we want to create a rotational system which supports communities across the world. Candidates within our programmes benefit from the education offered via their placements, which they will then be able to put to good use when they return back to their country of origin.”
In order to obtain formal and recognised qualifications, trainees with QiMET are enrolled within a Hybrid International Emergency Medicine (HIEM) programme. Once completed, this structured four year educational pathway provides accreditation and membership for the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, as well as a fellowship in Quality Improvement (FQiM), enabling the students to practise medicine across the world.
Overseen by consultants Dr Subedi and Dr Khan, currently six students have been successfully placed at Doncaster Royal Infirmary by QiMET and are now within their second year of the HIEM programme. Before coming to the UK, the medics undertook training within emergency medicine, intensive care and treatment and anaesthesia, as well as successfully completed an Occupational English Test in order to successfully integrate within their new clinical settings.
Dr Naushad Khan, Consultant in Emergency Medicine, said: “We think this scheme has a significant amount of potential and it is our ambition to grow in the coming years, placing students across the world. It is our ambition to reduce instances of ‘brain drain’, and instead ensure that our concept our ‘Brain Share’ is something that is internationally recognised in the not too distant future.”
In addition to the potential benefit for patients, QiMET also offers significant financial savings for participant hospitals. Although an early adopter DBTH expects to save around £200,000 per student throughout their placement, as the Trust will be less reliant on locum and short-term cover to address workforce gaps.
Richard Parker OBE, Chief Executive at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals, said: “First of all, I want to congratulate our colleagues within QiMET and wish them the very best of luck. This programme of work is extremely exciting and, if successful, could have a profound effect on how we educate clinicians, not just in the UK and Nepal, but globally. The hard work of Dr Subedi and Dr Khan to bring this scheme to Doncaster and Bassetlaw cannot be overstated and as a Trust we are proud to regulate the UK arm of QiMET and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for this ground-breaking partnership.”
Both QiMET and HIEM have been nominated for two HSJ’s Value Awards – these categories are ‘Operations and Performance Initiative of the Year’ and ‘Specialist Service Redesign Initiative’ with the winners to be announced in late May.
Within the UK, QiMET is based at, operates from and is regulated by Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals.