High-tech way of tracking doctors’ career development

Oxleas Medical Director, Dr Ify Okocha, and SARD's Director of Sales and Marketing, Phil Bottle.
Oxleas Medical Director, Dr Ify Okocha, and SARD's Director of Sales and Marketing, Phil Bottle.

Oxleas has developed a new cutting-edge, high-tech, system to record the knowledge skills and performance of all trust doctors.

What makes this new way of keeping tabs on the progress of doctors unusual is that Oxleas owns a majority 51% share in the company behind the development - SARD JV (Strengthened Appraisal & Revalidation Database). The JV stands for joint venture, one of only very few of this nature involving a foundation trust and the private sector. Revalidation is the process by which the General Medical Council confirms the continuation of a doctor's licence to practice in the UK.

The plan is that SARD - basically a very clever, intuitive piece of software designed to keep track of doctors' training and career development will be sold to other trusts, earning a profit for Oxleas that can be ploughed back into patient services. It has already been bought by one other NHS foundation trust in London.

At a presentation to representatives of other trusts recently at Memorial Hospital, Shooters Hill, Oxleas' Medical Director, Dr Ify Okocha, praised SARD. He said: "It is a simple and cost effective solution to appraisal and revalidation. It has been designed by doctors for doctors."

SARD Director of Sales and Marketing, Phil Bottle, has been seconded to SARD from his role as Head of Learning & Development at Oxleas. He said: "One of the key elements of this system is that it is flexible and highly configurable. What makes it different to other similar products is that it has been built by an NHS foundation trust (Oxleas).

"As soon as a doctor signs into the system they are connected with their own ‘dashboard', which shows them exactly where they stand. They find it much easier and quicker to use than other systems. Basically it is an off the shelf product that is bespoke."

Director of Finance Ben Travis said: "Not only is this an innovative move by the trust that will save doctors and Oxleas time and money, it will we hope in the future boost trust finances which can be reinvested into our services, maintaining the high levels of quality our service users expect."

Dr Okocha again: "We've already introduced SARD to our doctors and by the end of the next calendar year 85% of them will be using it."

Oxleas was dissatisfied with the alternatives, and it was decided to create something home grown that did exactly what a trust requires. The developers are so proud of the outcome that they want to share the knowledge and in the process any profits will be reinvested back into the NHS.

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Published on 31st July 2012