Updates - Lead NCHD

1. NCHD Newsletter

The 2021-2022 National Lead NCHD, Dr Caroline Herron, has decided to issue a newsletter to all NCHDs on a quarterly basis. The newsletter is issued by NDTP via the DIME platform as an email attachment. The purpose of the newsletter is to remind NCHDs of the resources and supports available to them whilst also showcasing quality improvement projects and providing a platform for the dissemination of good news stories from around the country. Dr Herron is always happy for NCHDs to contribute to the newsletter, please email your updates or articles to nl.nchd@hse.ie.

June-2022-NCHD-Newsletter.pdf (size 1.8 MB)

March-2022-NCHD-Newsletter.pdf (size 1.9 MB)

December-2021-NCHD-Newsletter.pdf (size 1.3 MB)

Sept-2021-NCHD-Newsletter.pdf (size 868.5 KB)

2. Educational Webinars

Leads from around the country come together for monthly webinars arranged by the National Lead NCHD. These are on a variety of themes and the leads can request speakers or topics to be covered.

The first speaker this year was Elaine Birkett, who is an organization development and change practitioner in the HSE. She spoke to us about the Change Guide and People and Culture Change. She provided knowledge about the ethos and methodologies of bringing about change in the workplace, which is often the sticking point for getting QI projects off the ground.


Here are the 2021-2022 Leads enjoying the session on Change Management via Zoom, September 2021

In October we held a virtual Schwartz Round. This was led by an excellent group of facilitators from the HSE’s National Quality Improvement team. The afternoon would not have been possible but for some of our leads who bravely and generously volunteered to tell stories to start the round. Schwartz Rounds deal with the emotional aspects of our work. The feedback from this session was overwhelmingly positive and I would encourage you all to seek out Schwartz Rounds wherever you work, more information is available at https://www.hse.ie/eng/about/who/qid/staff-engagement/schwartzrounds/

November's session was provided by the Active Bystander Training Company. Active Bystander Training is designed to help people to challenge poor behaviours they witness in the workplace. This includes bullying, intimidation, undermining or incivility. The session empowered us and give us a framework to challenge inappropriate behaviour.

The leads were joined by Professor Des O’Neill, Dr Niamh Humphries and Dr Grainne McNally for a webinar in December. The focus of that talk was on NCHD wellbeing. Professor O’Neill spoke eloquently about strategies to address unsupportive trainers. You can read more about that in his editorial for the Irish Medical Journal http://imj.ie/the-problem-trainer/. Dr Humphries has published extensively as part of the Hospital Doctor Retention and Motivation Project, https://www.rcpi.ie/hdrm/, she gave an excellent overview of her work on the experiences of hospital doctors during the pandemic.  Dr Grainne McNally is a specialist in Occupational Health Medicine and spoke about the challenges facing NCHDS around occupational health issues and where to seek support. She also outlined her research on the HEWE study, The HEalth and WElbeing effects of a disciplinary process on doctors in Ireland.

February saw us prepare for interview season with an excellent session on interview skills from Jo Irwin of i4 training. Jo hosted an interactive session where all the leads got an opportunity to work on selling themselves in an interview and learned tips, tricks and techniques to answer any question thrown at them!

March’s session was led by Dr Scheryll Alken who is Ireland’s first Consultant in Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Cancer based at Children’s Health Ireland, Crumlin and St James’s Hospital. Dr Alken spoke about the transition from trainee to consultant and gave invaluable tips and tricks for the first year of consultant practice. She covered the consultant appointment process, contracts, and how to arrange your schedule as a newly appointed consultant.

In April we were joined by Mr Stephen Boyle. Stephen Boyle is a negotiation trainer and lecturer at UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School's MBA programmes. He is also the Programme Director of UCD Michael Smurfit Executive Development: Winning Negotiation Strategies short course and Diploma in Advanced Management Performance programme. Stephen spoke through negotiation strategies with the group and gave useful tips and tricks on how to negotiate effectively in the workplace.

Our last session of the year will be held in May and will be on burnout in Medicine.

3. Increasing Awareness of NDTP’s work

In October, Dr Kinirons and Dr Herron were invited to speak at the Saolta group medical grand rounds. They gave a comprehensive overview of the many facets of NDTPs work. Dr Herron detailed the Lead NCHD programme, from inception to current status. She also spoke about the role of leads, their duties and responsibilities and the benefits of taking on the position. The second part of Dr Herron’s talk focused on her role as National Lead NCHD. She discussed her responsibility to oversee and embed the Lead Programme along with representing all NCHDs at a senior level in the HSE.

Dr Kinirons and Dr Herron have also spoken at Grand Rounds for the Ireland East Hospital Group, Tallaght University Hospital, Beaumont Hospital and CUH. They will speak at CHI’s grand rounds in May. These talks are important as both Dr Kinirons and Dr Herron try to raise the profile of NDTP and keep doctors informed of the work being done to invest in their education and training.

4. Lead QI Project Updates

UHL Careers Evening for NCHDs

The UHL Leads and their committee organized a careers evening for NCHDs entitled “How I became a consultant”. The event was sponsored by RCPI. Obstetric, Paediatric and Neonatal NCHDs were educated on career progression. Various presentations from peers covered how to navigate the various options available to achieve their goals. The event was aimed at both scheme and parallel training NCHDs and was by all accounts a wonderful evening.

The event was organised by Dr Jill Mitchell, Dr Orla Keenan, Dr Sean Kelleher & Muire Graham (RCPI Coordinator ULHG).


Dr Sean Kelleher SpR in Paediatrics and Dr Jill Mitchell SpR in Obs & Gynae


Dr Orla Keenan BST in Obs & Gynae


Dr Naro Imcha Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist UL Hospitals Group

In Situ Simulation Teaching: The Way Forward

A Simulation Teaching Programme was launched at South Tipperary University Hospital in September 2021. Dr. Shiraz Siddiq Ali tells us about his initiative.

After being appointed as the lead NCHD at South Tipperary University Hospital, I started to engage with the NCHDs in the hospital. Both formal and informal engagement showed that there was demand for more training and teaching.

‘You do not rise to the occasion in combat, you sink to the level of your training’ - Lt. Col. Dave Grassman, On Combat

With my experience of an in-situ simulation programme at the Mater University Hospital Emergency Department, I knew that Simulation is an exciting and modern way to train, especially with multidisciplinary engagement. This idea was approved and supported by the consultant body. In collaboration with our hospital resuscitation officer, we successfully launched this programme.

We do a Simulation session once a week. Each medical team e.g., Endocrine, Respiratory, Cardiology etc. participates based on the Simulation rota prepared. All members of the specialty team i.e., SpR, Registrar, SHOs and Interns are relieved of their duties to participate in a one-hour long session. The session comprises of pre-brief, clinical scenario, debrief and reflections. In addition to clinical knowledge, emphasis is on the use of available resuscitation equipment and skills including defibrillation, external pacing etc. These sessions are run by myself and our resuscitation officer.

The response from NCHDs across the hospital has been extremely positive. ‘I would not have been able to manage a difficult cardiac arrest on the ward if I had not done this session last week’ said one of the SpRs. ‘We should have these sessions every day’ was the feedback from one of our senior registrars.

These sessions are helpful in developing not only clinical skills but also leadership and human factors. This is providing a safe environment for the doctors to make mistakes and learn when put in simulated high-pressure situations.

We are now working towards involving surgical specialties, emergency medicine and our nursing colleagues to make it truly multidisciplinary. I hope that with the success of this programme, we will be able to inspire other hospitals nationally to adopt this model and make in-situ simulation teaching an integral part of their teaching programmes.


Dr. Shiraz Siddiq Ali and colleagues in South Tipperary University Hospital, undertaking simulation based training

Archived Updates

Quarter 3, 2019 NCHD Update

Quarter 1, 2019 NCHD Update


Quarter 4, 2018 NCHD Update

Quarter 1, 2018 NCHD Update

Quarter 3, 2017 NCHD Update

Quarter 1, 2017 NCHD Update

Lead NCHD Updates

August 2017 Lead NCHD Update

April 2017 Lead NCHD Update

February 2017 NCHD Update

December 2016 Lead NCHD Update

November 2016 Lead NCHD Update

October 2016 Lead NCHD Update

September 2016 Lead NCHD Update

August 2016 Lead NCHD Update