Vitals Global Healthcare is proud to be teaming up with the European Academy of Teachers in General Practice/Family Medicine (EURACT), in bringing to Malta an international Level 3 Expert Training Course for general practice (GP) Trainers.  This course will be held over two parts, with the first part to be hosted in Malta this weekend and will include participants from different countries around Europe, namely Slovenia, Greece, Sweden, Denmark, Russia, Romania, Macedonia, and Israel, bringing a good mix of cultures and experiences into play.

The importance of education and training throughout a professionals’ career has long been understood to be essential to many professions, but all the more important in the medical and scientific field, with the quick paced development of knowledge and technology. That said, much of this life-long learning comes out of pocket to many professionals, which often holds people back from pursuing it.

At VGH, we believe that an integrated health system can only run to high standards if it’s people are engaged. This is why we are not only working to increase the staff complement across our hospitals, but to also to find ways of helping our professions develop further skill sets and to keep abreast with all the latest developments.

This commitment is enshrined in a holistic 360-degree vision for healthcare.  In fact, VGH is supporting healthcare education at various levels.  It has partnered with Northumbria University and MCAST to provide a free nursing degree programme in Malta that will result in the achievement of a Bachelor Degree in Nursing Studies, and to this end is also building a state-of-the art nurse skilling facility at the St Luke’s medical site.  We have teamed up with Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry to see Gozo General Hospital become a teaching facility, where students can learn, and clinicians can teach; and we have partnered with Partners HealthCare International who are regularly welcoming Maltese clinicians in Boston, to teach and mentor, and develop new healthcare pathways that better our service offering in Malta.

But while strong teams at our hospitals are of the utmost importance, so are General Practitioners and other professionals working in the community. Our hospital system can only operate well if the patient’s first point of contact in the community is also of a high quality.  In Malta, we are blessed with the fact that we have excellent GPs and professionals working within the community setting.  VGH is intent on providing support to our community professionals in their path of professional development, where ultimately this will result in high quality patient care.  This is part of VGH’s vison of an integrated care continuum.

EURACT has been providing teaching courses for several years and developed the Level 1, 2 and 3 courses for trainers in Family Medicine.  For several years, the organisation has worked on a framework to guide the development of GP and family medicine educators and set the basic standards for training the trainers at different levels.  This framework is intended to provide a sustainable background for the harmonization of GP and family medicine training throughout Europe.

The level 3 programme is designed to help develop proficient educators to the level of educational experts, with the capability of developing their own educational expertise and providing skills training for future GP teachers.  Those who progress to this highest level will be tasked with maintaining a European teaching skills programme, and ensuring that it is cascaded beyond the original partner organizations to other European countries.  The methods used in this project will promote a common European approach and a harmonised delivery of the GP training curriculum.

During the programme, participants will work with their peers from other European countries and gain an understanding of the advantages of such a common European approach.  Programme members will need the support of an academic institution and will need to have an identified educational supervisor.

The first Level 3 course was held in Portugal between December 2011 and June 2012, and so this will now be the second Level 3 course to be organised.  The first part of the course will be held in Malta on the 14th October 2017, while the second part will be held in Thessaloniki, Greece on the 29th and 30th June 2018.

The level 3 programme is structured in the same way as a Masters module, with most of the time spent in self-directed study, and three days of course work spread over two sessions that are separated by several months.  At the end of the course, participants will be expected to deliver an educational intervention in their country and publish a paper on their educational intervention.

Vitals Global Healthcare is now a main sponsor in offering the opportunity for family doctors to further their knowledge in family medicine training and thus help in the further development of family medicine.  Integrated care must have its foundations built on a strong high-quality, timely, patient-focused, and accessible community care setup.  VGH will always be at the forefront to provide top notch high quality integrated care to the population and investing in continued professional development of our community professionals.

 

Dr Renzo Degabriele

Director Integrated Care