Silos of work are a reality in virtually every large organisation and invariably create duplicated workloads, inefficiencies, and in some cases a sense of ‘tribalism’ which risks the integrity and effectiveness of teams . As simulation-based education gains traction and momentum as a teaching approach across Scotland and the UK, silos of work have emerged and risk the effectiveness and efficiency of programme delivery. Our aim was to create an effective simulation user network across the 14 Health Boards of Scotland to eliminate silos and create a collaboration of work across the country.
Thanks to an investment from NHS Education for Scotland (NES), insight from the NHS Scotland Academy, and the expertise of the Clinical Skills Managed Education Network (CSMEN), a team of regional Senior Educators were recruited to create a functional regional and national collaborative for simulation in Scotland. The story here is how the team have come together and the lessons learned in networking, negotiating, and establishing a new and growing sense of collegiately across the country. Starting in the East of Scotland, a questionnaire was designed and delivered across simulation teams and stakeholders across four Health Boards. The data collected was used to feed discussion at an East Scotland Simulation Collaborative scoping meeting which was attended by representatives of all four Health Boards and included medics, nurses, physiotherapists, and pharmacist teams delivering simulation to both undergraduate and postgraduate teams.
An East Scotland Simulation Collaborative has been formally established with its inaugural meeting in Autumn 2023. An online space has been established to promote communication and the sharing of resources, and both a quarterly meeting and annual faculty development day designed for the group. Discussions are now ongoing for the development of an East Scotland Simulation Research group to develop new opportunities to conduct multisite studies for the first time. From a national perspective, North and West Scotland Simulation Collaborative groups are now in their formation stages.
Like weeds in a garden, silos of work will grow all by itself. Like roses in a garden, an effective network takes both time and tending, but the investment pays dividends.
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