Northwick Park consultant psychiatrist awarded Educator of the Year after increasing number of junior doctors

Dr Alex Thompson. Picture: CNWLNHS

Dr Alex Thompson. Picture: CNWLNHS - Credit: Archant

A consultant psychiatrist at Northwick Park Hospital who turned his area into a popular training option for junior doctors with his nurturing style has been recognised at industry awards.

Dr Alex Thomson has been named as the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ Psychiatric Educator of the Year at its annual awards event.

Junior doctors have to undertake six-month rotations in different departments as part of their training.

Dr Thomson has ensured that the hospital in Harrow Road and Harrow Community Mental Health Services are consistently filled “first choice” placements for local trainees.

He has won the support of consultant supervisor colleagues, attended to out of hours working patterns, improved induction and the academic programme.

His achievements in clinical education include developing a national ‘e-Learning for Health’ multi-professional training module on emergency department psychiatry, and developing and editing online training materials, for a “paper-free” induction programme, with trainee-created materials constantly accessible on their smartphones via the Dr Toolbox app.

This has led to a growth in the number of local training posts in psychiatry.

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He is now developing the next generation of doctors through his support for foundation, core training, GP vocational training, and higher training in adult, old age and learning disability psychiatry.

“Receiving this award means a lot to me,” Dr Thomson said. “This represents the hard work and dedication of so many people who have supported, inspired and worked with me over my career. From my own supervisors and mentors, to colleagues, including clinical supervisors, postgraduate training staff, and all others who create a positive local environment for education, and the support from my wonderful family and friends.

“As well as thanking all of those who have supported me, above all I would like to thank the junior doctors who have chosen to work in this area, and the patients whom we serve. After all, the value of clinical education is to create a positive environment for delivering excellent care, to improve clinical outcomes and patient experience.”