The first session after lunch was devoted to “Professional Issues; Surviving Clinical Concerns’. The RCS Invited Review process was explained – new to me – in which a surgical department can request an objective review of their practice in order to address issues such as patient safety or service delivery. This session was followed by a medical director, who spoke on the stresses of working in a struggling organisation. A questions and answer panel followed in which the small audience made for a fascinating discussion conducted under the Chatham House Rule i.e. attendees are asked not to reveal the identity of speakers when discussing issues after the event.
The day concluded with ‘Presenting Yourself; The Media Mine-Field’. The online world was specifically discussed with a PR consultant advising great care over what one should reveal on Facebook / Twitter etc. And finally Jane Garvey, presenter of Woman’s Hour, spoke entertainingly (with no notes) on how to handle the media. Her top tip was that just because they ask you, you don’t have to speak on the radio/ appear on television. “You can just say no.” The day was rounded off with canapés, champagne and a fashion show in the salon.
Overall, the day was a great experience. The delegates were very interested to hear about DSN and I was pleased to talk to most of the attendees during the breaks. I was delighted with the level of interest in this group of doctors and found it very encouraging that the college had invited us to contribute.