Midlands - Clinical Ambassadors

Robert Mark Temple

Consultant Physician and Nephrologist

Mark is a Consultant Physician and Nephrologist, University Hospitals Birmingham. He pioneered changes to acute medical services in the trust as Clinical Director of acute and general medicine and Associate Medical Director.

As acute care fellow, Royal College of Physicians (RCP), Mark commissioned and edited the acute care toolkit series (2011-14), chaired the hospital pathways work stream of the Future Hospital Commission and was appointed Future Hospital Officer to lead the RCP program implementing the commission’s recommendations. “Delivering the future hospital” was published in November 2017.

Mark is a champion for general internal medicine and a past president and trustee of the West Midlands physicians association. He is a former chair of the medical patient safety executive group (NHSE) and a member of the national patient safety response advisory group (NHSI). In 2017 Mark was associate editor of two issues of the Future Healthcare Journal which focussed on digital healthcare. In 2018 Mark was appointed to the clinical standards committee of NICE and clinical ambassador for the West Midlands for GIRFT.


Five minutes with… Dr Mark Temple

In this short interview, West Midlands clinical ambassador and consultant physician and nephrologist Dr Mark Temple shares his ambitions for GIRFT in the West Midlands and explains what attracted him to the role.

Q. Why did you join the GIRFT programme?

Mark: GIRFT really gets to the heart of delivering high quality clinical services. My role with the Future Hospital Programme at the RCP involved evaluating and improving the delivery of clinical care across a wide range of specialities. I felt GIRFT was an important national program that would build on the work I had done at the RCP.

Q. What is your role within GIRFT?

Mark: Perhaps unusually for the NHS, the role is quite accurately described by its title ‘clinical ambassador’. We act as champions, diplomats, enthusiasts, leaders, influencers and supporters. Ultimately our role is about talking to clinical colleagues and helping them to assess their service and explore different ways of delivering care.

Q. What are you most excited about for the GIRFT programme moving forward?

Mark: As we move into the medical specialties, we need to ensure that GIRFT is as effective as it has proved to be in elective surgery, by really embedding our quality improvement methodology. I’m also keen to ensure that as the programme develops, we have a strong emphasis on patient participation and feedback.

Q. And finally, is there anything else you’d like to share?

Mark: I’m particularly looking forward to starting work on medical workstreams with a high component of unscheduled care in the West Midlands. It’s really important to improve the care of patients who are frail and have cognitive impairment, whose care spans many specialties. Any inpatient care for such patients should be as brief and high quality as their acute illness demands.

Andrew MacLeod

Consultant Diabetologist and Endocrinologist

Andrew was Consultant Diabetologist and Endocrinologist at the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals from 1993 until January 2016, and still helps to support acute and general medicine at the Trust on a part time basis. He has been clinical lead for his specialty in both hospital and community, and created the diabetes and endocrine centre in his hospital.

He undertook his medical training at Oxford and then London, and was a clinical lecturer in medicine at St Thomas’ hospital where he developed a research interest in diabetic neuropathy.

Andrew has had a major interest in medical education and the maintenance of clinical standards. He was college and then clinical tutor in his hospital, and then chair of the regional training committee and regional specialty adviser for the Royal College of Physicians London. In 2013 he became regional adviser, and led a pilot project to support the medical registrars on medical ‘take’ with sharing of good practice throughout the region. He is now a censor and council member for the College.


Five minutes with… Dr Andrew MacLeod

In this short interview, West Midlands clinical ambassador and consultant diabetologist and endocrinologist Dr Andrew MacLeod shares his thoughts on the GIRFT programme’s work so far and our next steps for the future.

Q. Tell us a little about your background.

Andrew: I started my career as a lecturer in academic medicine in London, which helped me develop a healthy scepticism around claims of success in healthcare. It also gave me an eagerness to find evidence to support any proposed changes and I developed a good knowledge of elementary statistics. When I joined SaTH [Shropshire and Telford Hospital NHS Trust], I had to develop a diabetes centre from scratch, which was a considerable learning experience. I understand the pressure of a busy department and how little time it allows to stand back and think of logical ways to improve the service. Having two hours dedicated to that process, as in a GIRFT deep dive, would have been really valuable. So many of us in the NHS are independently trying to solve the same problems.

Q. Why did you join the GIRFT programme?

Andrew: I previously acted as a regional advisor for physicians in my area and we carried out a small pilot to try to improve the lot of the medical registrar ‘on take’. We gathered information via a questionnaire, then spending a couple of hours visiting each hospital, talking to the registrars, consultants and wider teams. A report was formed and sent to senior management and the acute medicine departments, and we found that the registrars were considerably encouraged by the sense of being listened to and understood. As soon as I heard of GIRFT, I realised it was a more professional and powerful means of a similar process and I was already on board.

Q. What is your role within GIRFT

Andrew: As clinical ambassadors we provide as much clinical support as possible to the local implementation team. We try to attend any West Midlands GIRFT meetings where clinicians are present or where clinical issues stand out, and we try to sort out any issues where one workstream affects another to ensure the impact is positive. I believe we help to preserve the excellent balance of management and clinical expertise created by the GIRFT programme. I’m sure that managers do not like being taught management by clinicians, and I know that clinicians do not like being taught clinical medicine by managers.

Q. What are you most excited about for the GIRFT programme moving forward?

Andrew: The enthusiasm with which clinicians and managers are welcoming the GIRFT approach is very exciting. We’re already making a measureable difference to areas of clinical medicine and, in my view, sharing essential good practice to areas where measurement is more difficult. We now need to keep up the momentum and continue to demonstrate the programme’s value to the NHS and public. These are exciting times for GIRFT!

Q. And finally, is there anything else you’d like to share?

Andrew: I believe we must now make sure that the next generation of clinicians are on board with the GIRFT process. The space for deep dives is often constrained, as are other meetings, but we need to try to include trainees in all aspects of healthcare, including quality improvement programmes like GIRFT.





Adrian Wills

Consultant Neurologist

Adrian Wills has been a Consultant Neurologist in Nottingham since 1998. He also has sessions in acute stroke and acute medicine. He was formerly Clinical Director for Neurosciences and subsequently Director of Medical Education in his Trust.

He was a member of the Neurology CRG, Deputy Chair of the Standards Committee of the Association of British Neurologists and is currently an active contributor to the East Midlands Senate via STP processes. He is delighted to have been given the opportunity to work with GIRFT.


Five minutes with…Prof. Adrian Wills

Q. Tell us a little more about yourself.

Adrian: Alongside my roles at GIRFT and Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, I’m a PACES (Practical Assessment of Clinical Examination Skills) examiner for trainee medics and a case assessor for the Mothers and Babies: Reducing Risk through Audits and Confidential Enquiries (MBRRACE) programme. I also speak Italian fairly well and Spanish very badly!

Q. Why did you join the GIRFT programme?

Adrian: I joined the GIRFT programme because I feel it offers a great opportunity to improve standards in the NHS. I’m passionate about education and learning, and see GIRFT as a vehicle for trusts to learn from each other.

Q. What is your role within GIRFT?

Adrian: As a clinical ambassador for the EMEE hub, I work with trusts from Mansfield in the north to Great Yarmouth in the East. It’s a fascinating role and offers many diverse opportunities to support services, whether it’s through pathway redesign, clinical or departmental mentoring, or even reviewing litigation claims.

Q. What are you most excited about for the GIRFT programme moving forward?

Adrian: It has to be the way that GIRFT is becoming embedded as part of day-to-day clinical practice. The programme is having a really positive impact on the NHS and I’m proud to be part of it.