Health Professions Education

The King’s Sierra Leone Partnership supports undergraduate and postgraduate education, and in-service training across a wide variety of healthcare professions.

COMAHS students receiving final instructions and managing some last minute examination nervousness before COMAHS’ first ever OSCEs in February 2016

  • Undergraduate education at COMAHS

KSLP is providing support for developing curricula and working with faculty staff to implement skills based training and assessment.

For example, in the Faculty of Nursing, students have been undertaking training in vital signs measurement and using the early warning score system recently introduced at Connaught Hospital (SLEWs). The staff and clinical mentors have been trained to continue the delivery of teaching as a core component of the nursing curriculum.

Work to develop the clinical skills of pharmacy students through ward based teaching is ongoing. Faculty staff have been gaining experience in this teaching method by working alongside our pharmacy educator.

COMAHS has recently introduced the use of OSCEs (objective standardised clinical examinations) for assessment of medical and pharmacy students. KSLP have assisted by providing training for staff and students and working closely with faculty staff as they implemented this for the first time.

Support is being provided to faculty staff wishing to develop their teaching skills and we are contributing to the upgrade of teaching and learning facilities such as the clinical skills training room at Connaught Hospital. Following the donation of some clinical skills equipment, we have worked with staff to develop procedures for using and maintaining this facility. We have also started training clinical staff so that they can provide simulation based learning sessions.

In addition, we are working with local colleagues to develop a new dental therapist programme.

In-country post-graduate specialist training is a priority for Sierra Leone. The departments of surgery and internal medicine are now accredited by the relevant West African Colleges to provide post-graduate medical training. We are working with the educational leads for these departments to support the delivery of their academic programmes.

In-service training is an area that all our volunteers are actively involved in. We aim to deliver this training with local leaders so that they are equipped to continue this in the future.

For nursing staff, training in the use of the early warning score system has been jointly planned and delivered to all nurses by KSLP volunteers and Matron’s team.

For junior doctors, we have worked with the hospital management to devise an induction programme which is delivered by senior clinicians. Ongoing educational support is provided for them through ward-based teaching and the delivery of training programmes to meet specific learning needs such how to respond to medical emergencies.

The health professions education work is led in Sierra Leone by Suzanne Thomas (pharmacy educator) and supported from the UK by Prof John Rees, Professor of Medical Education. For further information contact Suzanne Thomas by email: suzanne.thomas@kcl.ac.uk