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L&D honoured by Royal College of Physicians

Respiratory Admin Lead Beverley Garden with her PACES award

Respiratory Admin Lead, Beverley Gardner, has been awarded the PACES Champion Award by the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) for the commitment she has shown in helping to run the practical clinical exams which junior doctors need to pass in order to progress to registrar level.

The Luton & Dunstable University Hospital (L&D) also received the annual PACES award for the overall contribution it has made over the past year in hosting the exams and for being one of the most active and longstanding partners of the RCP in the UK.

PACES – Practical Assessment of Clinical Examination Skills – consists of a written test and a practical assessment done in real clinical settings. Passing this is an essential step in the career of every junior doctor specialising in Medicine so that they can achieve membership (MRCP).

Hosting the PACES is not a requirement for the hospital, and it does not receive any reimbursement or financial incentive for doing so. These exam sessions at the L&D are only possible thanks to the hard work and commitment of a small number of consultants and support staff who every year dedicate a share of their free time to run these exams.

As a University Hospital, the Luton & Dunstable has been showing its training credentials by regularly hosting PACES sessions since 2003. Last year alone, the hospital hosted four weekend assessment sessions with a total of 160 junior doctors in attendance. This places the L&D among the top in the UK, considering that a Trust must accommodate 90 examination candidates a year to be even considered for the PACES Award.

Receiving the PACES award

Respiratory Consultant Dr Parthipan Pillai, said: “We are incredibly proud of our colleague Beverley Gardner for winning this award for her outstanding commitment to PACES – the RCP only honours two people each year – one in the UK and one internationally – so it is a considerable achievement.”

He continued: “As a Trust, we were also very pleased to have received the PACES award this year – this shows the medical community that we take the training of our workforce seriously and reflects very positively on the L&D, making it more attractive to doctors as a place to work and build their career.

“People can see that we support the development of junior doctors and that we conduct rigorous assessments of their skills. We have seen many junior doctors, registrars and consultants choosing to join the L&D because of the reputation we built through running these exams.”