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Evaluation of a clinical handover simulation training session for junior doctors in psychiatry
  1. Rupali Acharya1,
  2. Gareth Thomas2,
  3. Mark Hellaby3
  1. 1Westminster CAMHS, Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK
  2. 2Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust, Lancashire, UK
  3. 3Health Education North West, Manchester, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Rupali Acharya, ST4 Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, London Deanery, Westminster CAMHS, Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust, London NW1 2PL, UK; rupa_acharya{at}


Background Clinical handover is an important aspect of patient care and medical education, as identified by trainee surveys. There is a need for robust, standardised handover systems. Situation, Background, Assessment and Recommendation (SBAR) is a communication and empowerment tool for standardised communication in healthcare. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the educational impact of a simulation-based educational session in clinical handover for trainees in psychiatry, using SBAR.

Method A 3-hour session for trainees in psychiatry was designed with the North West Simulation Education Network and took place at the North Western Deanery School of Psychiatry. Presession and postsession questionnaires were completed, followed by a 6-week follow-up questionnaire.

Results A significant improvement in participants' confidence and skills was demonstrated following the teaching session. Qualitative feedback also highlighted improved clinical application of the SBAR tool. Following the session, trainees reported an improvement in their appreciation of the role of other professionals in the handover process and a sense of empowerment when liaising with senior colleagues.

Conclusions The training session potentially improved patient care by giving trainees structure, confidence and empowerment when talking to other colleagues while handing over. This may also help to meet the training requirements of the various Royal College curricula. This is the first study, to the best of our knowledge, which has evaluated a simulation session specifically designed to develop handover skills for trainees in psychiatry.

  • mental health
  • handover
  • simulation
  • education
  • training

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