Evaluation of a mentorship programme for specialist practitioners
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Health care professionals moving from general care to specialist cancer and palliative care face many challenges during their role transition. Mentorship has been identified as an effective support mechanism during role transition and the Macmillan National Institute of Education devised and piloted a mentorship training programme to enable established specialist practitioners to support new practitioners through their transition into specialist practice. The 12-month programme consisted of a two day workshop and continued support for mentors using action learning groups. The pilot programme was evaluated to identify whether or not it was meeting the needs of mentors and mentees. Using a self-report questionnaire comprising open and closed questions the programme was evaluated from the perspective of mentors, mentees, line managers and Macmillan service development managers. Results demonstrated that there was a shared belief that the presence of a mentor was important during role transition, and that the programme was effective in preparing and supporting mentors for their role. As new practitioners were supported in role transition there were identified benefits for service development. The programme was evaluated positively in respect of both the two day workshop and the action learning groups.
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