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Title: Developing community dentistry through action learning : the actions, reflections and learning of a clinical director
Author: Booth, Ian M.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2687 542X
Awarding Body: The University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2010
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Action learning is increasingly being adopted by NHS organisations as a way of providing leadership and organisational development for staff, including senior clinicians. The benefit of action learning is that it allows work-based learning to take place with the intention of improving patient care and developing a strategic direction for individual services. Through this approach, senior clinicians will increase their selfawareness and be sensitive to the cultures within their organisation and ensure that their actions are responsive to these and not consider their actions in isolation. The research had an organisational project to consider how a salaried primary dental care service had to change in order to meet the needs of the local population in a changing NHS environment and a personal project of a journey of learning, development and change. The thesis analysed the development of the Community Dental Service from the School Dental Service to the recent developments of salaried personal dental services, including dental access centres. Moreover, it looked at how market forces and shortages in the dental workforce have influenced national policies and how these in turn have affected salaried dental services. Using my work within the Community Dental Service, I described the personal, service and organisational problems facing a clinical director. With the involvement of an action learning set, I explained how possible solutions to these problems were identified, action implemented to address them, their effects monitored and evaluated and to reflect upon the learning from these actions. The key achievements have been on a personal, professional and organisational level. I have developed as a clinical leader of a NHS service. Through the knowledge and understanding I have gained, I have matured as a manager and have been able to identify a strategy within my organisation and have implemented this for the benefit of the staff, patients and PCT. This in turn gave me personal confidence both in my work life as Clinical Director and in my life outside my work. The clinical service I lead still needs to improve, but this will always be the case. This thesis has been an opportunity for me to undertake a postgraduate qualification within a full time position in the NHS. The benefit has been the pragmatic learning which has occurred within my workplace, the learning set and through my academic studies. In summary, this process of enquiry has brought together theory, professional practice and organisational development. It is recommended that action learning is an appropriate methodology for enabling change to take place in the NHS. Action learning has been demonstrated to be a valuable approach for continuing professional development. It should be explored further within dentistry and in the wider area of health care, incorporating it into clinical leadership training programmes. 10
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available