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The handbook

A project run in Aintree University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Related themes

  • Handover
  • Out of hours care (24/7)
  • Rotas and scheduling


As well as effectively learning the procedures and methods of the ward, trainees are required to quickly grasp the clinical information required to maintain a high level of care for their new patients during the transition period of an outgoing and incoming trainee doctor.
The Handbook is a secure intranet based resource for junior doctors to access relevant and useful information including: extension and bleep numbers, on-call information, top tips and importantly, ward transition forms created by outgoing trainee doctors.

Project objectives

  • Ensure an efficient and smooth transition of doctors between posts
  • Maintain the highest level of care during the transition period
  • Highlight and explain common tasks/ necessary skills to in-coming staff so they may complete these from the first day
  • Assist new staff in feeling confident and comfortable in their new working environment
  • Provide a secure online portal for junior doctors to upload and share relevant information for the project.

How they did it

Each year a trainee doctor is selected via an application process to co-ordinate and maintain the system, by ensuring that transition forms are submitted and the online portal is kept up to date. Transition forms found within The Handbook are created for each ward by the departing trainee, aiming to provide this information in a clear and concise way for trainees to have to hand when they start in a new working environment. These forms are then tailored to the required needs of the departments, and when a trainee is coming to the end of their placement, they simply update or edit the transition form so it is available for their successor to access and learn from.

Who was involved

The project manager provided oversight of the project and disseminated transition forms contained within The Handbook via the trust’s secure intranet system. The team worked with and had approval from key stakeholders including: the Medical Director, Medical Education Team, Postgraduate Team, Support Services, Information Security and Listening in to Action Team.


  • Assisted junior doctors when starting on a new ward by providing relevant and useful information, improving this difficult transition period
  • Improved the changeover process
  • Trainees are able to focus more time towards patient care as they understand their role on the ward and feel confident in their new working environment
  • Transition forms ensured all relevant information was covered and compiled in one place
  • The Handbook was placed on the hospital intranet which can only be accessed with a trust username and password. Access to The Handbook was controlled so only appropriate members of staff were granted access and could view and edit the information

What they’ve said

“The Handbook was very beneficial when starting a new rotation as it assisted my understanding of my role within the ward.” 


“I believe The Handbook improves the transition between rotations, I will be using The Handbook again when I next change rotations.” 


“It’s helped me become more efficient on the ward!” 



The top tips in the related documents section below, have been developed by the BTBC team to support organisations to implement these changes.

The top tips include lessons learnt that have been identified throughout the project. Feel free to adapt this resource to suit your projects.
Your organisation may have its own materials and templates that you can use or you may find the NHS Improving Quality (NHS IQ) learning handbook useful too.

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Related Documents

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