Ordinarily, the Wessex Appraisal Service hosts two annual Conferences, one held in Hampshire and tailored for Appraisers based in Hampshire and on the Isle of Wight, and the other held in Dorset, aimed primarily at Appraisers based there - BUT Appraisers from either region can attend either event.
Due to COVID however, we held this year's annual Conferences as remote events via MS Teams. We hosted the first event on Friday 11th September 2020, and the second on Tuesday 29th September 2020. Neither was 'region specific', and Appraisers were welcome to attend either date. Participation in these Conferences allowed them to complete a partial appraisal exercise using the new Medical Appraisal 2020 template, which in turn enables them to continue to appraise for us in 2020/21.
Like so many others, we are finding remote working to be uncharted territory, but we are learning fast. Holding two virtual Conferences for around 200 attendees across both dates was no easy task, and we are so pleased to share that both events went very well. We had two fantastic guest speakers, and our Appraisers really enjoyed seeing and interacting with each other again. The events also helped to build our Appraisers' confidence in using remote platforms.
We've already set the dates for next year - Wednesday 8th September 2021 and Thursday 23rd September 2021 (location/delivery method yet to be confirmed as it will entirely depend on the pandemic situation at that time) - and would be delighted if you could join us. Please put the dates in your diaries - we feel sure you won't be disappointed, and look forward to seeing you there. The feedback below really highlights the tremendous value of this annual event.
Some Conference 2020 Feedback:
"For me, the best thing about the Conference is seeing members of my tribe face-to-face. GPs who train, appraise, and educate are the people I most enjoy hanging out with. The Annual Conference is a chance to immerse myself in a room filled with friends, colleagues, and new faces who I absolutely know share my values and many of my experiences. After months of relative isolation from friends, colleagues, and patients, to see so many familiar names pop up on the list of attendees from my support groups, trainers group, and so on, and to not be able to see them, touch them, or talk to them was almost physically painful. I think you made some excellent points about not underestimating the effects of the pandemic on doctors and on ourselves. This really came home to me yesterday. " Dr Will Liddell, Appraiser.
"A good and interesting and highly relevant day, best online course I attended so far, congratulations." Appraiser attending 2020 Conference.
"Thoroughly enjoyed the day. Really good to feel the connection of being back together as a group as appraisers - albeit remotely! Lots of excellent information about restarting remotely with the new appraisal format. Really enjoyed observing the motivational interview task too. Well done everyone for all your hard work - an excellent day!" Appraiser attending 2020 Conference.
"I think today was enormously valuable. I am very impressed with the huge effort that the Wessex team has put into helping us to prepare, very many thanks." Appraiser attending 2020 Conference.
"Was feeling almost to the point of giving up appraising so this came at a perfect time. Thank you - feel lots more confident and understanding of what is expected of us and looking forward to re-engaging." Appraiser attending 2020 Conference.
"This was a really excellent day, thank you. The tech worked brilliantly (you didn't share any stress!) and the content was perfect. Safe space, coaching and motivational interviewing should always have been the centre of appraisal in my opinion, and now more so than ever. Today has reminded me how important and rewarding I find this job, and prompted me to consider reducing other commitments which I find less so to allow me to do more with you. Lunch could have been better (I didn't have much in the fridge!!). Well done all. Great to be back." Appraiser attending 2020 Conference.