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Our colleagues in anaesthetics and surgery have lead the way with establishing and developing trainee-led networks, many of which have been running for the best part of a decade. Their networks not only support trainees to run effective multi-site audit projects and to develop their academic and research skills, but to design and deliver multi-centre research studies that include RCTs with the backing of prestigious funders. There is huge potential within the UK gastroenterology and hepatology community!

We refer you to:

We have also put together some tips from our own experiences...


  • invite someone from an established network to come to talk to trainees, ideally at a training day

  • get a “collation of the willing” together to get the ground work together and decide on the basics (your aims, group name, ideas for first project), as going forward the running of the network needs to be a shared effort to succeed

  • refer to the lessons of those who have gone before (as above)

  • focus on everything being trainee-led: rather than “top-down” as in much of working/training in the NHS

  • go for a quick win: choose to audit a common problem, across multiple sites, against well-established national guidelines and clear criteria/standards, that will provide a good chance for interesting discussion and potential for quality improvement (remember that any project can be ambitious but needs to be feasible and deliverable, even if this means reining back on some aspects, at least for the first iteration)

  • agree your authorship rules up-front: for example, a collaborative model for authorship, with everyone involved acknowledged in any output

  • regular updates and discussion, which could be included as a recurrent item in regional training days

  • seek agreement with your TPDs that full involvement in a trainee network project is likely to fulfil the criteria for annual audit/QIP at ARCP (i.e. more than just data collection, such as by defining the different levels of involvement in a project in your constitution)


If any of our fellow gastroenterology trainees in other regions are interested in using the GARNet name, or any of the resources that we've developed and adapted, then please do get in touch. The GARNet can be used with attribution to different regions, such as EMiT GARNet for East Midlands Trainees.

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