Workforce, training and education
Yorkshire and Humber

Information for Trainers
about Professional Support referrals

The Professional Support Team provides advice and guidance to postgraduate doctors and dentists in training, where they have already accessed first-line support via their trust or educational team and still need assistance.

We offer a confidential, neutral, safe space in which to explore the challenges your Postgraduate Doctor or Dentist in Training (PGDiT) is facing and help them to find the right support and guidance, based on their needs.

When you might refer a PGDiT to us

We encourage you to refer PGDiT to our service if you think they would benefit from the additional support we can provide. You may wish to consider referring a PGDiT who:

  • Is struggling with a career decision – this might be about which path to take next, how to maximise opportunities or how to create a career that works for them as an individual. We can offer bespoke career guidance expertise to PGDiTs who are struggling with their career choice for any reason, or who may be considering leaving medicine entirely.
  • Has health problems that are impacting on their training or career choice, or their employment of work. There are many avenues of support open to these PGDiTs, but they may be confused about which to access, or which should be prioritised.
  • Is struggling in the workplace with issues such as confidence, communication, relationships or leadership and management skills. Again, it may be that your PGDiT has already accessed some additional support, but the problem has not yet been resolved.
  • Would benefit or thrive with further access to coaching or mentoring.
  • Has received a diagnosis of neurodiversity and may be struggling to come to terms with this or would like to discuss the potential impact on their career choice or future training.
  • Is less than full time (LTFT), or is considering going less than full time (LTFT), who may require additional support for complex health needs, personal challenges or because they have unique opportunities which they want to best run alongside their existing medical career.
  • Is struggling to return to training after a period of time out, despite having accessed all of the mechanisms offered by the SuppoRTT programme. Equally, there may be PGDiTs who have been absent for a very extended period who may have additional issues they would like to talk through. Postgraduate Doctors in Training (PGDiTs) returning after ill health may have ongoing health issues that have a long-term impact on their training.
  • Is subject to a GMC or GDC investigation or has been involved in a Serious Incident. These PGDiTs will routinely be receiving excellent local support and we do not wish to duplicate or replace this. However, if yourself and the PGDiT would like to speak to someone independent from this process, you can submit a referral.
  • Is being exited, or is likely to be exited, from a training programme due to performance issues. We appreciate there is abundant support for PGDiTs suffering exam failure within Schools, but again, if you feel there may be other appropriate avenues of support you are welcome to submit a referral.

Please note that these are indicative examples, and do not represent a full list of reasons why you may wish to submit a referral.

Before referring a PGDiT to us

You must discuss the referral with the PGDiT prior to submitting the form. The referral form will ask you to confirm this. This is both to ensure that you have as much information and detail as required to make the referral (both in terms of the PGDiT's circumstances and of any action that has already been taken to support them), and to ensure they are aware that the Professional Support Team will be contacting them. We recommend completing the form with the PGDiT for transparency. You should also make them aware that they may be offered an opportunity to meet with an Associate Dean for a supportive discussion. 

When an educator refers a PGDiT to our service, we will inform the trainer of the initial support proposed. It is the PGDiT's responsibility for keeping you informed of any progress and updates thereafter. 

Submitting the referral form

Our referral process is electronic. Please complete the Professional Support Trainer Referral form, providing as much detail as you can as to the PGDiT's circumstances and why you are seeking assistance for them. We ask that the form be completed with as much detail as possible as this will help us with the timely triage of the referral form and identification of the right method of support for the PGDiT.

The information provided within the referral form will remain confidential between you, the PGDiT and the Professional Support Team. No information will be shared with a third party without the PGDiT's prior consent. 

Triage and support

Following the submission of the referral form, it will be triaged by a senior member of the Professional Support administrative team. Based on the information you provide; they will identify the best source of support for the PGDiT. In some circumstances, they may need to request further information from you or the PGDiT beforehand. The Professional Support Team will contact you and the PGDiT within five working days of the submission of the form to offer support, which may include:

  • A recommendation of applicable resources that are tailored to the PGDiT (this may be advice about a specific organisation that can support them, training course or other support mechanism that will best address their circumstances)
  • Advice of a specific person to contact regarding the concerns (for example, they may refer the PGDiT to a Careers Advisor or Head of School)
  • Facilitating a meeting for the PGDiT to discuss their circumstances in more depth with a senior member of faculty within the Professional Support Team (one of our Associate Deans). If appropriate, you may wish to also attend the meeting, with the agreement of your Postgraduate Doctor in Training PGDiT

The aim of a meeting with an Associate Dean is to be supportive. Our Associate Deans will provide the PGDiT (and you, should your attendance be agreed with them) with a non-judgemental, safe space, to discuss the circumstances in more detail and to explore what options and resources would be helpful for the PGDiT.

Once the PGDiT has met with an Associate Dean they will complete an encounter form, which outlines the discussions that were had and any agreed support or next steps. A copy of the encounter form will be sent to the PGDiT and it is their responsibility to share a copy with you, should they wish. We encourage PGDiTs to upload a copy of the encounter form to their portfolio, but this is not a requirement.