Who to talk to

Below is a list of personel who can be approached for help and advice.

All roles mentioned below can be accessed through the: Useful list of contacts


Help within your Trust

Educational Supervisor: Your ES may not be in your own Trust but is usually the first person to talk to about most issues, except local Trust based-problems where your Clinical Supervisor or College Tutor may be preferable.

Clinical Supervisor: Your clinical supervisor will be in the same Trust as you and is the first port of call for clinical issues, or problems with your training module. However, any consultant who you know should be able to point you in the direction of who to talk to.

College Tutor: Your College Tutor is ideally placed to help with any issue that your CS or ES cannot answer straight away, or if they are not available. The College Tutor has links and contacts within the Training Programme who they can put you in touch with if they cannot answer your question themselves.

Guardian of Safe Working: Each Trust has a Guardian of Safe working whose role is to ensure training and hours are compliant with the new contract. They can give advice if your hours are continually breaching recommended guidance, and your College Tutor has been unable to help.

Postgraduate Centre for Medical Education (DPME) and Director of Postgraduate Medical Education (DME): Every Trust will have a Postgraduate Education Department whose services can help you with local HR-type issues such as contracts, pay, hours monitoring and expenses. In addition, your DME is responsible for the education of all staff within their Trust and can help you with local infrastructure, conduct and staff issues.

Help within your Training Programme

Educational Supervisor (ES): This is the person who is best placed to address any issues that you have. ES's can offer support regarding every aspect of your work and training. This includes raising concerns if training is considered substandard, helping trainees through difficult times e.g. during complaints and advising trainees on directions for further development (e.g. courses). The ES structure within the School of Anaesthesia is changing to try and ensure you retain the same ES for the majority of your training. That way you can build up a relationship with them, and they can understand your training needs and future career plans so that they can advise and help you most appropriately. However, this does mean that as you rotate, they may not always be in the same Trust as you.

College Tutor: The College Tutor system is centrally placed within each Trust to help allocate Educational and Clinical Supervisors, manage local issues and co-ordinate the training modules and rotations within their Trust. They are also a key link with the TPDs and HEE as a whole, escalating local issues to be dealt with by the School Board and the Specialty Training Committee. All of the College Tutors are approachable and friendly. If you ES cannot help with a problem or is away then your College Tutor will be able to solve your problem, or know who to put you in touch with.

Training Programme Director: Each Core locality and Specialty Training Hub has a TPD. Their role is to ensure that trainees are able to fulfil their training needs. They will be able to advise on a range of training issues and would be the next port of call if you felt that your concerns had not been addressed through you educational supervisor and/or college tutor. The TPDs are all an approachable and helpful bunch, and like to hear early of any issues so that they can support you, and, if needed, alter your training programme to your advantage.

Head and Deputy Head of School (HoS and DHoS): The Hos and DHoS are the interface between the School of Anaesthesia Training Programme, and Health Education England. They have all held other educational roles in the past so can help with any issue, at any level. If you are struggling with something that the ES, College Tutor or TPDs cannot help with, or you want to discuss an issue with involving them then please contact the Head or Deputy Head.

Programme Support Staff:  The Programme Support staff within HEE have the most experience of the day to day organisation and funtioning of the training programme and knowing who to talk to for answers. Please contact them for any admin issues.


Peers and Trainee Reps

Often the wisest, wittiest and most up-to-date local information comes from your peers. However, please bear in mind that colleagues often have had no formal training in Educational Support. Therefore, they are obliged to raise issues of concern directly to the TPDs, for the trainee's support, and for their own protection. 

Colleagues: Other trainees within your Trust, especially those higher up the training programme can often give answers to common issues and can give you advice on who to contact about specific issues such as module sign-off, trainee reps and which consultants give the best teaching. 

Trainee Representative (Rep): Each locality has a trainee rep, and there are specific reps for certain trainee groups e.g. Less than Full time. Colleagues can give you the details of your local rep, or you can find their email through the contact above. They are a great source of info about the local environment and they can access the TPDs and STC directly about broader issues. However, please note that the trainee reps are doing this role in their free time with the intention of helping to improve the scheme. If you have issues that are frustrating you please do not take them out on your Rep, who is only trying to help. 

Trainee Committee: Each rotation should have a trainee committee. Concerns can be brought to this forum as it is an easy way to gain advice from peers who may have been in a similar situation. Widespread issues can be documented and taken up collectively with the Specialty Training Committee (STC) through the local Rep

BMA rep: There should be a BMA rep attached to each employer that you have on your scheme. You can find out who this is through the postgraduate office and/or HR. A BMA rep will be able to advise you on any contractual issues such as pay, banding, hours, expenses, locuming etc. They are quite often happy to give advice even if you are not a BMA member. Where there is a collective problem – e.g. a non-compliant rota, a BMA rep should take this issue forward on behalf of all the trainees employed by the trust.

Help within Health Education England Yorkshire and the Humber (HEE or "The Deanery"))

Associate Deans (AD): There are several Associate Deans (formerly Associate Postgraduate Deans or APDs) within Health Education England who have specific expertise in training topics such as "Changing Career", "Chronic Health Issues" and "Out of Programme Activity (OOP)". They also represent an independent opinion if you seek to discuss a topic that you would rather not broach with your Training Programme. They can be accessed through your TPDs or directly through the Programme Support staff or HEE website.

Deputy Dean: There is a Deputy Dean responsible for each training School. They, along with the Dean, have ultimate responsibility for the Programme. They will usually be involved if an issue occurs that cannot be solved by the School, or has not been encountered before. They will also be involved with appeals for ARCPs.

Help available Nationally

BMA: The BMA is your union. There is usually a BMA Rep in each Trust. The BMA can help and advise with contract issues and problems relating to the working environment.

Medical Defence and Protection: Your Medical Defence union/society can give independent advice on clinical issues and your role.

GMC: The GMC is involved in regulating doctors. There is usually a GMC local rep available for advice regarding regulation issues.

Where you can find answers for yourself
  • The policies section may help addressing common issues.
  • Information on training standards can be found in the Gold Guide: Gold Guide 2016.
  • Your local trust will have policies (often available on the intranet) about a range of issues such as sickness absence, complaints procedures and bullying and harassment procedures.