Trainee wellbeing is important and there is plenty of support available. The deanery has compiled an extensive list of local, regional and national resources available to trainees, "Well-Being Resources: A guide to resources for supporting doctors", this document can be found here.
Click the tabs below to find more information about resources available to trainees.
Support is available from Health Education England for trainees whose health and wellbeing has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
HEE offer bespoke coaching for trainees. Coaching is time for you to think. Your coach won’t judge you, or give you advice. This means it is ok to talk about anything that you feel gets in the way of you doing your best at work. You can really think things through in a way that is different to talking things over with a friend, partner, TPD or Educational Supervisor. Your coach will support you, and challenge you if necessary, to help you reach a conclusion that is helpful and meaningful to you.
Details of the HEE Coaching Programme can be found here.
The deanery recognises that some trainees may encounter difficulties during their training. Not only does this affect their clinical training, but it can also have a significant impact on health and well-being. There is a lot of support available for trainees and it is important to know that you are not alone if you are struggling with any aspect of your training.
Who can I talk to if I am struggling with training?
There are a number of people you can talk to if you are having any problems during training:
Educational Supervisor: Your ES 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 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.
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. TPDs can be found in the Contacts page.
Head of School (HoS): The Hos is the interface between the School of Ophthalmology 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. HoS can be found in the Contacts page.
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.
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.
Director of Postgraduate Medical Education (DPME) and Director of 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.
Programme Support Staff: The programme support staff within HEE have the most experience of the day to day organisation and functioning of the training programme and know who to talk to for answers. Please contact them for any admin issues.
There is support in place at deanery level. HEE YH support page can be accessed here. The document "Principles for recognition and support of Doctors and Dentists in training experiencing difficulties" can also be found in the document section below.
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.
Regional Ophthalmic Trainee Representative (ROTC Rep): Each rotation (North and South YH) has a trainee who represents the other trainees in the region regarding local training matters. They meet with the TPD, college tutor, regional advisor and all of the Educational Supervisors in the region twice a year to discuss training, they voice views and opinions regarding the training in that region and feedback any new information to the trainees. Your regions ROTC rep can be found on the contacts page.
Ophthalmologists in Training Group (OTG) Representative: The OTG is a committee of The Royal College of Ophthalmologists. Members are registrars elected on a regional basis for a two-year term of office and eligible to stand for re-election for one further two-year term. The OTG meets three times a year. The OTG rep is the link between trainees in an area and the RCOphth. Their role is to relay information from the RCOphth to the trainees in that area and represent the trainees' views at the College. Information on the OTG can be found here and YH OTG rep contacts can be found on the contacts page.
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, locum work 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.
Who can I talk to if I have concerns about issues relating to patient safety?
Freedom to Speak Up Guardians
All NHS trusts have a Freedom to Speak Up Guardian to support all staff members to speak up about their concerns.
These concerns can be raised anonymously.
For more information, please review the Freedom to Speak Up programme on the eLfH website. This includes details on the role and supporting videos.
To find your local guardian please use the Freedom to Speak Up Guardian Directory.
Counselling service in South of Deanery
Workplace Wellbeing is a professional counselling and consultancy service to help doctors in difficulty deal with personal or work-related stress and psychological trauma relating to work roles. The service aims to help doctors improve psychological health and stay psychologically healthy. One-to-one counselling is provided on a confidential self-referral basis. The counselling is short-term.
This service is also funded directly by Health Education England working across Yorkshire and the Humber and is available to trainees in Yorkshire and the Humber.
30 Wilkinson Street
Sheffield S10 2GB
8.15 am to 7.15 pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays
8.45 am to 5 pm for the rest of the week
Counselling service in North of Deanery
Given the current Public Health England situation and Government COVID-19 recommendations
Taketime will be moving to telephone and video contact from next week (23rd March). The time from the point of self-referral to when you may be contacted by a clinician may also be increased from this time onwards. However we will try our best to get in touch with you in the first instance to discuss following self-referral.
As per our usual advice, if you feel you need urgent mental health support please contact your GP or Crisis team as necessary.
Medical work is inherently stressful and you may find you need help with work-related and/or personal difficulties which can often cause anxiety, stress, depression and unhappiness.
Take Time is a confidential service specifically for junior doctors and dentists within Health Education England working across Yorkshire and the Humber (HEE YH).
The service offers 2 assessment sessions initially, with the option of subsequent time-limited sessions. For people who live far from Leeds, we may be able to offer telephone consultations after the initial assessment.
The service is funded by HEE YH, and provided by a collaboration between the University of Leeds Student Counselling Service and The Psychological Therapy Service, Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.
Take Time appointments take place at either of our two venues; you will be told which venue to attend when an appointment is booked for you:
Dr V Luthra
Department of Psychotherapy
St Mary's House, South Wing
St Mary's Road
Dr A Menon & Ms Madeleine Robinson
Student Counselling & Wellbeing Service
University of Leeds
19-21 Clarendon Place
If you would like to book an appointment with the Take Time team, please complete our self-referral form.
Please click on the following link to view the Take Time Privacy Notice.