Are you concerned about your own health and wellbeing?

Are you looking to access additional support but don’t know where to start?

Are you worried about the impact the response to COVID-19 will have on your training progression, including exams, ARCPs and rotations?

Are you worried about returning to training following a period of time away from clinical practice during the COVID-19 NHS response?

Are you worried about accommodation, pay, sick pay or other employment related issues?

Are you worried about working beyond your competence, not receiving appropriate supervision, or working unreasonable hours (rota) which could compromise your health or personal circumstances?

Are you worried about finances?


 

Are you concerned about your own health and wellbeing?

 

These are unprecedented times and it is more important than ever that you take care of yourself so that you are best able to take care of others – this is a marathon, not a sprint and so accessing support to sustain your health and wellbeing is crucial.

  • For urgent help

    1. Tell someone you trust how you are feeling

    2. Samaritans (Call 116 123)

    3. BMA Wellbeing (Call 0330 123 1245)

    4. Practitioner Health (text ‘PHP’ to 85258) (Call 0300 0303 300)

    5. NHSE/I have put together a resource list, including access to a confidential staff support line - 0300 131 7000

    6. Contact your GP

 

 There is a lot of guidance out there and we have included links to some of them below. The main take-away messages are:

  1. It’s ok not to be ok

  2. Stress and the feelings associated with it are a normal response in this type of situation – they are not a reflection that you are weak or that you can’t do your job.

  3. STOP, BREATHE, then THINK. Slowing your breathing slows the stress cycle. Mindfulness can be a very good practice - here is a helpful Practical Mindfulness YouTube channel

  4. Talk to people, even if it means picking up the phone and reconnecting with an old friend. Sharing what you are feeling can make a huge difference.

  5. Rest, recharge, eat well and engage in physical activity. These are crucial basic human needs and should be prioritised.

  6. Avoid unhelpful coping strategies such as tobacco, alcohol or other drugs.

  7. Keep a gratitude/appreciation journal – note down three things each day which you are grateful for or which went well  and add one thing that you could do to increase your joy each day-– you may be surprised how many you will find which you would otherwise have forgotten

  8. Be kind to yourself 

 

Other useful websites and links for wellbeing:

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Are you looking to access additional support but don’t know where to start?

 

There are many avenues for accessing support, which we have listed below. Sometimes it can feel overwhelming going through these and so we at the PSW are happy to have a confidential discussion at any stage if this would be useful. In the first instance, we have put together the following helpful steps:

  1. Talk to your supervisor or a colleague you trust – can they help?

  2. Speak to someone committed to supporting trainee doctors at your place of work. This could include pastoral tutors, programme directors, DME’s for support or Employee Assistance Programme/Staff Support.

  3. Your GP is your healthcare practitioner so you should contact them if the support you require relates to your health

  4. Practitioner Health is a free, confidential NHS service for doctors and dentists across England with mental illness and addiction problems. You can contact them here.

  5. Your employing trust will have an Employee Assistance Programme or Staff Support Programme. Details can be found on intranet pages or by contacting your trust HR department. If in doubt, your PGME team in the trust will be able to direct you appropriately.

  6. The BMA have put together a range of Wellbeing services which can be accessed even if you are not a member.

  7. Well And Resilient Doctors (WARD) are an organized peer support group located in most trusts in the region. Look out for their WARD lanyards for a confidential and supportive chat.

  8. The Professional Support and Wellbeing team in both the Severn and Peninsula regions would be more than happy to have a confidential and supportive conversation with you to see how we might be able to support you moving forward. You can download a referral form from the Severn and Peninsula main PSW website pages and send it to PSW.SW@hee.nhs.uk. Resources on offer include counselling, coaching, support with exams, career support

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Are you worried about the impact the response to COVID-19 will have on your training progression, including exams, ARCPs and rotations?

 

  • Health Education England have put together a series of comprehensive guides which they are continuously updating, relating to rotations, recruitment, training, supporting the clinical response and FAQs. You can access these guides here.

  • The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges have further information available here.

  • Each of the Royal Colleges have listed their own information on COVID-19 and the impact on training. Please go to the required website to find out more.

  • The GMC are regularly updating their advice and guidance on COVID-19, available here.

  • The GDC have detailed guidance on their website, which can be found here.

  • For general guidance on the redeployment of Foundation doctors from community to acute providers, as needed, please see national guidance here.

  • For GP trainees, please find more information here.

  • For Severn Foundation Trainees, you can contact your local Foundation Programme Coordinator in your trust, you can find a list here.

  • If the above have not answered your questions, please get in touch with the Education Programme Manager for your specialty:

 

Severn Peninsula
Medicine Medicine
Surgery Surgery
Paediatrics Paediatrics
Anaesthetics Anaesthetics
Pathology Pathology
Public Health Public Health
Academic Academic - Exeter - Plymouth
Emergency Medicine Emergency Medicine
Obs & Gynae Obs & Gynae
Primary Care Primary Care
Radiology Radiology
ACCS ACCS
Foundation Foundation
Ophthalmology Ophthalmology
Psychiatry Psychiatry

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Are you worried about returning to training following a period of time away from clinical practice during the COVID-19 NHS response?

 

  • A National Support Guide: Return to Training (COVID-19) has been sent out by Dr Sarah Siddiqui, National Supported Return to Training Fellow. This details resources and guides on returning to work at this time. You can access this guide here.

  • NHS England have produced guidance for returning doctors and you can access this here

  • Severn SuppoRTT website

  • Peninsula SuppoRTT website

  • MySuppoRTT is a website set up by UHBristol, with many useful resources, which you can view here

  • Google doc with updated here

  • Facebook group for Covid Returning Doctors Support

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Are you worried about accommodation, pay, sick pay or other employment related issues?

 

  • The RCOG have issued guidance on COVID-19 and pregnancy which you can view here.

  • We advise that you speak with the HR department of your employer for guidance on these issues as they will be best placed to advise you. HR contacts for the main trusts are:

 

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Are you worried about working beyond your competence, not receiving appropriate supervision, or working unreasonable hours (rota) which could compromise your health or personal circumstances?

 

  • You should initially discuss these concerns with your Educational Supervisor, Freedom to Speak up Guardian or the Director of Medical Education (DME).

  • You may feel your concerns have not been listened to or feel uncomfortable about raising this when everybody is busy, if this is the case then you should make contact with HEE (Deanery) who will manage your concerns in a sensitive and, if necessary, anonymous fashion

 

  • The Peninsula trainee concerns pages can be found here. You can contact the Peninsula Team here.

  • The Severn trainee concerns pages can be found here. You can contact the Severn Team here.

 

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Are you worried about finances?

  • The Royal Medical Benevolent Fund have some useful information on their website and you can make an application to them for financial support.
  • BMA Charities also offer financial assistance to medical students, doctors and refugee doctors

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