Being a new doctor can present some real challenges, both in work and in our personal lives. There is absolutely no shame in admitting you need a little more support, and we actively encourage you to do so should you need to. Here are some of the avenues of support at UHP.
THE PGMC TEAM
The PGMC Team are a useful point of contact if you are struggling and just want to talk or want further advice. We offer an open door policy, which means you are welcome to pop down to our offices whenever you feel you need to.
All the PGMC can help, but the best people to go to are:
Kate Talmage - for all training grades, Physician Associates and Trust Grade Doctors
Foundation Team - Foundation trainees; the wider team, such as the Foundation Leads can also provide support should you want a clinician's advice and guidance from a Foundation school perspective.
Caitlin Taylor - For Physician Associates, Trust Grade Doctors and International Medical Graduates
Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust's Occupational Health & Wellbeing Department (OHWB) provides consultant-led OH services. Our role is to minimise work-related ill-health and to maximise good general health in the workplace. We act as professional advisers to both employees and managers. Our team consists of specialist doctors, nurses and counsellors, who are here to offer professional, confidential and impartial advice about your health, safety and wellbeing.
You can find out more information on our StaffNet; you can self-refer, or we will refer you there from the Foundation Programme. The latter is the preferred option as this will mean we can work with you to support you with any suggested packages of care.
It's also worth noting that there is a Wednesday morning drop-in session should you wish to pop along.
(PROFESSIONAL SUPPORT & WELL BEING)
*Health Education England Trainees Only*
At Peninsula Professional Support Unit, the aim is to enhance our trainees’ potential whilst undertaking training in this region. We recognise that life as a trainee doctor can be stressful and challenging both personally and professionally. Peninsula PSU is therefore fully committed to all trainee doctors who wish to optimise their personal and professional development, for example through support in postgraduate examination, progression towards the required standard for their level of training, career guidance or health issues.
The PGMC at UHP have found that this service has been very useful to the doctors who use it. You can self refer, or we would be happy to do a referral for you.
(SUPPORTED RETURN TO TRAINING)
*Health Education England Trainees Only*
"The SuppoRTT (Supported Return to Training) programme exists to provide targeted assistance to help doctors in training get back “up to speed” when they return to clinical practice after a break of 3 months or more. Each hospital has a SuppoRTT Champion to signpost trainees and their trainers to the resources available through SuppoRTT"
UHP's Champion: Dr Sarah Wimlett
"My background is as a Paediatric Anaesthetist and a mum to 2 children – personally, I found returning to work after maternity leave really challenging, and this is the motivation for my involvement in SuppoRTT. There are a wide range of reasons for doctors taking a break from training, including parental leave, non-clinical training opportunities, sickness etc. We know that returning to work after a break can be stressful, with a loss of confidence in knowledge and skills. If we can help in any way with making your return to training less stressful, or you would like any further information, please do get in touch"
More information regarding the SuppoRTT process can be found HERE
FREEDOM TO SPEAK UP
The Freedom to Speak Up is a highly confidential service, they
operate independently, impartially, and objectively to support all staff within our organisation to raise any concerns that you may have. The Guardians, whilst remaining independent , work alongside the senior leadership team to support a more open and transparent place to work, where all colleagues are actively encouraged and enabled to speak up safely.
As Guardians we will help to:
Protect patient safety and quality of care
Improve the experience of workers
Promote learning and improvement
We are here to ensure that:
Staff are supported in speaking up
Barriers to speaking up are addresses
A positive culture of speak up is developed
Issues raised are used as opportunities for learning and improvement
You can reach them on: 01752 433381
GUARDIAN OF SAFE WORKING PRACTICE
The Guardian is responsible for championing safe working and protecting the safe guards outlined in the 2016 contract for junior doctors and dentists. The Guardian will ensure that issues of compliance with safe working hours are addressed and provide assurance to the trust board that doctors and dentists working hours are safe.
UHP's Guardian Mr Jamie Dunn
All Exception Reports go to The Guardian. More information regarding exception reporting can be found HERE
LESS THAN FULL TIME TRAINING CHAMPION
The concept of a Champion of flexible working within every Trust to support less-than-full-time (LTFT) trainees was established in the ACAS agreement regarding the junior doctors' contract in 2016. Guidance relating to this role was published by NHS Employers in Sept 2017. Since August 2022 all trainees have the right to request LTFT training regardless of their reason why.
UHP's Champion: Dr Zoe Warwick
"I am Dr Zoe Warwick; a Consultant in Sexual Health and HIV here at University Hospitals Plymouth. I completed all my Specialist Training between 2001 and 2008 as a LTFT trainee and have taken time out of training for maternity leave and to work in Botswana and Nigeria. I now work an annualised rota and LTFT as a consultant, previously having spent 8 years as Service Line Director for the Sexual Health service and worked full time for some of this period. I am a passionate advocate of our right to work and train flexibly and aim to act as an effective champion within University Hospitals Plymouth for all medical and dental staff who wish to work or train flexibly. Please get in touch with me regarding any issues or questions relating to flexible or LTFT training"
More information regarding flexible working can be found HERE and there is also a LTFT Training Toolkit available HERE
WARD - WELL AND RESILIENT DOCTORS
WARD: Well and Resilient Doctors was founded in 2017 and is now operating throughout the deanery in order to provide wellbeing and mental health support to junior doctors. They run a program of workshops covering topics such as "Safe Reflection", "Mindfulness" and "Physical Health" whilst facilitating senior trainee led peer support that is continuous throughout the deanery.
To contact the WARD team here at Derriford please email them at:
WARD currently have 2 paddleboards available for hire by doctors working at University Hospitals Plymouth. Click HERE for more information and to book a rental.
For access to a 24 hour helpline, face to face counselling or CBT workbooks you can contact Vivup. Key issues you might want to contact them about include:
Work related issues
Work / life balance
Trauma / Crisis Support
Practitioner Health is a free, confidential mental health and addiction service which specialises in treating healthcare professionals. The service offers support with a range of mental health conditions and addictions, including more severe illnesses such bipolar affective disorder, personality disorders and psychosis.
SUPPORT FOR OUR DIVERSE COLLEAGUES
Looking After You Too: Coaching for Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) staff working in NHS:
The Looking After You Too (LAYT) coaching is a one to one wellbeing support offer for BAME NHS workforce in the NHS (clinical and non-clinical).
The LAYT coaching is confidential and free, within a safe and judgement-free space. No details are shared with employers and the coaches are employed independently of the NHS.
The coaching service is provided by trained BAME coaches to help you develop practical strategies to manage and maintain your health and wellbeing.
It can provide you with space to deal with difficult conversations and build resilience.
Faith counselling from the Association of Christian Counsellors
A free service (for people of all beliefs and none) developed and funded by the Association of Christian Counsellors, who are offering up to 8 online or telephone counselling sessions from qualified counsellors at flexible appointment times by video or telephone.