- Confidential 1:1 PSW meeting
- Exam, revision and dyslexia support
- Careers information, advice and guidance
- Language and Communication Skills
- Supported Return to Training (SuppoRTT)
- Clinical/learning environment concerns
- Less Than Full Time (LTFT) training
When you complete a referral form for Professional Support & Wellbeing, you will be offered a confidential meeting with a member of PSW to talk through your situation and to help you come up with an action plan moving forward.
The aim of the meeting is to be supportive and is an opportunity for you to explore what options and resources would be helpful for you – allowing you to come up with a bespoke plan of support moving forward, often involving onward referral to one of our resource providers below.
Onward referral to one of our resource providers does require an initial PSW meeting, to ensure that the plan and referral is the most appropriate for you and your situation.
We take confidentiality seriously here at PSW and work hard to keep the service we offer to you separate from other areas of postgraduate medical education, such as ARCPs for example. We believe it is vital that you feel you can open up to us about the challenges you are experiencing in order that we can best support you. If we are concerned about the safety of you or others, we may need to discuss whether maintaining confidentiality is appropriate.
PSW provides an independent and free short-term counselling service for all doctors in training within the South West. This service is designed to offer timely, independent, and confidential support should a GP referral be delayed or Trust support is not available. We fund up to 6 sessions for you, as a stop-gap to you accessing longer-term support either through the NHS or privately, should you need this. We are unable to fund counselling on a long-term basis.
Counselling can offer you an effective way of managing your mental health. In challenging circumstances, feeling stressed or anxious can be a normal reaction and simply speaking with someone you trust, like a friend or colleague, can help you feel better. However, if you find this isn't helping, then it may be time for you to seek additional support for your mental health. Being able to talk things through with an accredited counsellor independently and in a non-judgemental way can help you manage your mental health positively.
As a standard, we like to let your GP know if we have referred you to our counselling service, so that they can continue to support you as your health practitioner. If you would rather we didn’t do this, you can request this.
The aim of the coaching is to develop your performance by unlocking your capabilities through guided conversation and questioning. A coach does not provide answers to specific problems by themselves, as such. They don't teach or instruct. Instead they work with you as a facilitator, helping to raise your awareness through analysis and reflection, and therefore enabling you to formulate your own ideas and solutions.
We fund up to a maximum of 6 sessions of coaching for you.
Sometimes at a later date in one's career a person can struggle with their exams or work performances. It may be that dyslexia or other learning differences are impacting on your ability to undertake exams or your job and you may benefit from a meeting with our Study Skills and Dyslexia Advisor. If you are identified as having dyslexia, you may be able to apply to your college for appropriate exam adjustments. The Study Skills resource can help identify causes of poor exam results and study performance through screening and assessing for dyslexia, dyspraxia, visual stress and other cognitive issues.
We have additionally put together an exam revision guide, which you can view here.
Consultation with one of our Career Planning Managers, who offer 1-1 confidential and impartial guidance, information, and advice, can be extremely valuable. Developing and maintaining effective career management skills is an essential requirement to thrive in the world of medicine. With the rapid changes in medical career opportunities, having a strategy to cope with change and transition will prove invaluable.
- You can access the Peninsula Career Planning Service here
- You can access the Severn Career Planning Service here
If English is not your first language and you are experiencing difficulties communicating with others, our language sessions can be a useful resource for exploring underlying language and communication issues.
This resource helps individuals improve upon their existing use of English in the workplace and focuses on how to deal with patients/relatives and colleagues in a clear and appropriate manner. The classes are provided via Skype so they can fit into busy work schedules and/or within the privacy of the home or office.
Check out this Communication Skills App developed by the Peninsula Deanery.
There has been national recognition if you have been away from clinical practice for more than 12 weeks, for whatever reason, you could benefit from a bespoke package of support so that you are given the best chance at a successful and supported return to work.
What should you do if you have an immediate concern about your training?
- Immediate patient safety concerns should be reported via your usual Trust reporting system
- Other urgent concerns should be raised with your Clinical Supervisor (CS), Training Programme Director (TPD)/ Foundation Programme Director (FPD), Director of Medical Education (DME) or Education Supervisor (ES)
- Concerns can also be raised through the Health Education England South West Quality Team via EscalatingConcerns.SW@hee.nhs.uk.
You can find out more about escalating concerns across the South West region here.
Funding for Less Than Full Time (LTFT) training may be appropriate for your training if you have circumstances which would benefit from you working LTFT, such as childcare responsibilities or personal health.
- Information regarding the Peninsula LTFT process can be found here
- Information regarding the Severn LTFT process can be found here