Dear Fellow Trainees,
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, we as members of the front-line workforce are entangled in ongoing changes regarding training, patient safety, personal health & wellbeing and crisis management. This is an unprecedented event that the current NHS is attempting to contain and neutralise as best it can but we should be aware that the effects of it are still in its infancy and should expect to see further changes over the next few weeks to months.
In light of our current evolving circumstances as surgical trainees, we want to address some concerns that you may be having with regards to your training.
Most of you may have already read the position statement released by Health Education England and the GMC on Monday 16th March regarding the change-over of rotations in April. The latest guidance from these professional bodies states that “all planned rotations due to take place during the “delay phase” of COVID-19 will cease, with trainees being asked to stay in their present working environment, unless local arrangements allow otherwise, or wider clinical circumstances require it. Rotations may only occur where departmental inductions, appropriate supervision and support can be guaranteed”.
This statement has already inflicted much concern and anxiety across the country, and given the geographical extent and size of our Deanery, we in particular are aware of the potential ramifications that could result of this both in the immediate short term as well as long term.
We are aware that some Trusts have already declared how they are interpreting and implementing the changes contained within this statement and whether they will be halting the changeover of doctors in a matter of weeks. We have been in direct communication with our TPDs Sisse Olsen and Caroline Burt during this process and have been informed that any changes to the expected changeover in April must be decided by our Postgraduate Dean at a Deanery level and not by local Trusts. The Deanery as a whole recognise the implications that could result from delaying our training activities, exams and rotations and as such are not taking the decision-making process lightly. As it stands, we are expecting comprehensive advice from the Dean to be announced today that should inform us of what to expect over the coming weeks and how to proceed as a result of this.
We implore you to please be patient and be assured that we are doing our best to advocate your best interests to the Deanery. We will be sending out further information as soon as we receive it, but in the meantime will be opening up a Q&A forum for all the South West of England trainees to convey their concerns and ask questions.
The details of this forum will be sent out imminently in our newsletter but will also be available via Website: https://swhst.org.uk/
Twitter @swhst_network https://twitter.com/swhst_network/status/1240210193436246016
We will do our best to relay these up to the higher powers that be and get you answers expeditiously. Your College Tutors are also a good point of call for further information and advice.
During this time, please continue to support each other and our multi-disciplinary colleagues through a turbulent time in the NHS.
South West Regional Training Committee