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Frequently asked questions

Below are frequently asked questions for trainees in relation to the impacts on training. We realise you will have lots of questions, we will continue to update this page regularly - please come back to keep updated

*NEW* Why is recruitment still going ahead rather than being postponed for six months or a year?

Recruitment of trainees is a priority across all four nations to ensure the continuation of training programmes as well as supporting the NHS to fill vacant roles.  Contingency plans have been agreed in order to maintain August 2020 start dates. 

 

*NEW* Why has self-assessment been chosen as a method of assessment over other options such as Skype?

Great consideration has been given to each of the general recruitment principles, including use of self-assessment, which were agreed by senior clinical representatives from across the four nations, and junior doctor representatives from the British Medical Association Junior Doctors Committee (BMA JDC) and Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (AoMRC) trainees’ committee, supported by the Medical and Dental Recruitment and Selection (MDRS) Team.    

Consideration was given to a number of different assessment models.  Self-assessment already forms part of the selection process for most of the specialties which will be using it in the current recruitment round.  This is a process which applicants are familiar with and for specialties which use this as part of the standard recruitment process, applicants have already submitted information as part of their application. 

We are dealing with unprecedented circumstances and have had to adjust recruitment processes accordingly in line with the resource available. 

 

*NEW* For specialties using self-assessment to appoint candidates, will there be any form of interview (eg Skype)?

Specialties using self-assessment to make offers to posts will not have any form of interview.  Specialties which do not normally require self-assessments to be completed at the point of application, will use validation as part of the recruitment process, however this will not involve direct communication between the applicant and a clinician and will be based on evidence upload only. 

 

*NEW* If the Covid-19 pandemic had not occurred, I would have gained additional experience (eg through a rotation, course, conference etc), which would have affected my overall score.  How is this being taken into consideration?

Many applicants are being deployed into clinical settings which they would not have been expected to be in at this time and planned events such as courses or conferences have been cancelled.  In order to make the process fair, applicants are unable to adjust their self-assessment scores.  For specialties which ask for experience by the time of appointment, any prospective experience included in an application form will be considered as if it had happened. 

 

*NEW* Can I amend my self-assessment score if I now have additional evidence that will give me more points?

Unfortunately, we cannot accept additional evidence.  Your score and ranking will be calculated using the answers you submitted when you completed your self-assessment.  This is to ensure that the scores submitted and used for ranking are all representative of the same time period and do not disadvantage applicants whose experience has been severely disrupted due to the current pandemic. 

 

*NEW* I have underscored myself on my self-assessment.  Can I amend my score?

Unfortunately, applicants are unable to amend their self-assessment scores after submission.  Your score and ranking will be calculated using the answers you submitted when you completed your self-assessment.  This is to ensure that the scores submitted and used for ranking are all representative of the same time period and do not disadvantage applicants whose experience has been severely disrupted due to the current pandemic.

 

*NEW* I have noticed I made a mistake in my self-assessment and over-scored myself.  What should I do?

In the event that you realise after submitting your form that you have over-scored on your self-assessment, please contact the lead recruiter for your specialty as soon as possible and no later than 14th April 2020. 

Details of the lead recruiters for each specialty can be found in the Medical Specialty Recruitment Applicant Handbook in the Oriel Resource Bank.

 

*NEW* Prospective candidates build knowledge and experience between application and interview, which may improve their portfolio score.  Is this a fair process?

Applicants are being deployed into clinical settings which they would not have been expected to be in at this time.  In order to make the process fair to all applicants, it has been agreed that applicants will not be permitted to submit additional evidence to increase their self-assessment score after it has been submitted, ensuring all applicants will have had the same opportunities in relation to their application. 

 

*NEW* What does it mean that a proportion of self-assessment scores will be validated for some specialties?

Specialties for which self-assessment does not ordinarily form part of the selection process, but which will use this to offer and appoint to posts, require applicants to complete a self-assessment in the coming weeks.  Some validation of scores will be required by clinicians using evidence uploaded by applicants to a protected SharePoint folder in order to verify that self-assessment scores are correct.  Approximately 30% of scores will be validated in this way. 

 

*NEW* What will the self-assessment validation process entail?

Applicants will be requested to upload specific evidence which supports their self-assessment scores to a protected SharePoint folder.  This evidence will be reviewed in conjunction with their self-assessment form by a clinician and scores adjusted if required in line with the scoring criteria. 

 

*NEW* What happens to specialties who have already concluded interviews?

For specialties where interviews have already been fully completed, interview scores will be maintained and used to make offers.  

Specialities which were halfway through the interview process when face to face interviews were cancelled, will require all applicants to undertake the new process.

 

*NEW* Who made decisions regarding recruitment contingency plans?

All general principles supporting the appointment of doctors to medical specialty training programmes from August 2020 were agreed by senior clinical representatives from across the four nations, and junior doctor representatives from the British Medical Association Junior Doctors Committee (BMA JDC) and Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (AoMRC) trainees’ committee, supported by the Medical and Dental Recruitment and Selection (MDRS) Team. 

 

*NEW* I have concerns about the validity of appointment using unvalidated self-assessment scores.  How do I know this process is fair?

The majority of specialties using self-assessment to appoint applicants already use self-assessment via the application form as part of the standard selection process and this is an assessment method that applicants are familiar with. 

Where this is being used for a specialty for which this does not form part of the application process, a proportion of scores will be validated by clinicians to ensure that applicants have scored themselves correctly in line with the scoring matrix for that specialty. 

GMC Good Medical Practice holds that ‘as a good doctor you will…maintain trust in you and the profession by being open, honest and acting with integrity’.  Applicants are required as part of the specialty recruitment process, to make declarations on their application form relating to their honesty and probity.  Instances of candidates trying to gain an unfair advantage by over-scoring and/or exaggerating achievements will be taken extremely seriously.  This could lead to an application being deemed not appointable, or, in very serious cases, could be reported as a probity matter to the GMC. 

 

*NEW* What assurance can be given that the amended recruitment and selection processes are as robust as they were prior to the pandemic?

There is acknowledgement that we have no evidence that the recruitment contingency processes are as robust as the normal gold standards, however we are dealing with unprecedented circumstances and have had to adjust recruitment processes accordingly in line with the resource available. 

Great consideration has been given to each of the general recruitment principles, which were agreed by senior clinical representatives from across the four nations, and junior doctor representatives from the British Medical Association Junior Doctors Committee (BMA JDC) and Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (AoMRC) trainees’ committee, supported by the Medical and Dental Recruitment and Selection (MDRS) Team.    

 

*NEW* Will applicants be penalised if they choose to reapply to medical specialty training next year?

Applicants who wish to reapply to medical specialty training in a future recruitment round will be subject to the requirements of the person specification of their chosen specialty which is in place at that time.  National person specifications are reviewed on an annual basis and any amendments are subject to sign off by the relevant recruitment governance structures.

Should you take up a training post following the current recruitment round and wish to reapply to continue specialty training in the same specialty in another region, you will be required to follow guidance as published in the 2021 Medical Specialty Recruitment Applicant Handbook.  You can find the 2020 Medical Specialty Recruitment Applicant Handbook in the Oriel Resource Bank for reference. 

 

*NEW* My exam that was scheduled has now been cancelled and this is a requirement of the person specification for the specialty I have applied for.  What does this mean for me?

For doctors in all specialties, where an exam is a requirement for entry to the specialty and has been cancelled by the relevant Royal College due to Covid-19, applicants will not be disadvantaged and will still be allowed to enter specialty training.  In instances where an exam is outstanding at the point of entry to the specialty, applicants will be required to have passed the exam(s) within their first year of training. 

We are awaiting further guidance on exam requirements for dental specialties and will update this FAQ in due course. 

 

When will medical recruitment be rescheduled?

We are keen that medical recruitment is disrupted no more than absolutely necessary and, as such, are urgently working will all Royal College recruitment teams to reschedule these recruitment events. We expect to have this completed by early April, but obviously all plans will be subject to change, depending on the developing situation.

 

Given the Covid-19 pandemic, will medical and dental specialty recruitment interviews be cancelled?

Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and recent developments regarding social distancing, as of 17th March 2020, all face to face specialty recruitment interviews (both medical and dental) have been cancelled with immediate effect.  Communications have been sent to applicants and panellists to inform them of this decision, which was taken during this exceptional circumstance in view of:

- Increased demand on the time of NHS staff in response to the pandemic.

- Trusts / Health Boards across the country instructing their staff not to travel.

- The need to support more vigilant public health measures and protect applicants and recruiters who would have been coming to recruitment events. 

 

What alternative options will be offered to candidates?

We are currently revising all the recruitment processes to ensure selection can take place using different recruitment processes.  We are working with medical and dental specialties and recruiters to confirm contingency plans and a revised recruitment timetable will be shared as soon as possible to ensure appointments can still be made for August 2020. 

A letter detailing principles which have been agreed by the four nations for medical specialty recruitment can be found here

We will communicate any changes to the recruitment timetable and process with updates on the Specialty Training Website and Oriel

 

What will happen regarding Situational Judgement Tests (SJT) and Multi-Specialty Recruitment Assessments (MSRA) that are required as part of the recruitment process?

In light of guidance around social distancing, we have taken the decision to postpone SJTs and MSRAs at this time.  Applicants should not attend an SJT or MSRA centre if they have not already done so.  We are aware that the majority of test centres around the world have closed due to restrictions on movement. 

Where medical specialties have agreed as part of their contingency plans the use of an SJT, this will be delivered via an online platform.  Specifics of delivery will be communicated to any affected applicants in due course. 

We are awaiting an update for dental specialties and will update this FAQ shortly. 

 

If my interview arrangements have changed (eg they have been postponed or an online interview has been arranged) and I have already booked travel and accommodation, will I be reimbursed?

If you have already made travel arrangements following acceptance of an invite to interview, you should endeavour to obtain a refund.  If no refund is provided, you can claim your expenses in line with the Candidate Expenses Policy, which can be found in the Resource Bank on the Specialty Training Website.  Please note that caps will still apply and you may be asked to provide evidence that the expense was non-refundable.

 

The person specification for the specialty I have applied for states that Advanced Life Support (ALS) is a requirement, however courses have been cancelled due to Covid-19.  What should I do?

ALS remains a requirement for the specialty you have applied for.  We understand that you may not be able to confirm currently that you are booked on an ALS course as a number of them have been cancelled due to Covid-19, however you will need to undertake this prior to starting in post.  ALS skills are particularly important in light of the current pandemic and staff being redeployed across the NHS to help with the management of this. 

Should this advice change, we will update this FAQ. 

 

I require a visa to work in the UK and my interviews have now been postponed.  What does this mean for me?

This will depend on whether you are currently sponsored by HEE or not.

Currently sponsored by HEE:

The Home Office announced on 31st March 2020 that doctors with visa’s due to expire before 1st October 2020 will automatically be extended for one year. Therefore, if you are already sponsored by HEE and you visa is due to expire before 1st October 2020, you will automatically be granted a further year leave to remain and will be able to continue in your training post.

More information can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/nhs-frontline-workers-visas-extended-so-they-can-focus-on-fighting-coronavirus

Not currently sponsored by HEE (or your HEE visa is due to expire after 1st October 2020):

We are working with specialties and recruiters to confirm contingency plans for their recruitment processes and a revised timetable will be shared as soon as possible, however we are not anticipating a change to the post start dates.

Due to changes to the shortage occupation list, with the exception of Public Health, there is no longer a requirement to start in post within 6 months of the publication date of the advert for the specialty.  As such, changes to the recruitment timeline are unlikely to have a significant effect on your visa application if you are new to HEE, however these may impact on your start date in post. 

If you are not currently sponsored by HEE, you are required to have your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) in your possession before you are able to commence training.  Time is needed to allow for the HEE Overseas this, processing of visa applications may mean that you are unable to start until after August 2020.    Sponsorship Team to process your Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) and the Home Office need a minimum of 8 weeks to process your application (unless a priority service is used).  In light of this processing of visa applications may mean that you are unable to start until after August 2020.    

 

I am in a Core training programme and require an extension to my HEE visa to move into a Higher Specialty training programme.  How does this affect me? 

The Home Office announced on 31st March 2020 that doctors with visa’s due to expire before 1st October 2020 will automatically be extended for one year. Therefore, if you are already sponsored by HEE and you visa is due to expire before 1st October 2020, you will automatically be granted a further year leave to remain and will be able to continue in your training programme. If you are currently sponsored by HEE and your visa expires after 1st October 2020 you will need to submit your extension application to the Home Office before your current visa expires. If you do not get your new Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) back prior to your post start date, you will still be able to commence in post, however you will require some additional checks by your employing Trust.

 

I am currently living in the UK, but am not sponsored by HEE and would need to travel to my home country to apply for a visa.  Given the pandemic, is there anything in place that would allow me to obtain a visa without travel to my home country? 

During these unique circumstances you will be able to apply from the UK to switch to a long-term UK visa until 31 May. The Home Office have confirmed that a Tier 2 visa is classed as a ‘long term visa’. This includes applications where you would usually need to apply for a visa from your home country. You will need to meet the same visa requirements and pay the UK application fee. More details can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-for-uk-visa-applicants-and-temporary-uk-residents.

 

Where can I find further information regarding immigration queries related to Coronavirus?

UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) have set up a Coronavirus Immigration Helpline, for immigration queries related only to Coronavirus:

Telephone: 0800 678 1767 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm).  Calls are free of charge.

Email: CIH@homeoffice.gov.uk

Website: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-immigration-guidance-if-youre-unable-to-return-to-china-from-the-uk

 

What will happen to my current sponsorship if I am prevented from working due to illness of Coronavirus or cannot travel back to the UK due to restrictions?

Some Trainees may be prevented from attending employment due to illness, the need to serve a period of quarantine or the inability to travel due to travel restrictions caused by coronavirus.

The Home Office have confirmed that Sponsors do not need to withdraw sponsorship if they consider there are exceptional circumstances when:

- an employee is absent from work without pay for four weeks or more (Tier 2)

- a student will be unable to attend for more than 60 days (Tier 4)

Trainees should keep their employers up to date and fully comply with relevant Absence Policies and recorded as Coronavirus for future audit purposes.  HEE is not required to report absences related to coronavirus which have been authorised.

 

In my training programme, an exam is required either for progression through training or CCT, however my College has cancelled all exams.  What does this mean for me?

For medical specialties, the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, the Conference of Postgraduate Medical Deans (UK) (COPMeD) and the GMC have released a joint statement detailing how progression and CCT will be managed in light of cancellation of exams due to Covid-19 and where an exam is a curriculum requirement. 

This can be found on the GMC website

We are currently awaiting advice for dental specialties and will update this FAQ as soon as possible. 

 

My immigration leave is due to expire or has expired, but I am not/have not been able to leave the UK due to self-isolation or travel restrictions.  What should I do?

If you are in the UK and your leave expires between 24 January 2020 and 31 May 2020, your visa will be extended to 31 May 2020 if you cannot leave the UK because of travel restrictions or self-isolation related to coronavirus (COVID-19).

You must contact the Home Office via the Coronavirus Immigration Team (CIT) to update your records if your visa is expiring. More details can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-for-uk-visa-applicants-and-temporary-uk-residents

 

I would like to work extra hours to help during the pandemic, but I am limited by my visa restrictions.  Is there anything I can do?

Yes, the Home Office announced on the on 31st March 2020 that restrictions on the amount of hours trainee doctors on visas can work in the NHS have been lifted, allowing doctors to work additional hours should they wish.

More information can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/nhs-frontline-workers-visas-extended-so-they-can-focus-on-fighting-coronavirus

 

I am a LTFT trainee who has changed their hours as a result of the COVID pandemic. Will I be able to return to my original working percentage during the COVID pandemic?

Yes, if your circumstances change during the current COVID pandemic and you are no longer able to work at a higher working percentage, you will be able to revert to your original working percentage during this time.

 

I am a LTFT trainee who has changed their hours as a result of the COVID pandemic. Will this result in an automatic calculation of my CCT date

No trainee will be disadvantaged by any changes that take place during the current COVID pandemic. No automatic recalculation will be made . Any changes to your CCT will be individualised to your experience 

 

I am undertaking a period of academic training as OOP(R) in another part of the UK.  Can I volunteer to work in a clinical role, to support the Covid-19 response, here or do I have to return to my original region?

We appreciate that many of you will have physically relocated to undertake your PhD or MD, and also have formed clinical links nearby.  You are welcome to volunteer wherever is most convenient for you and your family.

 

When will more information be published on ARCPs?

The UKFPO has revised the Annual Review of Competency Progression (ARCP) Guidance for 2020. The updated guidance can be found here.

We are currently working up more detailed plans for ARCPs and will write out to trainees when we have more information. 

 

My curriculum requires that I must have 4 Multiple Consultant Reports, but with changes to my work due to COVID-19 I have not been able to get all these done – what should I do?

Work-place-based assessments (WPBA) and Supervised Learning Events (SLEs) are required in many curricula. These are tools to formalise and give structure to feedback to trainees. They are also used to inform the writing of supervisor reports and as an indication by ARCP panels of trainee engagement. The numbers of either WPBAs or SLEs are indicative of the number considered to be useful; usually there are a range of other types of evidence that can also be used.

ARCP panels should always take a ‘general approach’ when reviewing a trainee’s portfolio and not focus on precise numbers of WPBA/SLEs done, providing there is reasonable evidence of trainee engagement with training and an opinion that a trainee has attained the required standard.

Where a trainee is having difficulty acquiring the curricula required evidence they should speak directly with their ES or specialty tutor for advice. The recent statement from JRCPTB published on their website indicates a modified number of MCRs that will be required in the current highly unusual pandemic environment.

 

I need to get evidence for DOPS to be signed off as competent in procedures but will not be able to do this in the current situation – what should I do?

Trainees should try to get their DOPS done if possible however, if the current situation prevents this from occurring fully, Assessment Panels will take this into account and trainees will be able to demonstrate this evidence later on in training in the following year. This also applies to those progressing to the next stage of training where ‘carry-over’ of the requirement will be permitted and supported.

 

The person specification for the specialty I have applied for states that Advanced Life Support (ALS) is a requirement, however courses have been cancelled due to Covid-19.  What should I do?

ALS remains a requirement for the specialty you have applied for.  We understand that you may not be able to confirm currently that you are booked on an ALS course as a number of them have been cancelled due to Covid-19, however you will need to undertake this prior to starting in post.  ALS skills are particularly important in light of the current pandemic and staff being redeployed across the NHS to help with the management of this. 

Should this advice change, we will update this FAQ. 

 

I am in a Core training programme and require an extension to my HEE visa to move into a Higher Specialty training programme.  How does this affect me? 

Based on post start dates remaining unchanged, if you are currently sponsored by HEE and require an extension, you will need to submit your application to the Home Office before your current visa expires.  If you do not get your new Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) back prior to your post start date, you will still be able to commence in post, however you will require some additional checks by your employing Trust. 

We are liaising with the Home Office around alternatives should post start dates be delayed.  Should there be any update, we will amend this FAQ. 

 

What will happen to my current sponsorship if I am prevented from working due to illness of Coronavirus or cannot travel back to the UK due to restrictions?

Some Trainees may be prevented from attending employment due to illness, the need to serve a period of quarantine or the inability to travel due to travel restrictions caused by coronavirus.

The Home Office have confirmed that Sponsors do not need to withdraw sponsorship if they consider there are exceptional circumstances when:

- an employee is absent from work without pay for four weeks or more (Tier 2)

- a student will be unable to attend for more than 60 days (Tier 4)

Trainees should keep their employers up to date and fully comply with relevant Absence Policies and recorded as Coronavirus for future audit purposes.  HEE is not required to report absences related to coronavirus which have been authorised.

What is the impact of Coronavirus On Study Leave for Doctors on Training

Trainees should endeavour to obtain a refund for any pre-booked expenses. If they unable to do so we will honour the claim, but they should provide evidence when they submit their claim that the expense was non-refundable.

All requests for study leave time not taken during the outbreak will be properly considered by the employers and Postgraduate deans and will be subject to the need to maintain NHS services, and training requirements for completion of programmes.

When organisations cancel courses and training, can the Postgraduate dean and their team please ensure that provision for essential courses such as ALS is still available to ensure patient safety remains a priority.

We are asking all parties to be flexible both during and after this difficult time.

Courses and Funding

Please be assured that reimbursement of any approved funding for cancelled training will be honoured for trainees who have already incurred expenses

There will not be approval for any new courses at the current time as all non-essential training has been suspended

 

Recruitment

Face to face recruitment has been cancelled. The DCT Advisory Group (DCTAG) have submitted proposals for a modified selection process to the Medical & Dental Recruitment & Selection (MDRS) team and are awaiting approval. There will be an update to all applicants for the 2020/21 DCT and Speciality Recruitment process when further details are available.

Trainees who have applied to the national DCT recruitment process for 2020/21 should continue to monitor the national recruitment website through this link: (https://www.eastmidlandsdeanery.nhs.uk/recruitment/dental/dental_core_tr...). We currently recommend all applicants keep both the 28th April and 29th April available until further notice.

There is a generic inbox (dctnro@hee.nhs.uk) if you wish to direct questions to the national DCT recruitment team, although we ask you to respect that they are extremely busy at present and may not respond immediately.

 

Loss of clinical training time

Whilst there is likely to be loss of core clinical training time, trainees should take the opportunity to engage in and to record any experience which offers transferable skills within the e-portfolio. It is expected that the situation will offer significant leadership and management opportunities. In addition, any non-clinical time should be used constructively for ongoing governance, audit and QI projects as these are curriculum requirements for FRCP. With agreement, working away from the clinical workplace at certain times may be appropriate to comply with advice regarding social distancing.

Trainees should also be mindful that non-direct clinical time accumulated during this period may be compensated for as the situation resolves in order to address the significant clinical backlog that will be accumulated

 

Undertaking clinical procedures

Please follow the most up to date NHS safety guidance on Aerosol Generating Procedures within the country you are working.

 

FRCPs

There has been published guidance around contingency planning for the July ARCPs/RCPs for Dental Trainees, which will be updated frequently.

 

Exam cancellation

All Royal College examinations are cancelled. Please refer to the Royal College websites for specific information.

Trainees should continue to monitor the national recruitment website for regular updates and advice: https://www.copdend.org/postgraduate-training/national-recruitment-for-specialty/

All UK DFTs, DTFTs and DCTs, supervisors and Deanery employees have been given free, open, access to Dentaljuice until 1st September 2020. Each HEE regional office will generate the memberships and you will receive an activation email from support@dentaljuice.com.

 

Should I be in work now study days have been cancelled?

 

Yes, you should attend your now designated place of work and undertake appropriate duties as determined by your clinical line manager.

 

I think I should be self-isolating. What should I do?

Please follow the advice of your employing organisation. If advised to self-isolate please inform your employer/ES and your TPD in writing. Please keep them updated about your wellbeing.

In addition use the 111 online coronavirus service for specific advice: https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19/  

For updated information: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

Specific guidance for health professionals is being regularly updated at: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-of-health-and-social-care  

If you are self-isolating due to contact with someone symptomatic, you can continue to work remotely. The expectation is that in your down-time from NHS work, you should continue to maintain your portfolio, undertake self-directed learning or any specific other/additional tasks or projects in line with the DCT curriculum.

As trainees, you will all continue to be remunerated and it is important to use this time wisely and respectfully. The requirement to demonstrate that you are acquiring the necessary professional / clinical skills and knowledge can continue when practicable and can be submitted for consideration as evidence at FRCP.

 

If I am pregnant, should I carry on treatment as normal?

Please follow the published RCOG guidance and BDA guidance: i. https://www.rcog.org.uk/coronavirus-pregnancy ii. https://www.bda.org/advice/Coronavirus/Pages/faqs.aspx  

It is essential you contact your local Occupational Health and have a full risk assessment carried out, with the consideration that dental professionals have a slightly higher risk of catching airborne viruses due to certain dental procedures

 

Redeployment

Consideration of redeployment of trainees is appropriate in exceptional circumstances such as this. Training has been suspended and we have moved into a period of generic healthcare.

You continue to be an employee of your employing organisation. As such you may be requested to redeploy to meet the needs of patients.

If the situation changes and a call is made for all healthcare workers to be mobilised to work in different acute settings, then all salaried NHS employees who are risk free, including trainees, will be expected to engage accordingly.

 

Pastoral Care

Pastoral care is vital during this difficult time

This should be through your CS, ES and TPD. It should also be available at your Trust through the Department of Postgraduate Medical Education and if this is not possible, through the HEE Professional Support & Wellbeing service (PSW) or your responsible Associate Dental Dean.

 

What should I do now study days have been cancelled?

In time, if appropriate, you will be set specific and individually tailored learning requirements by your ES/TPD that will need to be met. We will also try to offer virtual alternatives via access to webinars, virtual study sessions etc.

Please take ownership of the requirement to demonstrate that you are acquiring the necessary profession / clinical skills and knowledge as set out in the DCT curriculum.

The following sites may be helpful and should be visited by all DCTs • https://www.e-lfh.org.uk/programmes/coronavirus/ https://www.e-lfh.org.uk/programmes/dentistry/

Following the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) announcement (26 March) to postpone both the June and September 2020 pre-registration pharmacist assessments, we have published a joint statement with NHS Education for Scotland and Health Education and Improvement Wales. The statement can be accessed here.

We recognise that you will have concerns and questions. Your main point of contact for support and queries will be your regional Pre-registration Pharmacist Lead.We also encourage you to use the Health Education England Pre-registration Pharmacy Questions Portal to anonymously submit any questions and concerns that you have. We will use this portal to understand the concerns of our trainees and we will aim to update this Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) resource.

Please be aware that the full details of the amended registration process, are still being explored and developed by the GPhC. As such, we will not have all the answers at this time.

The GPhC has also produced an FAQs resource, available on their website.

FAQs

When will pre-registration pharmacist trainees and tutors be provided with further information about the postponed registration assessments?

Thank you for your questions. We appreciate that you have many concerns on how the proposed registration assessment and registration changes will affect your current training. Please be assured that we are continuously working closely with the GPhC and other key partners to share your concerns and provide some clarity for pre-registration pharmacists. As soon as we have any further or new information, we will share this with you.

We know how worrying this is for you and we want to help you as much as we can. Please continue to use the portal and encourage your fellow pre-registration pharmacist trainees to use it. This will help us understand how better we can support you all. We anticipate sharing further, which will detail some of this support, and we ask you to please keep an eye out for this.

 

What should pharmacist trainees do now they have been told that the GPhC registration assessments are postponed?

The GPhC is currently considering the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on pre-registration training and assessment and we expect more information will be available in the coming days.

We recognise that there may be circumstances when trainees may be required to help or support outside of their scheduled training pathways and contracted duties. Trainees may also be temporarily re-directed to duties where they have already demonstrated competency to help with service provision. In these circumstances it is essential that systems are in place to support trainees and keep patients safe. Trainee wellbeing must be protected, and processes must be in place to ensure they are not exposed to risks through their work or training. As such, we have set out some guidance principles for trainees.

 

Guidance principles for all pre-registration pharmacy trainees

Trainees should:

- Only complete activities in the workplace that they have demonstrated competence in or are in the process of developing competence in, under supervision. Trainees should continue to ask for help and guidance when needed.

- Continue to have regular check-ins with their tutor. The tutor is key for supervision and to the support structure of a trainee. It is important to have regular communication and share any concerns.

- Continue to gather evidence of their competence against the GPhC performance standards.

- Continue to plan for their next review and should assume this is still the next milestone for their training. If this cannot be completed as scheduled, it should be rescheduled to the next  available date. Trainee and supervisors should work together to demonstrate competence for each outstanding performance standard, this could be through direct observation or written evidence. We recognise some flexibility may be needed in these challenging circumstances.

- Look after their own wellbeing and support their colleagues and teams. We advise trainees to share concerns and anxieties with their tutors and supervisors where necessary.  

 

More FAQs for pre-registration pharmacists can be found on the GPhC website.

What’s the guidance for pregnant women trainees?

New advice for pregnant women who are working in the NHS and other work settings has been published by the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecologists.

 

Does the 7 and 14 day isolation guidance apply to trainees?

Yes, the guidance issued by Public Health England applies to everyone including medical and dental trainees. The guidance can be found on the government website.