We are proud of, and incredibly grateful for the contribution that has been made by doctors in training and healthcare students to health and care services during the pandemic.
The support of senior colleagues across the system, not least from Universities, Royal Colleges and other professional bodies, has played a central role in enabling the NHS to meet the challenge of caring for patients during this difficult time. For your respective contributions, flexibility and leadership - thank you.
As we rapidly approach this summer’s trainee rotations and the autumn new student educational intake, we must now ensure that our current and future clinicians are enabled to develop and progress their careers as they would expect and deserve, and in the way that the NHS in particular needs. We are hearing from trainees and students that this is of great importance to them as they continue to make their valuable contributions to clinical services.
However, while we recognise that, over recent months, we have moved with pace, purpose and agility and need to continue to do so, at the same time it is important to acknowledge that some trainees and students will be entering their new learning and working environments with trepidation.
As leaders, this year it is more important than ever before that we welcome them into the NHS and offer them support and encouragement, even though our understanding of the world we are now is limited because of COVID-19.
Equally, there is no doubt this year that interest in working for and being part of the NHS following COVID-19 is leading to big increases in student applications for health care courses and we trust this will be reflected in the numbers of new nursing, midwifery and allied health profession students. These are really important investments we’re making in our workforce of the future.
As a senior colleague working across the health and care system please try to meet someone new, perhaps help lead an induction session. Whether doctors are on rotation or working differently within a new team or organisation, or a new student is learning differently in a new world, we need to be there with them, addressing any mixed messages, reflecting, listening and learning from them about their experiences, hopes and fears. Remember how important and influential your first teacher or boss was? Being the role model we all would like to be is even more important this year.
We are all increasingly needing to live in a virtual and socially distanced world. While technology has been invaluable in many of our responses to the pandemic, it can also have its limitations. As leaders, we need to find new and creative ways of keeping a personal touch in such a different new world.
Interim Chief Executive