Supported Return to Training
For information about returning to training during the COVID-19 Pandemic please visit our new Coronavirus webpage - which we will update regularly.
Out of the 50,000 doctors in England currently in postgraduate medical training, roughly 10% are taking time out of training at any one time. A doctor might take time out for a variety of personal or professional reasons, to gain additional experience or qualifications, or a career break.
“I know that there are a variety of reasons why a doctor might take approved time out of programme. In many cases it will also benefit their learning, for example, should they seek to develop their skills elsewhere. These are highly committed, hard-working and intelligent individuals who want to get back into training, and it’s right that we value and support them to restore their skills and confidence.” Professor Wendy Reid, Health Education England Director of Education and Quality, and Medical Director
SuppoRTT was developed to provide targeted assistance to help doctors get back “up to speed” when they return to training. Our Supported Return to Training strategy and investment plan outlines HEE's ten commitments to support trainees with their return to training.
How can HEE help returners?
A trainees' time out of programme is coordinated by local HEE offices; including before, during and after. Doctors returning to training can access personalised advice and support through their local HEE office. We have created resources for everyone returning to training, a trainee will develop their individualised 'return to training' package with their appropriate Educator/Supervisor using their local HEE SuppoRTT Team processes.
Each regional HEE office offers a slightly different “menu”, but because the programme is individually tailored, there is room to request things which a trainee requires, providing it is approved by their Supervisors/Educators.
SuppoRTT can offer:
- A period of enhanced supervision
- Refresher courses and simulation training
- Mentoring or professional coaching
- Conferences and workshops
- Funding for other courses or development, as individually required
Contact your local HEE office:
- East of England
- East Midlands
- London and Kent, Surrey and Sussex
- North East
- North West
- Thames Valley - for a list of courses, workshops and simulation for 2020 - please see below
- West Midlands
- Yorkshire and the Humber
HEE engaged in an evidence-gathering exercise; engaging with trainees, medical Royal Colleges, the BMA Junior Doctor’s Council, trainers, educators, employers, HEE’s local offices, the Leadership Academy, patient representatives and the General Medical Council.
HEE received strong feedback that support for trainee returners is inconsistent across location and specialty. Returning to training after time out of practice is a challenging process and that the associated impact on confidence poses the main concern to trainees and trainers alike.
The biggest concern for returners was a lack of confidence in their clinical knowledge and technical skills when they returned to training after time out of programme. While some excellent examples of tailored and accessible support were provided for returners, trainees also reported:
- a lack of guidance on the exit and re-entry process
- a lack of contact with supervisors whilst out of training.
- a breakdown in pastoral relationships resulting in no clear line of responsibility (who to approach to discuss Less Than Full-Time training, for instance)
- support was only received when proactively sought out.
“After being OOP for over three years my confidence working in a clinical environment has reduced. I am specifically concerned about my how lack of confidence will affect my decision making, and worried that during busy on calls I will be indecisive and struggle to get things done” Clinical Research Fellow and ST5 in Respiratory and GIM
Dr Trisha Radia and Dr Sarita Depani provide top tips to trainees who are on/are about to go on a clinical career break due to, for example, maternity, paternity or carer leave, OOPE, OOPR (out of programme education/research) or health reasons.
Five videos developed by London Paediatrics covering topics:
- Less than full time training
- Human factors
- Returning to clinical practice - barriers and solutions
- Sleep management
- Serious incidents - a resource guide for trainees
Useful online resources:
To book, or for more information contact Ann Heath, firstname.lastname@example.org
Cross Specialty Days - for all returning trainees (bookable creche available)
Monday 29 June - Chancellor Court, Oxford Business Park
Wednesday 21 October - Chancellor Court, Oxford Business Park
Going Out Of Programme morning - for forward planners
Thursday 05 March 2020 - Wexham Park Hospital, Slough
Thursday 09 July 2020 – John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford
Productivity in Focus - for researchers and academics
Thursday 16 July - Chancellor Court, Oxford Business Park
OxSTaR Non-technical skills - for returning trainees
Friday 24 April - John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford
OxSTaR High-fidelity simulation - for returning trainees
Tuesday 5 May - John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford
Friday 24 July - John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford
Thursday 13 August - John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford
Paediatric skills and simulation - for returning trainees
Monday 6 April - Churchill Hospital, Oxford
Monday 15 June – Churchill Hospital, Oxford
Monday 28 September - Churchill Hospital, Oxford
Monday 14 December - Churchill Hospital, Oxford
Skills and simulation - for returning physicians
Wednesday 17 June - Stoke Mandeville
Wednesday 14 October - Stoke Mandeville
Skills and simulation - for returning anaesthetists
Wednesday 8 July - Stoke Mandeville
Skills and simulation - for returning obstetricians and gynaecologists
Thursday 16 July - Stoke Mandeville
Skills and simulation - for returning surgeons
Monday 27 April - Stoke Mandeville
Tuesday 21 July - Stoke Mandeville
Tuesday 13 October - Stoke Mandeville
Critical care - for returning trainees
Wednesday 16 September - Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust
FY1 & FY2 Return to Foundation Day
Thursday 23 July - John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford
Bespoke small-group surgical skills teaching and mentoring
Wexham Park Simulation Centre
Suzie Pomfret is an Education Fellow doing an MD in Medical Education, out of programme for research (OOPR). She also took time out of program for maternity leave (9 months) after the arrival of her son, Max and is due to go on maternity leave again soon.Read Suzie's story