FAQs for Trainees

Why have I been referred to the Professional Support Unit (PSU)?

Your referrer will have discussed the referral with you, and the type of support they hope may be provided. You will be able to further discuss the reasons for the referral with your case manager.

What happens now?

You will be contacted by the PSU co-ordinator and will be offered an appointment to go and meet with your case manager.The meeting will provide an opportunity to discuss any issues, and to raise any concerns you may have.

Who will my case manager be?

Your case manager will be a senior clinician from the Region. Wherever possible, you will be allocated to a case manager who is not from your specialty or current Trust, in order that they maintain an external and neutral perspective.

How do I find time to attend this meeting?

This meeting is about supporting you and helping you progress with your training. It is usually expected that you attend during working hours, and given sufficient notice, your department will make arrangements for you to attend.

Do I have to come?

You are not obliged to engage with the PSU, but the purpose is very much about supporting you to make progress with your training. Your engagement demonstrates a professional commitment to your practice. If you don’t engage you may miss out on valuable HEEoE funded support.

What type of support is available?

Your individual support plan will be agreed between you and your case manager. Not every person seen requires additional support, but possible options include:

  • Communication skills support
  • Coaching
  • Exam preparation
  • Language support
  • Independent occupational health advice
  • Psychiatric assessment
  • Career support
Are the meetings confidential?

The same principles that apply when we consult with patients will apply. This means you can feel free to discuss your concerns, doubts, worries and anxieties with your case manager without fear that these will be shared with others without your express permission.

Exceptions to this rule apply, as you would expect, if you have serious difficulties and your case manager has good reason to believe that your safety or that of patients is at risk.

Are all details held confidentially by the Professional Support Unit?

Records of your discussions with your case manager are stored separately from your main training file and only staff members of the PSU can access them.

Who might information be shared with?

With your permission a summary of your meetings with your case manager will be shared with key individuals, on a need to know basis, to support your training. These would usually include the referrer, your educational supervisor, programme director. You will have an opportunity to discuss and check this information first.

How long can I have case manager support?

Your case manager will support you for HEEofE level issues until they are resolved.

Are there any principles that guide PSU support?

You and your case manager are bound by the requirements of the GMC “Good Medical Practice” guidelines and all postgraduate specialty training is referenced by “The Gold Guide” (see links).

Can I refer myself?

Our framework relies on issues being addressed at a local level first. In addition, we feel a referral is better received from an educator on your behalf as this provides a better structure for your support and we would want to explore with you what it was that makes you feel the need to access PSU level support.

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