FAQs for Trainees

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

Your referrer should 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 Admin team and will be offered an either an appointment to  meet with your case manager, a phone call or some support measures available to you by email.These steps 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 who has a wealth of experience in supporting trainee's requiring additional support, advice or guidance.

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 opportunities.

If you do not engage, the PSU team will be obliged to inform the referrer.

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
  • Independent high level occupational health advice
  • Psychiatric assessment
  • Career support
  • Psychology
  • Dyslexia Screening
  • Exam Support Workshop's
  • Educational Psychology
  • 1:1 Exam Skills coaching
Are the meetings confidential?

Anything discussed with the PSU will be treated in the strictest confidence, and will only be shared outside of the PSU with the consent of the trainee. However this is subject to the professional, ethical guidelines of the GMC/GDC and the need to protect patients and the public from harm and abide by the law. If the Professional Support Unit "PSU" believes that professional, ethical principles or laws are being broken by the individual, the trainee will be advised of this and the contents of the meeting will be shared with the Postgraduate Dean or nominated representative to determine appropriate action including GMC referral.

Are all details held confidentially by the Professional Support Unit?

Records of 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, the action points or outcomes of any discussions 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?

The PSU aims to support trainees throughout the whole of their training should the need arise however, trainees often do not need such continuous high level support after initial support is identified and put in place.

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 most training concerns being addressed at a local level first thus, we feel a referral is better received from an educator on your behalf as this provides a better structure for support enabling us to work more collaboratively to explore and access additional support.

However, for trainees having experienced continual exam failure (2 or more attempts) a self referral Form E can be completed. TPD's should still be made aware of any trainee requesting additional support so that they too can provide local support in addition to the support accessed via the PSU.

Please Note: The Exam Support put in place is typically across 8 sessions on a 1:1 basis and therefore a minimum of 12 weeks notice (prior to exam sitting) is required to ensure adequate support is provided. 

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