Bedfordshire and Luton Core Psychiatry Training Scheme
Core Training in Psychiatry in Bedfordshire and Luton is delivered via a small, friendly scheme with ample opportunities to develop your clinical and academic skills. The scheme covers the whole of Bedfordshire and Luton, offering a wide range of posts from acute psychiatric wards in towns to community clinics covering more rural communities. Existing links with the two main general hospitals, Bedford Hospital and Luton and Dunstable Hospital, have recently been developed with the establishment of Liaison Psychiatry services in each location. East London NHS Foundation Trust, which runs mental health services in Bedfordshire and Luton has recently been rated “Outstanding” by the CQC.
Core Trainees usually start their rotation in General Adult or Old Age Psychiatry posts in their first year and move on to other specialist posts, such as Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Learning Disability Psychiatry later on. Other posts, including Crisis Resolution and Home Treatment (CRHT) and liaison psychiatry, are often chosen in the trainee’s CT3 year.
Clinical and Educational Supervisors are chosen for their enthusiasm to teach and support trainees and only those with on-going positive feedback get trainees allocated to work with them. There is a competitive element with more consultants wanting to be supervisors than there are training posts!
In addition to the standard clinical and educational supervision meetings, trainees have regular opportunities to reflect on on-call experiences and any other practical issues in a fortnightly On-call Supervision session facilitated by a consultant. Trainees also chair their own monthly “Junior-Senior Meeting”, attended by educational and medical managers, which seeks to swiftly address any problems trainees wish to raise. Trainees also have the opportunity to facilitate tutorials for undergraduate medical students during their rotation.
There is a comprehensive teaching programme in Bedfordshire and Luton, which is held on Wednesday afternoons. This county-wide teaching programme is held centrally at Wrest Park and is structured to allow teams (comprising consultant, trainees and other team members) to host an afternoon of learning about a particular case and topic. Our recent topics include The History of Psychiatry, Forensic Psychiatry Updates and Trainee Wellbeing and Reflective Practice.
A research group has just been established in collaboration with the Newham Centre for Community and Social Psychiatry, Dr Kurt Buhagiar (Lead) Trainees are very welcome to collaborate and will be able to undertake research under supervision.
Our Psychotherapy supervision is provided on a weekly basis by a Consultant Medical Psychotherapist, who arranges suitable short and long cases for Core Trainees. In addition, there is a weekly Balint Group that follows the psychotherapy supervision. Trainees have consistently rated this part of their training experience very highly.
Trainee Views - Dr Shevonne Matheiken
As an international medical graduate (IMGs), I found the training environment in Bedfordshire & Luton, to be supportive and sensitive to the needs of an IMG whilst ensuring that we get many opportunities to fulfil our true potential.
The trainees at Bedfordshire/Luton are employed by a London based Trust (ELFT) but we are under the east of England Deanery for all matters related to training. This gives us exceptional networking, academic and research opportunities in our Deanery region as well as with other ELFT trainees.
We are a small training rotation but have a range of sub-speciality choices, as well as having the added geographical advantages of being close to Central London and Cambridge.
The Deanery’s approved post for Liaison Psychiatry accreditation as a higher trainee is also in Bedfordshire/Luton. In terms of work life balance, my Supervisors, TPD and Head of School have been supportive all along. Less than fulltime training options are available to trainees who have either childcare or health related needs and who wish to train part-time. We also had access to an excellent Deanery-funded CASC training programme that played a significant role in my passing the CASC in the first attempt.
I have now completed my core training and have chosen to stay in Bedfordshire/Luton for my higher training, which is dual training in old age and general adult psychiatry.
In addition to the training scheme itself, Bedfordshire is a great place to live. Housing is much more affordable than many nearby areas and there are excellent rail links to London, Cambridge and the north of the county for those considering commuting.
Any questions? Get in touch!
We are always keen to hear from any trainees who want to find out more about Core Training in Bedfordshire and Luton. Please contact us using the details below:
Jo Saunders (Jo.Saunders4@nhs.net)