The School of Public Health (SoPH) Quality Framework outlines our commitment to ensuring that "the learning environment is one in which education and training is valued and learners are treated fairly, with dignity and respect, and are not subject to negative attitudes or behaviours" (PHQF B.1):
- The School will ensure that education and training opportunities are based on principles of equality and diversity. All CSs and ESs will complete E&D training as part of accreditation.
- The Training Programme (TP) and training locations will make reasonable adjustments in line with the Equality Act 2010 and ensure future training locations are notified of such requirements.
- All trainees will be treated fairly, with dignity and respect and regarded as part of the team.
- Trainees will not be subjected to, or subject others to, behaviour that undermines their professional confidence, performance or self-esteem. Trainees should feel secure and enabled to raise concerns about bullying and undermining.
- The School encourages a candid, responsive and no-blame learning culture, which actively seeks and responds to feedback from learners and educators. Training locations will include trainee feedback in their QA self-assessment and respond to any feedback from the trainee survey, 'SAFE' placement questionnaire and end of placement questionnaires and interviews (see further information below on how we seek and use trainee feedback).
- The TP will follow clear processes for escalating any concerns about learner performance or behaviour and guidance on appropriately documenting any concerns or observations. Clinical Supervisors (CSs) will escalate to Educational Supervisors (ESs) and the Training Programme Director (TPD) any concerns they may have about a trainee's wellbeing, behaviour or performance to ensure that measures are put in place to support the educator and trainee and ensure safe care.
Responding to concerns or complaints
The HEE Policy for Supporting and escalating concerns outlines the process for reporting, escalating and responding to any individual concerns or feedback regarding educational quality.
In the PH School and Training Programme, we will:
- Encourage, invite and act on constructive feedback from multiple sources to support continuous improvement in educational quality and safety, including where concerns are raised;
- Be cognisant that concerns may arise from multiple sources either for individual events or cumulatively;
- Work collaboratively with the employers of any educator where concerns have been raised to ensure that there is an appropriate and proportionate investigation, including acting on the outcome of that investigation and any recommendations (including consideration of performance measures);
- Ensure a senior member of the faculty team (Training Programme Director/Head of School/Quality Lead) is available to deal with concerns should they relate to an individual in one of these senior roles, acknowledging the power differential which may occur.
- Keep appropriate information relating to concerns confidential whilst ensuring that lessons are learnt and disseminated and that outcomes, where appropriate, are fed back to the reporter;
- Expect those raising concerns to fulfil their professional responsibility as part of any investigation to enable appropriate information to be gathered and action to be taken;
- Respect the desire of any learner to be supported by an independent advocate at any point.
- These points will not affect the right of any learner to raise concerns with the HEE quality team directly.
The PH Training Programme is introducing a pilot annual trainee survey to complement information received by the GMC Trainee survey (where numbers are often quite small for PH to get an accurate picture of the quality of training).
We are also trialing and evaluating a new objective short questionnaire (acronym 'SAFE') at the start of each new placement to provide early identification of any issues in new placements. This will be evaluated to understand its usefulness, relevance and added value in PH training.
Registrars are asked to contribute feedback to the training location annual quality self-assessment and also to complete an exit interview and questionnaire (see Placements and training location page for further information).
The Public Health School in the East of England views bullying and harassment as completely unacceptable, and is committed to ensuring that workplace environments used for training are suitable for the purpose, being free from bullying or intimidating behavior.
This advice below also summarises the PHTP and PHREE position on what to do if you feel you are being bullied or discriminated against in the workplace.
The following information which includes relevant policies, statements and other documents may be of use if you are impacted by this issue:
- HEE guidance: https://heeoe.hee.nhs.uk/psw/resources/bullying-undermining-and-harassment-guidance
- How to access wellbeing support https://heeoe.hee.nhs.uk/medical-training/trainee-well-being-hub
- Lead employer policies https://sharedservices.sthk.nhs.uk/lead-employer/policies-and-forms/
- School management and escalation routes https://heeoe.hee.nhs.uk/public_health/specialty-training-programme/programme-management
National advice and reports:
- BMA resources on bullying and harassment https://www.bma.org.uk/advice-and-support/discrimination-and-harassment/bullying-and-harassment/bullying-and-harassment-support-resources
- GMC resources including 'Building a supportive environment' (2015) and GMC 'Special report on bullying and undermining' (2014)
- Academy of Medical Royal Colleges 'Charter for doctors in training' (2014)
- NHS alliance against bullying and harassment https://www.aomrc.org.uk/news-and-views/an-alliance-against-bullying-undermining-and-harassment-in-the-nhs/
- CIPD information on bullying and harassment https://www.cipd.co.uk/knowledge/fundamentals/emp-law/harassment