NHS Health Education East Midlands

NHS Health Education East Midlands

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Training Support Service FAQs

What is the Training Support Service?

The Training Support Service is a service for trainees in the East Midlands who are experiencing difficulties which may be adversely impacting on their performance and progression in training. 

Performance problems can occur for a variety of reasons, but primarily fall into one or more of the following categories:

  • Clinical performance and progression (e.g. clinical skills and management, communication skills, exam failure, relating with patients)
  • Personality and behavioural issues (e.g. confidence, leadership skills, motivation, insight, time management, team-working)
  • Sickness/ill health (physical, mental, emotional)
  • Other personal factors (e.g. dealing with stress and anxiety, family concerns, career uncertainty, bereavement)
  • Environmental issues (e.g. workload, bullying and harassment, difficulties with training programme)

Please go to the About Us page for further information about the Training Support Service.

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Why does the Training Support Service exist?

The Training Support Service exists to provide a support service for trainees in the East Midlands, and assists in sensitively and effectively dealing with performance concerns through a co-ordinated process. The Training Support Service offers a consistent approach in the East Midlands to clarify issues and concerns regarding trainees' performance, which helps to facilitate early intervention for significant problems.

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Where is the Training Support Service?

The Training Support Service is part of Health Education East Midlands, which is based in Ruddington, Nottingham. The team are able to meet trainees at their offices in Ruddington, or where possible at NHS premises in Leicester. If you are unable to travel to meet TSS please contact the team to discuss.

For the address and directions to our office location, please click here.

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When can you contact the Training Support Service?

We are available Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm as core office hours. Messages can be left outside these times and we aim to respond to your enquiry as soon as possible. If you would like to speak to somebody in person at the Training Support Service, please call us on 0115 823 3300 within office hours.

For additional contacts, click here.

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Who can access support from the Training Support Service?

The Training Support Service can offer support to medical students, medical, pubic health and dental trainees in a training post within the East Midlands region.

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How can the Training Support Service help trainees?

The Training Support Service has three key roles in supporting trainees:

  1. Provide a case management and support service.
  2. Undertake detailed profiling of performance concerns.
  3. Following an initial appointment to explore the issues, we can recommend a tailored support package which aims to work on the areas identified.  

The Training Support Service has access to a range of support services and can make referrals depending on individual needs and where appropriate. These sources of support are provided by accredited external providers, ensuring the confidentiality of the support sessions. The Training Support Service cannot guarantee success in improving performance as the outcome of the support often depends on the trainee's engagement in the process.

The Training Support Service can support trainees aiming to achieve their training objectives following an unsuccessful RITA or ARCP outcome; however, we are unable to help with the writing of outcome appeals and cannot influence the decision of a RITA or ARCP panel.  The Training Support Service also cannot influence the outcome of any recruitment decisions.

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How can the Training Support Service help trainers?

The Training Support Service aims to work together with trainees and their trainers/supervisors to explore concerns with performance and progression. The involvement of the trainer may help the trainee to feel supported at work and within their training programme.  In order for support to be effective, it is helpful if trainers work with the Training Support Service in providing constructive, coordinated feedback and progress updates when requested.

The Training Support Service can assist trainers in identifying and supporting individual needs which may be outside the training programme's remit or the trainer's expertise. For example, the Training Support Service can access performance profiling tools such as an Occupational and Educational Psychology assessment which may be used to address significant performance issues.

The Training Support Service staff have access to advice from the LETB's medically trained Associate Postgraduate Deans. Medical competency-based issues should be dealt with by the training programme. However the Training Support Service can work together with trainers to help identify and address any underlying problems which may be affecting clinical performance.

The Training Support Service cannot guarantee success in improving performance as the outcome of the support often depends on the trainee's and training programme's engagement in the process.

If you would like to make a referral, the Referral Assessment Form for medical and public health trainees can be downloaded here. For dental trainees please download the Dental Referral Assessment Form. Please send this to heem.trainingsupportservice@nhs.net.  

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How do I access the Training Support Service for support?

In order for a trainee to access support from the Training Support Service they need to be referred by their training programme when performance concerns have been identified through supervision, monitoring, or unsatisfactory RITA or ARCP outcomes. Trainees are usually aware of and in agreement with the referral which often increases their willingness to engage in the process. Being referred by the training programme allows the Training Support Service to gather information regarding the concerns identified by current trainers, before meeting with the trainee to discuss the situation in more detail and gain their perspective. It also means that the trainee is being supported by their training programme, potentially enabling any adjustments which may need to be made to suit their individual needs at work.

A trainee who has concerns that his or her performance could be adversely affected by personal and/or professional problems should speak to someone in their training programme to discuss whether a Training Support Service referral would be appropriate or beneficial.

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What is the background of the Training Support Service team?

The Training Support Service team are not doctors or dentists; they are however experienced in working with postgraduate trainees. 

Members of the team have attended a variety of courses and have a range of accreditations including  NCAS Case Management, Mental Health Awareness, Mentoring in Healthcare Organisations, Bereavement and Loss, Cultural Awareness, Dyslexia Awareness, Mindfulness and Emotional Intelligence, Psychology and Coaching.

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I've been referred to the Training Support Service but I don't agree with being referred to your service.

We would at least encourage an initial meeting with the Training Support Service to explore your circumstances. It may also be helpful to speak further with your supervisor/trainer about the reasons you have been referred. A case manager could also informally discuss your situation on the telephone.

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Is the support free or do I have to pay?

The service is generally free for trainees in the East Midlands where concerns with progress and performance have been identified; however this may depend on the individual circumstances. Please call 0115 823 3300 in the first instance.

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Is the service confidential?

The Training Support Service aims to protect confidentiality as much as possible. However if we have any concerns about self-harm or harm to others, we are obliged to take advice from our Associate Postgraduate Deans and may need to share the concerns with the relevant training programme. 

The content of the meeting notes remain confidential within the Training Support Service. In addition, the detail of the support provided by our external providers is kept confidential between the trainee and provider, and the only information provided to the TSS is about level of trainee engagement, dates of sessions, and brief, general information of topics discussed, which will be shared with the referrer if appropriate.

If you have any questions about confidentiality prior to making your appointment, please call 0115 823 3300 to discuss.

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I work outside the East Midlands but I've trained here previously, can I access your service?

We are only able to offer services to people currently working on a Training Programme within the East Midlands region.

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I'm unsure if I want to continue my current career path OR I would benefit from an opportunity to consolidate my thoughts and actions about my career choice OR I am undecided about which specialty to follow and would benefit from time to explore my options, what should I do?

There may be a number of options open to you in terms of your future career and also in how you may wish to proceed in thinking about it.  It may be helpful to discuss your position with a tutor, educational supervisor or other appropriate person who may be able to offer you guidance. However, you can also contact the Careers team and arrange to meet one of the team for an initial one to one session. Please contact heem.careers@nhs.net or 0115 823 3366  for further information.

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I need to train part-time due to health concerns/child-care needs/etc., what should I do?

For information regarding Less Than Full Time (LTFT) Training, see the Less Than Full Time Training (Flexible Training) section.

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I think I am being bullied or harassed at work, what should I do?

Please see the Policies and Procedures for more information about what steps you can take in this situation. Please note that we are unable to influence the outcomes of any bullying or harassment claims you may make, but can discuss your options over the telephone.
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What other support could I access?

Please download the External Resource List for more information about other organisations or groups you could contact depending on your specific situation.

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