NHS Health Education England

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Professional Support Unit FAQs

Where are the Professional Support Unit?

For directions please go to: https://www.eastmidlandsdeanery.nhs.uk/page.php?area_id=13

The Professional Support Unit is part of Health Education working across the 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. For the address and directions to our office location, please click here.

When can you contact the Professional Support Unit?

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 PSU, please call us on 0115 823 3325 within office hours.

How can the Professional Support Unit help trainers?

The PSU 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 Professional Support Unit in providing constructive, coordinated feedback and progress updates when requested.

The PSU can assist trainers in identifying and supporting individual needs which may be outside the training programme's remit or the trainer's expertise.

The PSU 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 PSU can work together with trainers to help identify and address any underlying problems which may be affecting clinical performance.

The PSU 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.

Workshops for educators and trainers are being developed and will be offered throughout the year. Please contact the team for more information or look on course manager for available courses.

If you would like to make a referral, please choose the appropriate form from the right hand side of the page. Medical and Public health trainees should use the Referral Assessment Form. Dental trainees should use the Dental Referral Assessment Form. Please send this to HEEM.professionalsupportunit@nhs.net.  

What is the background of the Professional Support Unit?

The PSU 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.

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

We would at least encourage an initial meeting with the PSU 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.

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 3325 in the first instance.

Is the service confidential?

The PSU 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 PSU. 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 PSU 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 3325 to discuss.

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 trainees who hold a national training number within the East Midlands region.

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.

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.

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.

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.