For the attention of the Chair of the Conference of Postgraduate Medical Deans
I’m writing to update you on the steps we’re taking, through our new corporate strategy, to promote equality, diversity and inclusion in our own processes, and achieve positive outcomes for the diverse groups we work with and for. Our plans are grounded in the extensive research and independent reviews we’ve commissioned in recent years; and they’ll help build momentum on the initiatives that your organisation, and many others, are already leading to address persistent inequalities across healthcare.
You can read our press release and more information on our embargoed webpage. I’d be grateful if you didn’t share this more widely until 18 May.
Holding ourselves to account
Our Council have agreed that we should introduce new targets to hold ourselves accountable for change. We’ll focus on areas where we’ve seen sustained evidence of inequality over time, to:
- eliminate disproportionate fitness to practise referrals from employers, in relation to ethnicity and primary medical qualification, by 2026
- eliminate discrimination, disadvantage and unfairness in undergraduate and postgraduate medical education and training, by 2031
We’ll show our progress in each of these areas every year, through our annual report and other publications, such as The state of medical education and practice in the UK.
These are complex issues. But there is strong evidence that inclusive and supportive working and training environments have fairer outcomes and don’t experience sustained differentials in these areas. Setting targets is the right and fair thing to do for those who face these challenges throughout their careers. It’s also vital so we can retain the doctors we have in our health services, and to support high quality patient care.
Working together to deliver change
These targets are ambitious and achieving them will require real commitment from us and from partner organisations across the UK. We hope we can count on your support, to continue our work together to deliver these important changes. And we’ll offer data, insight and practical tools to those who are working to tackle disproportionality and create supportive environments for all doctors, across all protected characteristics, grades and specialties.
We’re also taking action to improve diversity in our own organisation, by increasing progression and representation of ethnic minority colleagues at all levels, and by addressing the gender and ethnicity pay gap.
I hope you’ve found this update helpful but if you have any questions or would like to discuss opportunities for collaboration, please contact Claire Light, Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Thank you for all your ongoing efforts to support the profession and patient care at what continues to be a difficult time for so many.
Chief Executive and Registrar
General Medical Council
350 Euston Road
London NW1 3JN
Retention of the senior workforce has been recognised as a policy priority in the People Plan and elsewhere and is the current subject of work by NHS England/Improvement. At present, some of the recommendations on supporting older doctors are focused on consultants or make assumptions about the needs of all doctors. The attached AoMRC paper seeks to shed light on where the specific preferences, needs and working patterns of SAS doctors need to be considered. The paper can also be accessed at following link:
Protected time for trainee development was introduced into the new RCEM curriculum being implemented from August 2021. Initially called “SPA time” it was renamed earlier this year to “Educational Development Time” to reflect the broader, more clinical focus of these sessions. I have attached the relevant section from the curriculum which still calls it SPA but gives greater detail. I would like to highlight some key principles
- This is a recommendation
- It is a controlled process, with a described governance process through their ES/CS
- The expectation is that these will be mainly for clinical competencies mostly within the Emergency Department (ED)
- Given the breadth of the EM curriculum it does give the opportunity to gain experience to meet their PDP, outside the ED
- It tilts the emphasis of the trainees’ session from service to training to meet the requirements of their curriculum
- It enables trainees to meet their PDP objectives, facilitating them acting as adult learners, taking control and organising their own development
It is not for trainee CPD, and is not the same as the old “half day for audit. It is not supposed to be just scheduled automatically week in week out by rota co-ordinators as it is agreed with the ES/CS for described and documented PDP and curricular objectives, the majority of which are clinical and within the ED. Managed like this it can be seen how this could be used to deliver the specialty curriculum, GPC framework and prepare a trainee for managing their ongoing development in a consultant role.
However with some flexibility now, it could be used in personalised training plans for training recovery, particularly in areas we know have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic eg Minor Injuries and Paediatric EM, and if possible IAC. That was the objective of a letter that was sent to Clinical Directors (and Heads of School) recently, attached. Unfortunately this letter seems to have caused some anxieties about service delivery and the equitable use of time by trainees, not just in EM but in all specialties. It is clear that we didn’t adequately explain the concept of EDT so there was a misconception that it was automatic, for CPD and analogous to and even more generous than the “half day for audit”, for which I apologise.
I hope that this explanation enables you to support the concept and implementation and gives you the information to field any queries. I’ve asked RCEM to ensure that their trainers are equally familiar with the concept of EDT.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any further questions.
Deputy Postgraduate Dean
Health Education England, working across Yorkshire and the Humber
Willow Terrace Road | University of Leeds | Leeds | LS2 9JT07480 068441
Virtual via Teams 9.00am - 1.00pm on Friday 16th July 2021. This event is being run by Dr Ed Briggs and there is no charge for attendance. If you wish to attend please contact email@example.com by Friday 9th July 2021.
For those of you that do not know me I am the Lead dean with responsibility for Less Than Full Time training. For those of you that do know me I am sorry that I have not been in touch for a while.
I would wish to update you on a few issues:
LTFT training and flexibility are seen as a key initiative in NHS. It was highlighted in the NHs long term plan and is seen as a key wellbeing resource post COVID. We have been given the green light to roll out Category 3 LTFT to all specialties over the next year in stages. Please keep an eye out for communications from HEE about this.
I have managed to compile a list of Champions by various means, but now think I am very close to have a name for each trust. I have always wanted to set up a network for Champions, but think this will best be done through each Deanery local office.
There is already a successful Champions meeting in London on Teams, and I would wish to replicate this in other regions.
I therefore plan to send the list of champions to HEE staff in local offices, so that we can start t co-ordinate meetings. I would also wish the local offices to publish a list champions on their local websites , such that trainees can know who to contact. I would to seek your permission to do this.
Secondly I have historically hosted a national conference for champions, which clearly has not been possible with the pandemic. I will plan to hold a meeting as soon as is practicable, but will be running a webinar in the near future.
As part of the Medical Reform Programme , HEE have commissioned an external evaluation of the Champion Role. I am aware that some of you took part in this evaluation. This is the first time this has been done. Highlights from the evaluation were:
- The greatest impact of Champions was in signposting trainees to practical information and resources
- There should be better standardisation of the role
- There should be better awareness of the role
- 69% of Champions had been previous LTFT trainees
- 64% combine the Champion of Flexible Training role with the Guardian of Safe Working Hours or Supported Return to training Champion
- There is variation in renumeration for the Role
- Networking opportunities should be developed
I will share this report when it is available, but will work on the feedback you have given.
I look forward to seeing you all in the future at some point,
Deputy Postgraduate Dean and Consultant Vascular Surgeon
Health Education England, working across Yorkshire and the Humber
A news item courtesy of Helen Cattermole, Council member, DME and Surgeon:
The Joint Committee for Surgical Training (JCST) would like to highlight to all surgical educators that the new curriculum is being implemented from August 2021 and would urge all educators to familiarise themselves with the changes. If the DME is not a surgeon the magnitude of these changes might have passed them by!
There are lots of resources available - the implementation was delayed by a year due to COVID - and some surgical departments may require additional support from DMEs and their teams to make these changes work.
In particular, the introduction of the Multi Consultant Report (MCR) will require some departments to have meetings where they do not currently exist.
The emphasis on the content and quality of ES reports has increased significantly and will potentially catch many surgeons by surprise.
JCST have asked for help from NACT and NAMEM to get DMEs on board with ensuring the College Tutors and Clinical Leads are up to speed with the changes and identify any adjustments that might be required in individual Trusts/departments.
There are lots of resources on https://www.iscp.ac.uk/iscp/curriculum-2021/ and a new virtual weekly drop in Q&A session is starting every Friday morning from 14th May.
SAS Development Day - Friday 17th September 2021 - Horwood House, Hotel, Little Horwood, Bucks
You are invited to submit abstracts for an oral presentation concerned with any innovations/developments/areas of good practice/things that have worked well in supporting SAS doctors that could be shared with others
We would welcome submissions from either SAS Doctors themselves or those involved in supporting SAS Doctors (e.g. SAS Tutors, DMEs, Deanery Leads)
Please click on links below:
NACT UK 5 Steps to help promote inclusivity in medical education
We were delighted to receive Dr Simon Carley’s guide to running online education via our network. He has kindly offered to allow NACT to “adopt” it as a document for all members to benefit from. To accompany it we have produced a short video to support the use of Zoom and all of its functions. We very much hope you find these resources useful, and welcome any feedback!
Please log in to the Members Area and click on NACT UK Documents to access the document and video.
Click here for further details.