As the Junior Doctors' contract dispute in England waged on during 2016/17, we looked for ways to help trainees across all four nations be heard on big issues such as trainee morale and the quality of training.
The Psychiatric Trainees’ Committee organised and led a series of regional focus groups across all eleven Divisions of the College between June 2016 - January 2017. This was followed by a National survey.
Each focus group concentrated on three key lines of enquiry, highlighting what trainees thought was currently working well and what steps we could take to improve in the future.
In April 2017 we published our final review:
Download 'Supported and Valued' (PDF)
Outcomes from the review:
While more work needs to be done to ensure fairer training opportunities throughout the UK, the quality of psychiatric training and the opportunities we receive exceeds many other specialties.
We were touched by the expressions of gratitude from trainees towards their seniors and their multidisciplinary colleagues throughout this review.
We encourage all psychiatrists to be ambassadors for the profession by encouraging others to #ChoosePsychiatry and to support and value one another.
We are pleased to receive ongoing support from our College Officers and welcome their commitments to learn from the evidence gathered within this review and, in conjunction with the PTC, act on the issues raised:
- Through regular communication with senior management, we believe that, if implemented and engaged with effectively Enhanced Junior Doctor Forums will lead to the resolution of many concerns that were raised as part of this review. Check out our implementation guide to learn more.
- Working out of hours will always be associated with risks to both staff and patients. Yet our current practice, attitude and culture exacerbates these risks. Trainees must be supported and valued, and they must be kept safe. Read 'Supported and Valued? Staying Safe' , our evidence based review on fatigue within psychiatry and learn how you can make a difference
- In collaboration, the Education and Training Committee, Head of Schools Committee and PTC, established a working party led by the Dean to nationally standardise the ARCP process for core trainees. Guidance is currently being finalised and will published soon.
- In conjunction with the Leadership and Management Committee, the PTC are establishing an in-programme RCPsych Leadership and Management Fellow Scheme that will be available for participating Trusts and Health Boards across the UK for higher trainees providing greater career autonomy.
We will continue to drive improvements in the quality of training and in supporting and valuing each other.
However, the real power is with you. We all have autonomy over our behaviour and, on the basis of our findings, we implore you to make a difference.
Through the power of marginal gains, even the smallest of changes can make a big difference.
Dr Alex Till
Supported and valued Lead