Please find below guidance about shielding during the COVID-19 pandemic:
Health Education England (HEE) have also recently released guidance for shielding trainees, who will benefit from the Supported Return to Training scheme (SuppoRTT). In addition, trainers will undoubtedly benefit from guidance and a framework in supporting these trainees.
The framework below should be used to help identify and stratify the trainees based on their individual circumstances, speciality of training and placement to ensure the best support is available to them.
Access to SuppoRTT is available to all trainees in the West Midlands who are planning to take, or are already on, an approved period out of training, usually for a minimum of 3 months' duration.
In some circumstances, trainees with an absence of less than 3 months' duration may benefit from accessing SuppoRTT and these should be looked at on a case by case basis.
In addition, trainees who have either had a period of shielding or who have been working with restrictions, on amended duties or who are returning to their "parent" specialty following a period of redeployed due to COVID-19 are encouraged to engage with the SuppoRTT process.
Trainees are encouraged to follow the process when planning time away from training and prior to return. The aim is for a trainee to identify support required upon return in order to step back in without unnecessary difficulties. The forms should now be completed electronically:
Trainees must follow their employer's expense process in order to claim reimbursement for SuppoRTT activities; a copy of the 'course approval request form' below must be submitted with the claim. Only activities that have been prospectively approved by the ES/TPD/College Tutor are eligible for reimbursement and these should all be documented on the 'pre-return form'.
Through SuppoRTT employers can claim reimbursement. Employers must complete the SuppoRTT Reimbursement Form below and email it to Supportt.firstname.lastname@example.org on a quarterly basis for reimbursement which will be made through the Learning and Development Agreement (LDA) on a quarterly basis. Failure to submit the SuppoRTT Reimbursement Form on a quarterly basis may result in an employer not being eligible for reimbursement
Additional Funding to facilitate SuppoRTT
In a small number of circumstances and after discussion with the trainee, an Educational Supervisor or College Tutor may determine that the level of SuppoRTT required to return a trainee safely is exceptional and would require the trainee to be supernumerary for a short period of time. In these situations, the Educational Supervisor or College Tutor can prospectively request a financial contribution to facilitate this. Prospective requests should be made in writing to SuppoRTT.email@example.com and must include details of the proposed educational plan for the trainee during this period of supernumerary status. Each request will be considered on an individual basis and where agreed reimbursement will be on a quarterly basis through the LDA.
A full copy of the SuppoRTT guidance can be found below, or together with details of planned events can be accessed here: https://www.westmidlandsdeanery.nhs.uk/support/supported-return-to-training
The RCOA have also published information and guidance for anaesthetists who have had a career break (for whatever reason). A copy of their 'Return to Work' publication can be found below.