Shielding & Return to Work

**COVID-19 UPDATE**

Please find below guidance about shielding during the COVID-19 pandemic:

COVID-19 Workplace Shielding
Workplace shielding and doctors at higher risk of harm working in anaesthesia and critical care during the COVID-19 pandemic.
COVID-19 Workplace Shielding.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [798.1 KB]

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.

RTW for Shielding Trainees
Supported Return to Training West Midlands Guidance for Shielding Trainees
Supported Return To Training Guidance fo[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [160.0 KB]

Supported Return to Training (SuppoRTT)

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.
 
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:
 

  1. Complete 'Planning Your Leave Form'
    This should be completed approximately 3 months prior to your anticipated planned leave date. If the absence is unplanned you should aim to complete it at the earliest opportunity following the start of your leave period
     
  2. Complete 'Pre-Return Form'
    This should be completed approximately 3 months prior to your anticipated return date. If this is not possible, you should aim to complete it at the earliest opportunity
     
  3. Complete the 'Return Review Form'
    It is advised that this is completed approximately 2 weeks after your return All steps in this process should be completed collaboratively between the trainee and their ES/TPD/College Tutor

 

Reimbursement
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.wm@hee.nhs.uk 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.wm@hee.nhs.uk 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 

SuppoRRT Guidance Document
Supported Return to Training - West Midlands Guidance
SuppoRTT Guidance.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [150.9 KB]
Course Approval Request Form
Course Approval Request Form.docx
Microsoft Word document [401.8 KB]
SuppoRRT Reimbursement Template
Employers must complete this SuppoRTT Reimbursement Form and email it to Supportt.wm@hee.nhs.uk on a quarterly basis for reimbursement
SuppoRRT Reimbursement Template.xlsx
Microsoft Excel sheet [45.1 KB]

RCOA Information

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.

 

https://www.rcoa.ac.uk/document-store/career-breaks-and-returning-work

RCOA Return to Work
Return To Work (published 2015, reviewed[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [146.6 KB]
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