The Severn PGME Professional Support Unit draws upon a number of resources to support a trainee during their training with us. Most are listed below; however, as everyone’s circumstances are different, unique and alternative resources can be drawn upon:
Professional Support Meeting
A confidential meeting between you and a member of the Professional Support Unit to talk through your situation and to help you come up with an action plan moving forward. The aim of the meeting is to be supportive and is often an opportunity for you to explore what options and resources would be helpful for you.
Study Skills and Dyslexia Support
If you feel you may have dyslexia or other learning difference which is impacting upon your ability to undertake exams or your job, you may benefit from a meeting with our Study Skills and Dyslexia Advisor. If you are identified as having dyslexia, you may be able to apply to your college for appropriate exam adjustments. The Study Skills resource can help identify causes of poor exam results and study performance through screening and assessing for dyslexia, dyspraxia, visual stress and other cognitive issues.
Coaching is offered on a limited basis to trainees. The aim of the coaching is to develop your performance by unlocking your capabilities through guided conversation and questioning. A coach does not provide answers to specific problems by themselves, as such. They don't teach or instruct. Instead they work with you as a facilitator helping to raise your awareness through analysis and reflection, and therefore enabling you to formulate your own ideas and solutions.
This is funded by Trainee Support and offers you the opportunity to speak with a qualified counsellor about issues which may be impacting on your psychological health and well -being, including stress and anxiety. This service is 100% confidential. The counselling provider is highly experienced in supporting trainee doctors and has received very positive feedback.
Consultation with our Careers Advisor who offers 1-1 confidential and impartial careers guidance can be extremely valuable. Developing and maintaining effective career management skills is an essential requirement to thrive in the world of medicine. With the rapid changes in medical career opportunities, having a strategy to cope with change and transition will prove invaluable.
Personal Communication Development
Opportunities for development and improvement in the workplace in relation to personal communication style can be more easily recognised following feedback on your personality profile. Your personality profile can help you explore your work style by investigating problem solving and decision making; planning, organising and implementing; style of relating to others; and personal style.
Language and Advanced Communication Skills
If English is not your first language and you are experiencing difficulties communicating with others, our language sessions can be a useful resource for exploring underlying language and communication issues. This resource helps individuals improve upon their existing use of English in the workplace and focuses on how to deal with patients/relatives and colleagues in a clear and appropriate manner. The classes are provided via Skype so they can fit into busy work schedules and/or within the privacy of the home or office.
Liaising with Occupational Health may be appropriate if a health issue is affecting your performance or causing you to have time off sick. Occupational Health can explore with you what adjustments may help support you at work. Occupational Health is a confidential service and notes are kept securely and not as part of a normal NHS health record.
Less Than Full Time (LTFT) Training
Funding for Less Than Full Time (LTFT) training may be appropriate for your training if you have circumstances which would benefit from you working LTFT, such as childcare responsibilities or personal health.
Other useful resources
- Psychiatry Support Service (PSS) for Foundation Trainees - A telephone advice service offered to members and associates of the Royal College of Psychiatrists. Associate membership of the College is available to medical students and foundation doctors and is free. The PSS can be contacted by telephone (020 7245 0412) or email
- Practical and Financial Support for Doctors on Sick Leave - produced by a Severn trainee
- The Samaritans
- Doctors Support Network - Provision of ongoing confidential advice and support to doctors with mental health
problems. All calls are dealt with by doctors.
- Addaction - A major national drug and alcohol treatment charity in the United Kingdom.
- Alcohol Concern - Acts as the national umbrella body for 500 local agencies tackling alcohol-related harm and offering help to the families and friends of those with alcohol related problems.
- Alcoholics Anonymous - A fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism.
- Association of Disabled Professionals - Drawing on the expertise of disabled professionals to improve the educational and employment opportunities of disabled people.
- British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin - The Physicians of Indian origin have made significant contributions in building and sustaining the National Health Service. The Indian Origin implies people who have origins in the countries of the Indian sub-continent including India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal. BAPIO was formed in 1996 in Bedford and was launched in 1998. It has close links with the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin.
- The Cameron Fund - The Fund is a charity for doctors who are, or have been, general practitioners, and for their dependants. It offers help in times of poverty, hardship or distress. The Fund aims to meet the needs of its beneficiaries in the fullest and most practical ways possible.
- Citizens Advice Bureau - Provides free, confidential, impartial and independent advice on a limitless range of subjects, including debt, benefits, housing, legal matters, employment, immigration and consumer issues. Bureaux are open to everyone regardless of race, gender, sexuality or disability.
- Depression Alliance - The leading UK charity for people affected by depression, offering help to people with depression, run by sufferers themselves. Their website contains information about the symptoms of depression, treatments for depression, as well as Depression Alliance campaigns and local groups.
- Eating Disorders Association - The EDA helplines are for people who wish to talk about eating disorders and to obtain information about help available in their locality.
- Gamblers Anonymous - A fellowship of men and women who have joined together to do something about their own gambling problem and to help other compulsive gamblers do the same.
- Hope 4 Medics - A support group for doctors with disabilities.
- International Stress Management Association - Exists to promote sound knowledge and best practice in the prevention and reduction of human stress.
- Medical Defence Union (for MDU members only) - For MDU members, the union provides expert help and advice on medico-legal and ethical matters including handling complaints, claims and GMC cases. It is staffed by a team of medico-legal advisers.
- Medical Protection Society (for MPS members only) - The Medical Protection Society is the leading provider of comprehensive professional indemnity and expert advice to doctors, dentists and health professionals around the world.
- NCAS Directory of Resources to Support Doctors and Dentists - This directory is intended to help with the implementation of recommendations following an NCAS assessment of a doctor or dentist. In addition, it should also be useful in supporting educational programmes for doctors and dentists generally and for identifying further training / programmes following determinations made by the General Medical Council or General Dental Council.
- Relate - The UK’s largest and most experienced relationship counselling organisation helping people to work through their relationship difficulties and reach their own decisions about the best way forward.
- Royal Medical Benevolent Fund (RMBF) - Depending on individual needs and circumstances, RMBF is able to provide grants, loans, information, advice, clothes parcels and payments to assist with domestic and financial crises or help with childcare and other costs.
- Royal Medical Foundation - A medical benevolent charity assists UK medical practitioners and their dependants who find themselves in financial hardship.
- Sick Doctors Trust - Provision of early intervention and treatment for doctors suffering from addiction to alcohol or other drugs.
- Victim Support Line - The national charity which helps people affected by crime. Provides free and confidential support to help you deal with your experience, whether or not you report the crime.
- Women's Aid - The key national charity working to end domestic violence against women and children; supporting a network of over 500 domestic and sexual violence services across the UK.