COVID-19 updates and resources for Paediatric Trainees

March 2020:

Dear All,

Coronavirus is causing more and more concerns and we are all wondering how this will affect us in the coming weeks AND MONTHS. Paediatrics is unlikely to be a badly hit area directly but we are still likely to have to work even harder and differently than normal. ENSURING SUPPORT FOR EACH OTHER WILL BE EVEN MORE IMPORTANT THAN USUAL.  

You have now been sent the current HEE guidance by the Post Graduate Dean, but there will be many new questions arising as developments unfold. I am writing to reassure you that the School of Paediatrics will do all we can to minimise the impact of this outbreak on your training.


Karin Schwarz

Head of School of Paediatrics for Yorkshire and Humber


Update 7.4.2020:

Dear All,

I hope you are all keeping well and adjusting to all the recent changes to your home and working lives.

The school does not want to distribute information that is available elsewhere to avoid contributing to the massive influx of emails that everybody is experiencing at the moment, but we would like to ensure we keep in touch with you and offer support and reassurance if we can.

In terms of training, please remember the following:

David Evans, VP for training and assessment for the college, put it very well, when he asked you in his podcast ‘not to worry about your training’ ( and I would like to reassure you that the same message is going out from HEE and from the school. There are likely to be changes and uncertainties over the next few months and we will need to make adjustments to training, but we will do our best to make sure you will get there in the end.

If you wish to access further information about training issues, please check the main HEEYH website, which has a Covid section with all the official communication:

Lizzie Chandra, one of the leadership fellows for the local HEE team, also runs a weekly webinar where trainees can submit questions and you should have had an invite for this. Questions can be sent to and Lizzie will aim to answer as many as possible during the webinar, which will take place weekly on a Tuesday at 1pm.

The TPDs and myself are all still very much at work, so if you have any individual questions, want to discuss something or just need somebody to have a chat with, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Please use the usual TPD contact emails and we will answer as quickly as we can and we are also very happy to arrange for a telephone call with you if needed. If you are not sure whom to contact, please start with me and I will either answer directly or pass you on to the correct person (

Contacts are as below:

West Level 1                   Venkat Thiyagesh          

West Level 2/3                Kay Tyerman

East level 1                     Rana Alia

East level 2/3                  Liz Baker

South all levels                Angela Oliver

Exams                             Chakra Vasudevan

Study leave                     Chakra Vasudevan

ARCPs                            Chris Vas, Sanjay Suri, Karin Schwarz

Diploma                           Jess Oldfield

SIM training                     Sunitha Sampath

General Support              Sanjay Suri, Sunitha Sampath, Karin Schwarz and everbody else

Ideas for the website       Chris Vas


Email addresses:


Thank you all for the massive effort everybody is putting in and please stay safe.


Best wishes from Karin and the TPDs.


13th of April 2020 -  PEERS mentoring for paediatric trainees:

Hello Everyone 

I am writing on behalf of the PEERS team. We are a peer mentoring scheme set up to support paediatric trainees across Yorkshire. The scheme began in Leeds, as a way of providing support to trainees working in an increasing challenging environment, but now extends across Yorkshire.

The next few months are going to be challenging for everyone and having to access to a personal mentor that can support you is important. We have a wide range of registrars and consultants that have received specific training in mentoring and are able to offer mentoring across the training spectrum. We would normally encourage new mentors and mentees to meet in person but this is not feasible at present. We are writing to say we can offer you a trained mentor but are advising using technology to talk over the next few months.

We have attached a poster with a little more information. If you do have any further questions or would like more information on connecting with a PEER mentor please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Kind Regards

Helen Berry, Paediatric Consultant, Bradford Royal Infirmary

 Alex Tattersall, ST5 in Paediatrics, Yorkshire and the Humber

Katie Tucker, ST5 in Paediatrics, Yorkshire and Humber



Current national guidance is for ARCP to still be done but remotely. The contingency policy directs ARCP panels to take into account the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, including more flexible approaches to evidence requirements and any time-off due to illness or meeting isolation requirements. There is an acceptance in the policy that some outstanding capabilities can be gained later in training and should not necessarily interrupt trainee progression.


RCPCH guidance on COVID-19


Free Covid-19 Resources:

  1. RCPCH - the obvious place to go ​
  2. Chatterpack - useful for those self isolating or simply staying at home -
  3. Learning from excellence -
  4. Headspace mindfulness app/site - offering free subscription to NHS 
  5. GMC guidance on video consultations -
  6. Video consultations in primary care -
  7. Every Mind Matters -
  8. Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resouces | Psychology Tools
  9. CDC (USA) website
  10. Ekhart yoga you tube channel -





Supporting the COVID-19 response: Guidance on Management of Less Than Full Time Trainees

As the COVID-19 pandemic intensifies, NHS service providers are developing workforce plans to manage anticipated workload pressures. Postgraduate medical trainees provide a significant contribution to service and are an essential part of these plans. A number of recent communications have been circulated in relation to this planning process, for example, the provision of opportunity for academic trainees to return to a full-time clinical setting for a period of time.

Health Education England (HEE) has received an overwhelming number of responses from trainees currently working and training on a Less Than Full Time (LTFT) basis asking how they can provide additional support. HEE supports the following principles to facilitate LTFT trainees into frontline service:

  • LTFT trainees who would like to return on a full-time basis: This should only be considered where appropriate in accordance with health and personal circumstances

  • LTFT trainees who wish to increase their current working percentage: This should only be considered where appropriate for the individual

  • On return to business as usual: Trainees will automatically have the right to reduce their current working percentage and resume their original LTFT working arrangements.

    Trainees considering these options may want to speak to their Educational Supervisor or Training Programme Director in the first instance before contacting their Local Office( and employing Local Education Provider (LEP) to formally confirm their intentions.

    Currently, HEE will continue to both honour existing arrangements and accept new LTFT applications. However, this is something that will be subject to further review in accordance with workforce pressures and need. The only exception being in relation to Category 3 (other than in Emergency Medicine) based applications where pilots are taking place. No further new applications will be accepted from today’s date onwards. This will continue to be reviewed regularly with further updates provided to all potentially impacted.

    We know you are all fully committed to responding to the needs of the patients and NHS at this unprecedented time and are extremely grateful for your continued hard work and commitment.

Supporting pregnant trainees who are well to work and learn during the COVID- 19 pandemic

HEE has been contacted by pregnant trainees who wish to support the NHS COVID-19 response and ongoing care needs whilst also ensuring their own protection. This guidance relates to the limitations on pregnant doctors working in front-line patient contact roles. It does not cover any other aspect of the care and support of pregnant employees. All normal employment rights and practices should continue.

Guidance on COVID-19 in pregnancy is provided by the RCOG. In order to ensure the most up to date guidance is followed the link is provided below.


In particular, the RCOG website states that, “Pregnant women who can work from home should do so. If you can’t work from home, if you work in a public-facing role that can be modified appropriately to minimise your exposure, this should be considered and discussed with your occupational health team.”

As pregnant Registrars (trainees) cannot see patients face to face, it is recommended that efforts are made to support home working subject to Occupational Health assessment, safety of the home environment, appropriate working area, provision of safe and secure technology, appropriate competence and supervision.

In GP placements such work may include telephone triage, telephone or digital consulting and clinical administrative tasks such as electronic prescriptions, investigation result handling and secondary care correspondence.

In secondary care placements such work may include telephone or video consulting for out patients or advice and clinical administrative tasks such as investigation result handling and correspondence. In addition where electronic patient records are available, their expertise could be utilised in such tasks such as electronic prescribing of TTO medications and completion of discharge documentation .Alternatively working in a safe part of the Trust with no direct patient contact such as clinical governance could be considered with appropriate similar assessments.


If the doctor concerned is a GP Specialty Registrar and the secondary care placement provider cannot accommodate them in the secondary care setting, then with the consent of the trainee and with all assessments and provisions above, the Primary Care Dean or designated deputy can facilitate temporary placement in Primary Care to support home working and ongoing training.

Similar principles might apply to trainees in self-isolation if otherwise well.

Educational Supervisors must ensure sufficient training for roles undertaken and clinical and educational supervision. It would also be appropriate for reflections on this activity to contribute to the Foundation or Specialty ePortfolio.