Peninsula Trainee Update Spring ’23

Happy springtime colleagues! We hope the slow return of warm weather is distracting you from the gradual implosion the government and health service. Here we are with another Peninsula trainee update.

RCPCH trainee network update

Here’s the Big Five from the latest trainee network meeting.

We would particularly recommend FOMOhub as a great resource for finding teaching days and conferences relevant to your learning needs. It’s really fantastic. Also regarding the last point, we’re afraid the post of Peninsula RCPCH regional rep won’t be vacant for another year, but if you’re interested in attending one of these meetings as an observer get in touch with Jenny.

School board update

A great time was had by all at the School Board meeting at the end of February. A lot of time was spent discussion Progress+ and Shape of Training (see below) and things are hotting up making sure everything is ready for transition to the new curriculum in September.

Thanks so much to everyone who fed back via the trainee survey. Everything was passed on to the school board, with some specific constructive feedback being passed on individually to relevant College Tutors. It was clear from your responses that rota pressures are resulting in loss of educational opportunities and increasing fatigue among all trainees.

 Interestingly, when we asked you your trust policies on locum renumeration and TOIL, a very large proportion of you had no idea! This is of course because we don’t do it for the money. With increasing levels of fatigue and burnout, and with the new BMA locum card rates having been circulated recently, we would suggest you familiarise yourselves with these policies and place an appropriate value on your own time.

There were some very concerning reports from one particular trust around the rota. These have been fed back in detail and the TPDs/HoS informed, and we’ll be following up on the response. A reminder of your rights around rotas:

  • You should receive your work schedule within 8 weeks of starting and your rota within 6 weeks. This is a contractual obligation.
  • You should expect that annual leave that is requested in good time (=> 6 weeks ahead of time) and that does not leave a department below minimum staffing should be approved
  • Fixed leave (leave that is written into rotas and must be swapped around) is also non-contractual, as is a rota that is so restrictive in its design as to give the appearance of fixed leave (for example, leave only being able to be taken on non-clinical/extra days).
  • LTFT trainees (unless specifically arranged otherwise) should have a work schedule that has the same balance of shift types as their full time colleagues, with each shift type adjusted pro rata dependent on their working percentage.

As well as your friendly neighbourhood trainee reps (who want to hear about any and all issues affecting training in the region) your local LTFT Champions, Guardians of Safe Working and BMA Representatives are great people to call upon if you are running into issues. For issues specifically around LTFT working, our LTFT trainee reps and regional consultant LTFT lead Chloe Bulwer are all fantastic.

If you have not received your rota within 6 weeks of starting your post, we suggest you report it here.

The BMA Good Rostering Guide and the BMA Code of Practice are useful resources.

Another issue raised at the School Board meeting is that there is little or no departmental Community Paediatric teaching throughout the region. Just before Progress+ is probably not the best time to address this, and we know that Community departments throughout the region are currently looking hard at what education they are providing as the number of junior trainees they supervise is set to increase. In the interim, Emily our CCH representation recommends The Neurodisability Community as a great learning resource that is not just for GRID trainees.


Progress+ is coming this September. The general feeling from trainee feedback is that a lot of you still aren’t entirely sure what it will mean for you. And that’s not surprising, as a lot of the plans (particularly for ST1-3) are still being made. We had a sneak peak of the draft plans for the new content of Core training at a few trusts around the deanery at the school board meeting and are feeling pretty positive about them actually – there should be significantly more opportunities for time spent in areas like Community/CAMHS and flexibility for Core trainees to arrange their own experiences depending on their interests!

For all trainees, this updated page on the college website is helpful and discusses various areas of uncertainty including pay progression.

There were a couple of webinars run by David Bartle/Giles Richardson last summer. Hopefully there will be more. In the interim, feel free to direct any uncertainties about Progress+ to Jenny at  

Upcoming events

  • PAFTASs – The event of the season is coming again this Saturday! It’s a sell-out this year and looks to be the best PAFTAs yet. If you’re stuck on-call and can’t make it, you can still join the fun by purchasing a raffle ticket (or several) here.  
  • Mental health conference – The second South West Paediatric Mental Health conference is being held on 26th April at Holiday Inn Taunton. As well as ticking a few portfolio boxes, the programme looks fantastic and will be great for trainees wanting to offer support to the zillions of children and young people with mental health difficulties coming through paediatric wards. Tickets are £20 and are available here.  
  • BACCH conference – The British Association of Community Child Health conference at Dillington house in Ilminster looks great for any trainees interested in CCH. They are still accepting submissions for presentations. Tickets are £45 for trainee non-members and are available here.
  • Management of Paediatric Sepsis Exeter – This RCPCH study day is being held on 28th April at the RILD in Exeter this year and looks fab with lots of great talks and an afternoon of simulation. Tickets are £150 for trainees with college membership. Further information is available here.
  • South West Paediatrics Education Conference – Unless you’ve been living under a stone for the past few months you’ll be aware that the inaugural SW paediatric education conference is coming on April 20th. There are some really fabulous speakers and workshops including LTFT working, simulation and developing a research interest. Please do go along – more information is available on PaedsHub here.

That’s all for now. We’ll be back in the summer with updates regionally and nationally. If you have any issues or concerns between now and then please get in touch!

Lots of love

  • Jenny (RCPCH rep and RD&E SuppoRTT/LTFT fellow,
  • Alicia (ST6-8 and teaching rep,
  • Chris (ST4-5 and teaching rep,
  • Eva (ST1-3 rep and PenTRAIN chair,
  • Rachel (ST1-3 rep,
  • Kate (LTFT rep,
  • Becca (LTFT rep,
  • Emily (CCH rep,
  • Hana (IMG rep,

Leave a Comment