Trainee Network Autumn Meeting ’21

Hi all, Sarah here your Severn Trainee Rep.

Firstly if you have very little time just look at the BIG 5 attachment with quick links. This will allow you to hone in on whats important to you for your stage of training.

For those of you who have a couple of minutes to read this. I just wanted to stress some of the conversations happening at national network level.

The Winter surge and sickness pressures:

Lots of discussion about the unprecedented years and the demands on us all not only in what we are clinically facing but the shortages too. Nationally many voicing how difficult it has been to ensure training opportunities met when the wards need cover and/or trainees feeling ‘guilty’ when they have had to miss work due to Covid testing in themselves or family. Each representative voicing that is is therefore incredibly difficult to get these trainees to recognise their missed training too, as mostly they just want to pitch in and help out with the ward cover.

We talked about how to support our training needs and agreed emphasis needs to happen on exception reports and reframing their use. More work to come from the college on this shortly. Whats important to understand is that exception reports will ensure regional and national recognition of lack of training and missed opportunities. In severn we are now going to work closely with local reps and college tutors to brainstorm and share what is working well in certain centres.

For resources around bronchiolitis, winter pressures and to hear the thoughts of our VP for training and assessment see BIG 5 poster and its links.

Trainee Charter Updates

At national level the head of schools have agreed to the new recommendations of SPA time. SPA indicates time within our work schedule that allows us to focus on non clinical interests including audit/leadership/QI/Governance etc. Based on other training programmes we have now sought approval that in paediatrics trainees should be allowed 8hours/month for ST1-3 and 16hours/month for ST4-8 (Pro Rata for LTFT). Now this is relatively new, it is non mandated however it is highly recommended and from the college no longer ‘aspirational’ but should be achievable. This needs to roll out and their will be more big pushes for this as the new year comes in. We in Severn and Peninsula are working closely with HOS and college tutors to hear where people are getting it right and how we can achieve in all centres.

Recruitment Update

GRID applications open 27th October. There is a new way in which GRID is scored. Once invited to interview your appointable score will be solely based on the interview. There is a webinar recorded that can detail this further and you can find more information on the college website.

SPIN: applications open in November. If already in a ‘spinnable’ post you can back date when applying. There is a new SPIN in vestibular-auditory medicine which is aimed at trainees in general paediatrics and community.

For those who are recruiting into paediatrics and have fab foundation docs/clinical fellows that should be paediatricians; there is GREAT news they no longer have to do the MSRA. A test that asked a little to broadly about non paediatric topics.


If you do not yet have your clinical exam please be aware that the college now expect this before the end of ST4 again, as per pre covid. This is actually great news although may feel daunting. They are caught back up on those who needed to get through and now have space for all trainees. The importance is such that those who go beyond ST4 may need extra input and we don’t want these colleagues to go unsupported. Plus you got this!


After some confusion about deadlines the website is now up to date. The applications for diets in 2022 are now open. There are boxes on the forms to detail requests. Most importantly your invite will be sent 6 weeks before (if not sooner). Those that will be invited first will be in order of CCT date. If you want to bring your CCT date forward then START team will need to know. You do not need your START to bring your CCT date forward it is vice versa. Any confusion feel free to contact me and I can explain further.


Many trainees still not aware that as of 2023 training is changing to Progress Plus. In short we are moving from 8 year training to 7 years. There is LOTS and LOTS of information about this on the website. See on BIG 5 poster for quick link. Primary fear discussed at meeting regarding bottle neck of trainees that will be applying for subspecialty training. As from ST4 (as of 2023) you will be able to apply to GRID. Essentially don’t panic. There are college level working parties on this and lots more information to follow. Please look through the college information in detail if you think this will be you in 2023. If you want to talk through things please feel free to get in contact with me.

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