Dr Ciara Duggan ST4
The Professional Support Unit (PSU) was created in 2008 and aims to provide support to all doctors and dentists in training in Wales. At the recent deanery study day we had a workshop from the PSU to let us know what services are available to support us throughout our paediatric training. They aim to support trainees early with confidential, targeted support they have a number of different resources and services available to them in order to do this.
Either trainees can self refer or supervisors can recommend referral to the PSU. Initially when the PSU was first set up they were primarily getting referrals from supervisors or following an undesirable ARCP outcome. However self referrals are increasing year on year as trainees have become more aware of the services available. The PSU also has a presence on ARCP panels in order to support trainees and also offer additional support to any trainees with an outcome 2 or 3.
The PSU can provide an initial meeting where they explore the support needs and the best options for that trainee. They provide health support, discussion about career options, eportfolio/ARCP support and help with those struggling with exams. They have links to a counselling service which trainees will be able to access within 24 hours of referral and they will try and link trainees to services as close to home as possible. They try and identify trainees who need adjustments for health or disability in advance so that each job can be prepared prior to the trainee starting.
I was interested to hear about the exam support which they can offer to trainees. They are seeing more and more trainees accessing their services for help surrounding passing postgraduate exams and the anxiety that these exams can cause. They can help with revision techniques and planning, dealing with the anxiety surrounding exams and dyslexia assessments where this is appropriate leading to extra time or support during exams.
Part of the workshop highlighted the success of the PSU in helping trainees. They show an increase in exam passing rate after input, an increase in outcome 1 at ARCP and a high level of satisfaction from the trainees who have been supported. All in all the session highlighted this resource, made it sound accessible and useful and I think it ties in with the recent push from trainees talking about our own wellbeing in work. The link is below if any one would like to access the PSU you can call them or email.
Dr Annabel Greenwood