Learner Support

There are several sources of support for trainees in difficulty. Health Education England working across Yorkshire and the Humber funds local counselling services for both Doctors and Dentists alike - full details are available below. Alternatively there are many external resources available and can be accessed via the links below.

If you need help your clinical or educational supervisor may well be able to assist you. In addition core trainees will have a College tutor and higher trainees will have a Programme Director and possibly a Deputy Programme Director. There are also Directors of Postgraduate Medical Education who can be contacted via your postgraduate centre.


HEE Counselling Services

South Yorkshire

Workplace Wellbeing is a professional counselling and consultancy service to help doctors in difficulty deal with personal or work-related stress and psychological trauma relating to work roles. The service aims to help doctors improve psychological health and stay psychologically healthy. One-to-one counselling is provided on a confidential self-referral basis. The counselling is short-term.

This service is also funded directly by Health Education England working across Yorkshire and the Humber and is available to trainees in Yorkshire and the Humber.

Please telephone:  0114 226 1810
Email:  workplace.wellbeing@shsc.nhs.uk 
website: https://www.shsc.nhs.uk/working-us/workplace-wellbeing

North, East and West Yorkshire

Take Time: Medical work is inherently stressful and you may find you need help with work-related and/or personal difficulties which can often cause anxiety, stress, depression and unhappiness.


Take Time is a confidential service specifically for junior doctors and dentists within Health Education England working across Yorkshire and the Humber (HEE YH).

The service offers 2 assessment sessions initially, with the option of subsequent  time limited sessions.  For people who live far from Leeds we may be able to offer telephone consultations after the initial assessment.

The service is funded by HEE YH, and provided by a collaboration between the University of Leeds Student Counselling Service and The Psychological Therapy Service, Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

Take Time appointments are currently only taking place face to face at St Mary’s House as the office at the University of Leeds is currently closed due to the COVID pandemic.

If you would like to book an appointment with the Take Time team, please complete our self-referral form.

Email:  taketime@leeds.ac.uk


Local Postgraduate Services
  • This is often the first port of call and you can usually find out the information you need from them
  • Postgrad services deal with HR-type issues such as contracts, pay, hours monitoring and expenses
  • They also hold a lot of information such as journal club/case conference timetables, local course availability etc
  • They can also usually signpost you to the most appropriate person to deal with any training issues such as MRCPsych Course, psychotherapy
  • Clinical Supervisor: In the North/East and West localities Clinical and educational supervisors are the same person. In South Yorkshire a clinical supervisor is different from an educational supervisor. Your clinical supervisor will be expected to deal with any clinical issues that come up. They are also helpful if you’re having any problems with the environment you’re working in or any members of staff. Many clinical supervisors are often happy to give you advice about where to take issues they do not feel are in their remit.
  • Educational Supervisor: This is the person who is best placed to address any training issues that you have. If you have a separate clinical supervisor, your educational supervisor will be able to advise you on any problems you are having with your clinical supervisor. Educational supervisors should offer support regarding every aspect of the trainees work and training. This includes raising concerns if training is considered substandard, helping trainees through difficult times e.g. during complaints and advising trainees on directions for further development (e.g. courses).
  • College Tutor: The College Tutor system is currently only operating in the North/East and West localities and is not available in South Yorkshire. A college tutor is the next in line, if the trainee feels that issues have not been adequately addressed by the Educational Supervisor.
  • Training Programme Director: Each core scheme and higher training scheme has a TPD. Their role is to ensure that trainees are able to fulfil their training needs. They will be able to advise on a range of training issues and would be the next port of call if you felt that your concerns had not been addressed through you educational supervisor and/or college tutor.
  • Director of Postgraduate Medical Education: There are currently 2 directors in our region. The Director of PGME oversees all postgraduate medical education in psychiatry including that of F2 doctors and will be aware of any issues around training including study leave, MRCPsych, psychotherapy etc. If trainees feel that their concerns have not been addressed by the TPD they may wish to contact the director of PGME for guidance on how to proceed.
Your Peers
  • Training Committees: Each rotation should have a Training Committee. Concerns can be brought to this forum as it is an easy way to gain advice from peers who may have been in a similar situation. Widespread issues can be minuted and taken up collectively with the appropriate person. Most committees will have reps that deal with specific aspects of work/training.
  • BMA rep: There should be a BMA rep attached to each employer that you have on your scheme. You can find out who this is through the postgraduate office and/or HR. A BMA rep will be able to advise you on any contractual issues such as pay, banding, hours, expenses, locuming etc. They are quite often happy to give advice even if you are not a BMA member. Where there is a collective problem – e.g. a non-compliant rota, a BMA rep should take this issue forward on behalf of all the trainees employed by the trust.
  • Core and Sub Specialty Higher Trainee Representatives: Each Core Scheme and Sub Specialty has a Trainee Representative.  They are happy to be contacted with any concerns and will refer these to the School Management Committee Trainee Representative if required.
  • School Management Committee Trainee Representatives: There are currently Core and Higher School Management Committee Representatives who cover the three Health Education England working across Yorkshire and the Humber areas.  They are able to take issues that have not been resolved locally to the School Management Committee Meetings.  They are often well informed about the latest developments in Training and will be happy to answer any questions and support you.
Outside your Rotation
  • Head of School: Dr Darran Bloye is the Head of School and will be happy to hear from you via email if you feel that your concerns have not been resolved.
  • Psychiatric Trainee Committee Representatives: This is a trainee who has been elected to represent their region to the Royal College of Psychiatrists. If you have issues that are to do with College guidance or policy (e.g. timing of exams, exam entry criteria) then you can ask the PTC rep to bring these up at the next meeting. As the regions are defined differently your PTC rep many not be on your rotation.

View the current PTC Representatives.

Looking After Yourself

Psychiatry trainees are not immune from needing support themselves sometimes.

  • All trusts will have a counselling service often as part of their occupational health department. You can usually get a short course of counselling free of charge, which may be extended further if needed.
  • Psychiatrists' Support Service is a free confidential support service for trainee members and members of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, addressing a wide range of issues from exam stress to bullying and harassment. View further information.
  • View information on the Health Education England working across Yorkshire and the Humber Trainee Support.
Where you can Find Answers for Yourself
Asylum Seeker and Refugee Mental Health Trainees Network

Asylum Seeker and Refugee Mental Health Trainees Network

We are excited to announce a series of talks from February 2022 to launch a new trainees group affiliated to the RCPsych Working Group for Asylum Seekers and Refugees.

We hope this can be a group for trainees of all levels who are interested in learning more about working with this population. Do feel free to share this invitation with colleagues, we would welcome anyone in their medical career from medical students to consultants.

Upcoming Talks in 2022

Wednesday, 2nd February at 6 -7:15pm – Protecting Refugees: What does it all mean?

We are thrilled to invite Professor David James Cantor, founding Director of the Refugee Law Initiative, and Professor of Refugee Protection and Forced Migration Studies, to give our opening talk. We wanted to start outside our own medical and psychiatric field which, while important, can sometimes bring only narrow offerings. Join us for an introduction to some of the international legal frameworks that help to support and protect refugees and asylum seekers.

Professor David Cantor is founding Director of the Refugee Law Initiative and the Internal Displacement Research Programme at the School of Advanced Study, University of London. Trained originally as a social anthropologist, Professor Cantor has worked as a practitioner, including as Legal Officer for the Refugee Legal Centre and Senior Advisor to the UNHCR. Professor Cantor researches on refugees, IDPs, displacement, disasters and conflict. He has published seven books/special issues and 30+ journal articles and book chapters, organised over 100 RLI conferences and workshops and secured research funding for 20+ projects. In 2017–2018, he won the prestigious Times Higher Education Award for Research Project of the Year. He jointly runs the distance learning MA in Refugee Protection and Forced Migration Studies.We are thrilled to invite Professor David James Cantor, founding Director of the Refugee Law Initiative, and Professor of Refugee Protection and Forced Migration Studies, to give our opening talk. We wanted to start outside our own medical and psychiatric field which, while important, can sometimes bring only narrow offerings. Join us for an introduction to some of the international legal frameworks that help to support and protect refugees and asylum seekers.


Thursday, 3rd March at 6 -7:15pm – The Work of Medical Justice and Medicolegal Report Writing

Medical Justice is a charity that supports those who are held in indeterminate immigration detention in the UK. They offer training and support to volunteer doctors, including psychiatrists, in writing medicolegal reports for detainees to assist in their asylum claims and challenge medical mistreatment in detention. We will hear about their work, and how psychiatrists can be involved.

Dr Rachel Bingham is the clinical advisor at Medical Justice, and has done medico-legal assessments for people in immigration detention centres since 2010. She also works in the NHS as a GP. At Medical Justice, her role is to provide training and support to volunteer doctors providing independent visits and assessments for people in immigration detention centres, and writing medical-legal reports.

Dr Sophie Quarshie is a consultant in Liaison Psychiatry, in the North East of England. Her interest in the Mental Health of Asylum Seeker and Refugees started as a core trainee at the Maudsley, where she saw the detrimental impact that the asylum process can have on people. She has been volunteering for Medical Justice for several years and finds it thoroughly inspiring work.


Talks further ahead will include subjects such as access to healthcare for asylum seekers and refugees, trauma-focussed therapies, talks from those with lived experience of the UK asylum system, reflecting on other ways to be involved as a trainee such as research, and hearing from other charities and organisations where psychiatrists are needed.

Do sign up via the Eventbrite links above, and feel free to get in touch with us if you would like to join our WhatsApp group – send an email to us at ASRpsychtrainees@gmail.com with your phone number.