Covid-19 Information and Support

Thames Valley PSWS Updates

Trainee Wellbeing

In addition to our usual coaching services, we want to offer an opportunity of a safe space for  confidential reflection for trainees who are really struggling to process the impact of Covid-19. This will be open to all trainees (although frontline medics have priority). We will accept all self-referrals via our self-referral form here.

This will not be formal coaching, nor therapy (Medic Support can help with that)

It can be an opportunity to talk through worries, reflect and for the coaches to offer appropriate signposting advice where necessary.

We will offer up to 6 sessions (depending on need). Sessions can be delivered face to face or virtually.

Survive and Thrive Wellbeing Programme

We have successfully piloted our Survive and Thrive (SAT) Wellbeing Programme. Based on positive feedback from trainees and TAC as well as national acknowledgement through the Association for Business Psychology, HEETV is funding rollout across Thames Valley.

This is a whole day programme, looking at what promotes general wellbeing and exploring one’s preferred way of responding to challenging situations in the morning. The afternoon sessions are experiential workshops facilitated by psychologists focussed on how to survive and thrive using CBT principles and techniques in a challenging environment. The workshop will aim to give experiences of learning to recognise and work differently using more helpful ways of thinking and coping in challenging situations, systems and interactions with others, and has been the unique offer of this programme.

TPD’s/HoS can invite us to deliver this as part of their regional training programme. For each session, the TPD/HoS trainee rep will be invited to identify what the particular concerns around working in that specialism are to inform in detail the afternoon workshops.

DME’s can also access this programme for their staff (not just trainees) but there will be a charge to the trusts for this.

Expressions of interest by email to 

Covid specific Frequently asked questions

Health / Self-Isolation

If you have not already done so, please seek advice from your Educational supervisor, NHS 111 and / or your local OH provider in order for them to conduct an appropriate risk assessment. Health Education England take the health of trainees very seriously and would advise trainees to follow the advice and guidance of NHS 111 and PHE.

Should you require time off sick, please follow the Trusts normal absence reporting processes.

GP Trainees must also inform the Lead Employer.

I am pregnant and not sure whether I should self-isolate.

We are keen to support our trainees who are pregnant, recognising that many of you will want to do all you can to support your colleagues, whilst prioritising your own health.   We strongly recommend that you undertake a risk assessment through your employer/OH department. We are working with Trusts and other colleagues to identify a suite of non-patient facing roles such as working in Public Health, providing telephone triage as part of NHS 111 services and undertaking telephone out-patient clinics. We have also had examples of trainees moving to work in hospice or psychiatry placements, where the risk assessment has allowed.

Should you require time off sick while pregnant, please follow the normal absence reporting processes.

GP Trainees must also inform the Lead Employer.

You may also find the RCOG guidance useful.

I have already spent 4 months in an acute specialty and am at risk of burnout if I continue for another 4 months, what support is available?

The Professional Support and Wellbeing Service is committed to ensuring trainees are supported and dont burn out during this period. We have been working with our external providers (Medic Support and Occupational Health) to ensure that support services can still be offered in the currect climate.

We are offering an enhanced Professional Support and Wellbeing Service for Covid-19. We are accepting self-referrals from trainees who have concerns about themselves and careers as a result of the pandemic. Please email

I suffer from anxiety and the COVID-19 pandemic is exacerbating symptoms, can I access support?

The Medic Support service offers a rapid response and access to CBT interventions for anxiety and/or other work-related/personal difficulties. These difficulties may or may not be related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Further information can be found via our leaflet. To self-refer to the service, or if you have any queries and would like to find out more about Medic Support, please contact We will be happy to discuss any queries you might have and discuss best next steps.

You can also access support from your Trusts occupational health service and your GP.

NHS Employers Health, Safety and Wellbeing

Health and Wellbeing

Wellbeing Support

Communication Brief for Support and Wellbeing

NHS Staff Psychological Wellbeing Guidance

NHS Staff Psychological Wellbeing Guidance

NHS Mental Wellbeing Support Package

NHS launches a mental wellbeing support package

We have talked a lot about increasing the NHS front line workforce over the last couple of weeks, and there is more below about that, but are also committed to working with others to supporting the wellbeing of those front line staff which is why HEE is fully supporting an NHS mental wellbeing support package. These measures will support the NHS’ 1.4 million staff as they help people deal with the pressures faced every day during this global health pandemic.

Simon Gregory, Deputy Medical Director, and health and wellbeing champion said, “I encourage everyone to make full use of these professional resources. It is vital colleagues feel supported and that employers have the right procedures in place to offer all the help that may be needed. This offer directly links into our mental wellbeing commission that found Doctors, Nurses, AHPs and other health professionals can face increased pressure, with complaints, fear of investigation, blame or even prosecution. Stress and burnout can significantly affect patient safety. The mental wellbeing of staff contributes positively to patient care and so a support package has come at a vital time when the NHS is faced with the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The NHS has been working closely with charities such as Samaritans and Hospice UK to deliver this support and has also partnered with Headspace, UnMind and Big Health to offer a suite of apps for no charge to assist staff with their mental health.

Support Group for Doctors

A local group of psychiatry trainees are facilitating online supportive groups for trainee doctors at who are affected by Covid-19, professionally and/or personally. Groups are online for 45 minutes STARTING THURSDAY 26TH MARCH and are an opportunity to reflect on individual and collective experiences and to make sense of psychological responses. All trainees welcome. More sessions will be advertised week by week.

Please click for further information and to sign up or email Dr Sophie Behrman on

Intensive Care Wellbeing Library

Mindfulness Training

Oxford Mindfulness are running Mindfulness Training online and at no cost. Please click on the following link:

MindEd Resilience Tools

Helping frontline staff in the NHS and care serves manage your own mental health and wellbeing, whilst looking after other during the Covid-19 crisis.

We have drawn together the best advice, tips, from our large panel of international experts to guide you and your team. Created on behalf of Health Education England in partnership with NHS England-Improvement. Supported by Skills For Care, this Hub is for everyone on the front line health and care services.

Caring for Children
HEE National Guidance for Trainees – Covid

In this rapidly moving and challenging time, please see HEE’s national dedicated COVID-19 webpage

Guidance for redeployment to NHS Nightingale Hospitals

To support the response to Covid-19 and as NHS Nightingale Hospitals become operation please see the redeployment guidance


BMA – for further details click here

BMJ – for further details click here

AoMRC Guidance / Royal College Guidance

The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges issued guidance can be found here. They have also issued a statement for patients on accessing urgent / emergency medical care during the pandemic which you may find useful. The statement can be found here.

The Royal College of Anesthetists guidance can be found here. They also issued a new guidance statement on 16th April 2020 regarding recruitment, ARCPs and transitioning to the new curriculum in 2021. A copy of this can be found here.

The Royal College of Emergency Medicine guidance can be found here

The Royal College of General Practitioners guidance can be found here

The Royal College of Ophthalmologists guidance can be found here

The Royal College of Physicians guidance can be found here

The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health guidance can be found here. They also have now issued guidance on training progression which can be found here.

The Royal College of Pathologists guidance can be found here

The Royal College of Psychiatrists guidance can be found here

The Royal College of Radiologists guidance can be found here

The Royal College of Surgeons guidance can be found here