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Professor Emma Watson

Executive Medical Director, NHS Education for Scotland

Welcome to the December edition of your Deanery newsletter.

Welcome to the bumper December edition of your Deanery newsletter. As we approach midwinter and the shortest day this can be a very challenging time for many of us, particularly at a time when there is so much pressure to be “festive”. The launch of the Trainee Development and Wellbeing Service is an important step in ensuring that support is available for all of our trainees.

Looking to fill your diary for 2023- the dates of the next NES Conference 2023  Collaborating for Improvement in Health and Care Education Delivery are the 27th & 28Th of April. We are now inviting submissions for 1-hour seminars, submissions are welcome from across the NHS, integration authorities, voluntary and partner organisations, and other public or private sector organisations. We are also looking for a broad range of abstract submissions and there are more details in the article. 

The GMC  training survey – your opportunity to share how you experience training in Scotland; either as a trainee or a trainer. This year we are very pleased to share some feedback from the survey which highlights a number of training programmes within Scotland ranked 1st in their programme groupings for overall satisfaction.  We are also aware there are some programmes where we can do better and teams from across health boards and NES will be working with trainees to gather your support in making those areas better.

Maintaining a rural and remote theme the Mobile Skills Unit toured the Western Isles recently and these visits were observed by the GMC. Our article discusses this and the events that were held in conjunction with our healthcare colleagues in the Western Isles. If you were able to learn on the MSU this year, drop us a line and let us know your experience.

With no apology, I want to revisit well being and in particular your well being It is very important for you to take regular breaks. In this newsletter we detail for you the minimum number of breaks that should be available for example,  no doctor in training ( including fellows)  should work more than 5 hours without a break. The article lists range of support services available to help all healthcare staff to support their wellbeing.  Self care is very important.

Our next item sheds light on recruitment numbers. Given the complex nature of the national recruitment process, NES will be working with our stakeholders with the aim of improving the understanding of our processes. The number of posts available in any given specialty will hopefully become clearer as part of this process - we look forward to your feedback.

Simulation training is growing in importance as an excellent and safe way to learn. NES has put more resources into this area with the recruitment of an additional 11  APGD simulation leads. These APGDs will be leading on the introduction of national specialty specific simulation teaching programmes covering 16 specialties. Please have a look at the article which also discusses established simulation programmes. 

Following on we introduce you to DynaMed: a clinical reference tool covering thousands of topics. For instance, you can find quick answers to clinical questions at the point of care and make evidence informed decisions amongst other benefits. We hope you find it useful as always let us know feedback good or bad helps us to improve what we offer.

Next, we talk about the importance of up to date personal details for doctors in training in Turas, such as address, phone number and email addresses. These are used by the Deanery and our Health Boards for a variety of essential purposes so current information is key. 

Also included this time is information on transfer of information – a supportive process.  

As part of the ongoing work to agree Once for Scotland policies for doctors in training a group was convened to look at Transfer of Information. This is a process designed to facilitate sharing of relevant information between a current supervisor and the department a trainee will rotate to next. There are a lot of potential benefits with the introduction of this new process. 

Lastly, there is an update on bereavement related learning events which includes information on an easily accessible 2023 NES Bereavement webinar programme.

Winter is upon us and the cold weather has arrived to reflect this. Snow and ice gives everything a wintry feel, and certainly ensures Scotland looks beautiful at this time of year – why not send us in some photos of where you are?

I hope you take some time off over the next few weeks and use it as time recharge and  refocus for 2023

I hope you enjoy this edition. 


Professor Emma Watson

Executive Medical Director, NHS Education for Scotland