Higher Trainees

NELFT Higher Training Scheme

Higher trainees working within the North East London Specialty Training scheme rotate on a yearly basis between jobs in North East London NHS Foundation Trust (NELFT) and East London NHS Foundation Trust (ELFT).

Within NELFT there are a total of 16 posts for higher trainees (ST4 to ST7) in both general adult and old age psychiatry. These are based in one of the four boroughs (Waltham Forest, Redbridge, Barking & Dagenham and Havering)

  • 9 General Adult Psychiatry posts (community, inpatient adult/older adult/PICU wards, home treatment team, liaison, early intervention in psychosis)
  • 7 Older Adult Psychiatry posts (community, inpatient, liaison, memory clinic)

Higher trainees also have access to a range of special interest sessions across NELFT and ELFT, as well as having the flexibility to organise their special interest elsewhere if they wish.

NELFT offers a variety of teaching and training activity to help Higher Trainees develop as future consultant: these include local weekly afternoon teaching which are held every Wednesday and provide a structured programme open to all grades of mental health doctors in the Trust, from Foundation to Consultant level. Sessions are held using a hybrid model of remote Zoom sessions and Face to Face sessions at the training sites in Waltham Forest and Redbridge.

On the first Wednesday of each month Higher Trainees attend a full day of training: the morning session is specific to higher trainees and is attended jointly with higher trainee sin ELFT. For the afternoon session Higher Trainees join the BARTS Academic Afternoon. This is a regional conference with 2 sessions and where speakers often have a national profile.

In addition to the above, trainees in NELFT are offered a specific set of training initiatives which include:

  • Simulation training on themes such as consultant interview skills, leadership and communication skills
  • A yearly training event usually over 3 days and with a specific theme, usually rotating between leadership, training the trainer of the future, and management
  • Team specific training
  • A monthly NELFT Balint group for higher trainees to provide a space for reflecting on patient cases.
  • A two-monthly higher trainee forum
  • Attendance to training opportunities open to all doctors in NELFT, including Leadership programmes, and courses such as the QI facilitator training course

These programmes are designed to provide learning of specific skills as well as networking opportunities with other mental health professionals and psychiatrists at various levels of training. Trainees in NELFT are widely encouraged to take an active role in teaching to develop their skills as a trainer.

The NELFT medical education team is particularly supportive in addressing training needs and helping you progress in your career and working towards becoming a Consultant. There are extensive opportunities for higher trainees to get involved in undergraduate and postgraduate teaching, including running the simulation training sessions and CASC teaching sessions for junior trainees, medical students and members of the wider MDT. Sessions on how to run a Simulation are available. Trainees are encouraged to take up leadership roles and are offered the opportunity to shadow medical leaders in the organisation, get involved in QI projects and research according to what their interests are.

There is a friendly and inclusive group of higher trainees working in NELFT and the trust aims to ensure trainees are felt valued and supported within the teams they work. Trainees are encouraged to be actively involved in the NELFT Junior Doctors Forum which helps provide an open setting for raising issues with the management team and medical education, working on continuous improvement in the trust.

At present higher trainee on calls are 24hr non-resident, and involve carrying out MHAs, section 136 assessments as well as providing telephone support to on call SHOs covering 3 A&E sites (Whipps Cross, King George, Queen’s Hospital) as well as Goodmayes Hospital (Mental Health Inpatient) and Woodbury Unit (Older Adult Psychiatry Inpatient). There is an SpR on call room/flat available near King George Hospital for those who live further away. Higher trainees have a rest day following an on call shift.