It has been a busy few months for the trainees
and the PTC, with a number of exciting developments.
Trainees have made the national news and had
questions asked in Parliament following the shocking results from a
survey by the Psychiatric Trainees’ Committee. Over 500
trainees responded to questions about accessing inpatients beds and
the responses were truly alarming. 22% had sent a child over
200 miles away for a bed and 18% said their decision to use the
Mental Health Act had been influenced by the likelihood of securing
This highlights the challenges that many
trainees face in providing the care patients need, within the
current resourcing environment. It also demonstrates the power
that we can have to make our voice heard at a national level about
important issues that affect our patients.
For a number of years the College had been
considering the development of an Exit exam, to be taken by
trainees towards the end of higher training. A survey by the
PTC canvassed the view of some two thousand trainees and
consultants about such an assessment, which was a very impressive
response. The answer was a resounding no to further exams.
This was the principal driver for shelving
plans to develop such a test for the foreseeable future, which is a
fantastic result. The PTC is keen that the effort people put
in to answering the survey is not wasted and has been working hard
to analyse the results of the survey. This rich source of
information will be used to inform decisions about other
developments in higher training.
Following a number of successful test cases
brought by trainees in other specialties to claim back tax on
College membership exams, a member of the PTC has managed to do the
same. The PTC is keen to encourage psychiatric trainees who
have taken membership examinations within the last four years to
consider making a claim.
To aid you in this process we have provided a
template letter, adapted from the one used by the PTC member who
claimed a rebate. Unfortunately we are not in a position to offer
individual advice and would recommend that you contact a
professionally qualified adviser if you have detailed
MedFest, the hugely successful
medical film festival run by psychiatric trainees, continued to
expand to reach even larger numbers of people. Feedback from
medical students has shown that they are more likely to consider a
career in psychiatry after attending. This year, Medfest held
events in medical schools across the UK and abroad, as far afield
as Australia. There was also a special Gala event at the
College, an art version and musical evenings.
We were very pleased to host the European Federation of Psychiatric Trainees’ (EFPT)
Annual Forum 2014. The Forum brought together delegates from
over thirty countries with the theme of ‘Making Links’. The
EFPT performs research into issues affecting trainees across
Europe, allows trainees to share experiences of training and runs a
fantastic exchange scheme to allow people to observe practice in
We also welcomed three Canadian trainees, who
attended the Congress as part of an exchange designed to increase
cooperation between Canada and the UK.
We need your vote
Elections for half the divisions in the UK are
coming up soon. Please do vote if your region is holding
elections. The PTC is a great way to represent your
colleagues and get involved in the wide-ranging work that the
College does, from exams to policy, recruitment to research, there
is so much going on.