The Royal College of Physicians welcomes Addressing the challenges of COVID-19 second wave or another pandemic from the UK Clinical Academic Training Forum (CATF) and COPMeD. The RCP was pleased to contribute, along with representatives of postgraduate training, research funders, medical and dental schools and others across the UK.
The document sets out five overarching principles in response to future significant disruption to clinical academic training. They will help to enable local, practical and timely advice for academic trainees, their clinical and research supervisors, HEI and their postgraduate deanery/HEE regional office.
- All clinical academic trainees will benefit from a considered and co-ordinated approach to managing any potential disruption to their research and clinical training needs due to Coronavirus or a similar situation.
- All parties must undertake the discussions needed in a transparent manner, following a process for a return to clinical service agreed by the Postgraduate Deanery.
- It is emphasised that the return of academic trainees to support the clinical service is on a voluntary basis.
- Due consideration should be given to issues of equality, diversity and inclusion and, specifically, to health, shielding or caring issues relevant to individual trainees.
- Following a period of disruption trainees should be supported in their future planning and to make any adjustments to their academic and clinical education appropriate for their stage of training.
The full document also sets out the actions that should be taken by postgraduate deans and training programme directors, universities and research institutes, funders, and trainees themselves.
RCP Academic Vice President Professor Cheng-Hock Toh commented: “This work builds on the consensus statement that the RCP convened in March 2020 with other research organisations to support clinical academic trainees and the CATF report of May 2020, Progressing UK clinical academic training in 2020: Addressing the challenges of COVID-19. We are fully supportive of this new document and the principles it outlines.”