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Scotland Deanery

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COVID-19 information and guidance as we receive it

Professor Rowan Parks, Acting Medical Director - Letter to Trainees 11.01.21

11 January 2021

Dear Trainee / Trainer

I don’t need to remind anyone of the ongoing challenges facing the NHS as we continue to tackle the COVID pandemic. The response and contribution of all health care workers has been truly outstanding. As an education body, NES has made every effort to ensure we mitigate the impact of the pandemic on all aspects of education and training. However, we recognise the specific stresses for doctors in training as they navigate recruitment processes, and the acquisition of competencies and professional examinations in order to progress their training.

The Scotland Deanery and Health Board Directors of Medical Education remain in regular contact as we plot our course through these choppy waters. Firstly, we wish to ensure that you consider your own wellbeing and that of your colleagues. Resources are available if needed:


The Scotland Deanery, over the coming weeks, will continue to forward relevant information to you and will post important documents and position statements on the COVID pages of the Scotland Deanery website:


We will also continue to host webinars for trainees / trainers to update on the latest developments:


If you are unable to find the information you require, please contact the Scotland Deanery team via the COVID enquiry mailbox:



As many will be aware, the Postgraduate Deans and Directors of Medical Education have co-produced a framework document regarding the principles for redeployment. This has already proved hugely valuable to minimise the extent to which doctors in training have been redeployed to date and to mitigate the impact of trainee progression. However, what has become very clear in recent days is that the pressure on clinical services is rising significantly and it is inevitable that more trainees will need to be redeployed over the coming weeks to ensure safe patient care. Any decision regarding redeployment will take into account the principles outlined in the agreed framework, but I trust all will recognise the importance of supporting the NHS during this time of crisis:



As most should be aware, contingency arrangements for all 2021 recruitment processes were agreed in advance of recruitment processes commencing, including an equality impact assessment should Plan B options be required. As already communicated, some specialties have already moved to their alternative recruitment process. Candidates will be kept informed and details will be regularly updated on the Scotland Deanery website:



The 4 UK Statutory Education bodies have agreed that the forthcoming February rotations should in general continue as planned as this is seen as an important part of a trainee’s programme of learning. In very specific circumstances, local arrangements may be required but this will require approval of the Director of Medical Education, relevant Postgraduate Dean and any involved trainees.

Whilst it is recognised that roll out of the vaccination programme will see us getting through this pandemic, we wish to ensure that every trainee feels supported and valued. Please make sure that, if you have any concerns or queries, that you discuss these with your Educational Supervisor or Training Programme Director, or alternatively contact your DME Office or the Deanery. Most importantly, keep safe, keep well and look out for each other. Together we will get through this, and my sincere desire is that all our doctors in training will achieve everything they aspire to and more. With my very best wishes for 2021.


Rowan Parks

Acting Medical Director

NHS Education for Scotland

This page was last updated on: 12.01.2021 at 12.03