Specialty Introduction

Welcome to specialty training in psychiatry, in the Core and Higher training programmes in Kent, Surrey and Sussex. We look forward to working with you, to ensure that you enjoy working with your patients, your clinical teams, and our education network.

Choosing psychiatry guarantees a professional life of continuing stimulation and challenge, through a combination of science, art and detective work. Psychiatry is the evidence-based branch of medicine, combining empirical knowledge with making sense of the person’s history and the interaction between patient and professional.

Psychiatry has led medicine in working in multi-professional teams, closely engaging families and carers, and keeping close links with Primary Care. (and you will work and train alongside a strong cohort of doctors in GP training).

School Introduction

Training in psychiatry in Kent, Surrey and Sussex combines full training programmes and academic opportunities within KSS with access to the wealth of academic activity in London – and in parallel you can enjoy our towns, countryside, and coastline while taking advantage of all London’s attractions and cultural interests.

Psychiatry training is in two stages, with Core experience covering a wide range of specialties before a move to Higher training after completion of the MRCPsych exam.

Kent Surrey and Sussex offers three Core Psychiatry Programmes, and four Higher Training Programmes, in Child and Adolescent, Forensic, General Adult, and Older Adult Psychiatry, and Dual Training in Medical Psychotherapy/GA ,and in OA/GA.

Core training is based in three Programmes, each covering one of the three counties and one Mental Health Trust, each providing a full range of core and specialised placements. Doctors are supported not only by their Programme Directors but also by networks of Locality Tutors in each Trust, and by Directors of Medical Education and the Trust Postgraduate Education team. Two academic clinical fellowship (ACF) posts are based in Brighton and Sussex Medical School.

More information can be found at http://www.ksseducation.hee.nhs.uk/specialty/psych/training-programme/psych-core-trainprog/

The Higher Training Programmes extend across the three counties with forty-one posts. An excess of approved placements over funded posts, and a wide range of clinical experiences, allow individually-planned three-year programmes, balancing the breadth of experience with keeping local links. There is more information at http://www.ksseducation.hee.nhs.uk/specialty/psych/training-programme/

We have flexible slot-sharing arrangements for Less Than Full Time training, so that pairing is not tied to individual posts or sites, boosting “family friendly” arrangements in the Core and Higher Programmes. Academic opportunities include a fully-funded PGCert within the KSS-wide MRCPsych Course, which can progress to an MSc. There is encouragement and support to present posters and papers at national and international events, and to complete and publish research. We have regularly funded bursaries and Fellowships.

 Each of the three Mental Health Trusts delivering our training offers local academic programmes, including eLearning and simulation. There are teaching opportunities with medical students and with our big cohort of Foundation doctors. Psychotherapy Tutors are in place in all our Trusts to deliver the Core and Higher curricular requirements.

The School builds its development on feedback and ideas generated by trainee representatives in-putting at all levels.

 Head of School AF

I joined Kent Surrey and Sussex as Head of School three years ago. I graduated in New Zealand (and included an F1 placement in Psychiatry, available in Auckland decades ago) and then had an Intern/Resident (“SHO”) year in Washington and New York, before coming back to London to train in Psychiatry at The London and at St Georges.

My first General Adult post was in East Surrey, based in the big “asylum” at Netherne before its closure, and then I jumped ship to a second Community Mental Health Team, in Sutton, in SW London.

In these consultant years I was variously a Clinical Tutor, SHO Scheme Organiser, Training Programme Director in General Adult and Old Age Psychiatry, and MRCPsych Course Organiser, and In 2003 I had the chance to combine a half-time post in Assertive Outreach in SW London with the other half in the London Deanery, as Psychiatry lead, and then Trust Liaison Dean in both Mental Health and Acute Trusts.

Amongst the good things in the London Deanery was working with colleagues across all the medical specialties, which has continued into KSS, and as Trust Liaison Dean working with DMEs in both Acute and MH Trusts.

The Head of School post in KSS has been rewarding and challenging, working with a supportive and cohesive group of HoS colleagues, and building contact with the Trusts across KSS delivering our training.

Outside work, my time goes to an expanding extended family, with bursts of sailing, racing or cruising a small single-handed Catapult catamaran.