Mentoring

In the months leading up to your return to training, and for a period of time after you return, you may wish to use our SuppoRTT mentoring scheme.  There is a link to sign up to the scheme at the bottom of the page however we hope that you will read the following information to make sure that a mentor is right for you. 

This diagram shows where a SuppoRTT mentor sits with regards to a trainee's employer, host organisation and training programme (please click the image to enlarge):

SuppoRTT Mentor Diagram

What is mentoring?

Mentoring means to advise or train someone to help them develop more effectively.  The aim of the relationship is to help the mentee build their confidence and make their own decisions about their development and work.

Why might a mentor be useful?

A mentor might be useful for a number of reasons.  Returning to work after a break for any reason is a time of change and therefore can be stressful.  A mentor may be able to help discussing issues such as work-life balance and how best to manage different demands such as childcare or writing a research thesis or MD while working clinically.  Other people find that they question their career direction after a break from clinical practice and so a mentor may be useful in discussing these feelings and signposting to other sources of support.

How does the SuppoRTT mentorship scheme work?

Three months before a trainee returns to clinical practice, they will receive an email from the SuppoRTT team offering access to a mentor.  Once you have registered your interest in having a mentor, you will receive short biographies for all the trained SuppoRTT mentors.  At present, all SuppoRTT mentors are GPs or consultants from a variety of specialties working around the region.  If you would like a mentor, please select from the biographies your preferred mentor and let the SuppoRTT team know.  You will then be provided with their contact details to arrange your first meeting.  It is up to you and your mentor as to when, where and how frequently you meet.

How do I choose a mentor?

Firstly, check where mentors work and which days they are available as this will determine how easy or otherwise it may be for you to meet with them.  Secondly, think about what you would like to gain from the mentoring relationship.  Some people may like help planning their career and training in which case it may be useful to choose a mentor from the same specialty who better understands the training scheme and requirements for the specialty.  Other people may want a mentor to discuss issues which don’t relate directly to their training and therefore having someone who works in a different hospital in a different specialty may better meet their needs.  Finally, look at the experience and interests of the mentor.  Look for someone who you think you can relate to and who you think has relevant experience to your personal circumstances to help guide you through the transition back to work.

What does a mentor not do?

A mentor is not a substitute for your educational supervisor or TPD.  Their role is also different from that of the Lead Employer and occupational health. 

Will my mentor share our discussions with my TPD or Educational SUpervisor?

Generally, no.  The idea of the mentoring scheme is to create a safe space, not directly related to your training so you can talk openly about how you are feeling during the transition back to work and any difficulties you may be facing.  The only exception to this would be if a trainee disclosed information about their health or other professional conduct which called into question their fitness to practice.  In this instance, the mentor would be under a professional obligation to share this information with the trainee’s TPD.

How do I sign up for a SuppoRTT mentor?

If you are interested in having a mentor during your return to training please contact the team at SuppoRTT.nw@hee.nhs.uk.

 


Page updated 29th January 2021