Managing February 2021 Rotations for London organisations
As a result of the current COVID surge and the unique challenges this has resulted in across London, Health
Education England (HEE) London has taken the decision to “pause” the rotation of all HEE trainees due to rotate
in February 2021 for a period of 4 weeks to support both the delivery of patient care and to protect maintain
pastoral and wellbeing support of trainees.
This pause will involve all Postgraduate Medical and Dental trainees on HEE managed programmes and comes
after considering all other options.
Junior doctors have a crucial role in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic over the past year, going above
and beyond across London to care for patients. The current COVID surge has resulted in significant challenges
for provider organisations in the delivery of clinical care as well as significant impact on educational capacity to
support Trust and local induction to ensure a safe transition for learners to their new placements and the
potential wider effects on the public of having a lot of people moving around. In addition, a significant number of
trainees are already redeployed to COVID facing activity/rotas.
HEE London has made this difficult decision with patient safety and learner well-being at the forefront of
considerations and it was also clearly important to take into account the circumstances in London and the need
to minimise people’s movements wherever possible to limit risk of transmission. A rotation pause will allow time
for the London system to become less pressured, allowing providers some capacity to facilitate appropriate
induction and new starter arrangements as well as making sure that learners current arrangements for
supervision, wellbeing and work disrupted as little as possible.
The Postgraduate Deans have engaged with Trust Chief Executives, Medical Directors, Directors of Medical
Education (DMEs) and Medical Education Managers (MEMs) who are supportive of this pause. Further work has
taken place with London Regional NHS England & Improvement colleagues. The BMA London junior doctor
committee representatives engaged in the process to ensure the wellbeing of needs of trainees are central to this
process and so any concerns can be resolved.
It should be noted that this is a “rotation pause” and that education and training will continue.
All 3291 trainee rotations will be paused until Wednesday 3rd March 2021.
HEE acknowledge that there will be exceptional reasons where a rotation in February 2021 will be necessary for
an individual trainee Examples of these exceptions are outlined in the appendix to this letter along with the route
The situation will be reviewed regularly in collaboration with the BMA and NHS E&I throughout February;
however, it is anticipated that this pause will last no longer than 4 weeks.
The 212 new starters to programmes will go ahead and be managed on an individual basis between
DME/Medical HR departments and the Healthcare Education Team at HEE.
Trainees that are currently due to rotate to a neighbouring deanery as part of their rotation are included in this
pause. Please refer to the exceptions document.
The Postgraduate Deans and HET will be running two Webinars, one for trainees (with support from the BMA) and one for educators
Educator Webinar: Thursday 14th January 2021 between 18:30 and 19:30
Trainee Webinar: Wednesday 20th January 2021 between 18:00 and 19:00
Details of the webinars will be circulated in due course.
We recognise the disappointment and anxiety that this may cause in our trainees and educational faculties, we hope that the reasons behind the decision remain transparent and focussed on the well-being of learners and your role in the delivery of patient care during this challenging time for provider organisations.
Should any trainees wish to access health and wellbeing support, every trust should have local provision. All doctors and medical students can access counselling and peer support via The Professional Support Unit (PSU)and the BMA at https://www.bma.org.uk/advice-and-support/your-wellbeing
Dr Sanjiv Ahluwalia - Regional
Dr Gary Wares (North London)
Prof Geeta Menon (South London)