SuppoRTT for Out of Programme (OOP) Trainees

HEE East Midlands has begun a programme of support in line with HEE national objectives to help trainees who have been out of programme (OOP). There are two initiatives currently:

1) SuppoRTT Coaching for OOP Trainees

The SuppoRTT team now offers coaching with our providers Sarah Dale and Bob Wheeler. We are therefore now able to offer this to trainees who are out of programme in addition to those who are referred through our usual channels. This is a valuable opportunity to support your return to work, or to help you think through your options.We currently have capacity to take ten trainees at a time, and we will operate a waiting list if we have more applicants at any one time than that.  Places will be allocated on a first come first served basis. You must be an East Midlands Trainee doctor who is currently out of programme (OOP) to participate.  A coaching application form is listed in the documents below.  Please forward it to  

Sarah Dale is an occupational psychologist and coach, with over twenty years’ experience. She has been working with the Professional Support Unit (PSU) at HEE-EM for several years, working on a one to one basis with trainees who have benefited from some extra support to deal with a whole range of issues – exam resits, anxiety, doubts about a medical career, challenging circumstances at home or at work, work-related stress, managing periods away from work and supporting the return to work.

Sarah describes the sessions as a chance for trainees to hold an ‘uncontaminated conversation’ (i.e. a safe and confidential one that isn’t with their supervisor, friend, parent or partner) and to use this to reflect in a way that can lead to new insights, and practical ideas and strategies about what to do next.

Sessions are usually 90 minutes long and held at fortnightly intervals (for six sessions on average) at Sarah’s home office in Beeston in Nottingham, and these sessions will be funded by through the HEE Return to Work (RTT) project fund.

Trainees who have worked with Sarah in the past have said the following:

 ‘Our sessions together and your gentle and thoughtful support really helped me to recognise and confront the things holding me back.’

’It really has helped having someone to talk to and I really do feel that I’m back on my feet again. You came up with so many simple but clever ways to help my confidence’

‘I certainly would have found it extremely difficult to remain positive and focused on passing my exam and on my career in general without our time reflecting together’

Bob Wheeler has been coaching East Midlands trainees for some years, said “I have met many trainees who have returned to training.  There are many reasons for the break including maternity, research, personal or health based.  There is often a challenge in getting back into the swing of training.  There can be unique challenges in balancing the demands of training and service delivery, relationships both at work and at home, on-calls and personal life, sometimes just getting back into the habit of exams”. Each programme will be tailored to the individual’s needs.  The purpose of the coaching programmes will be to help the trainees find practical strategies, techniques and approaches to address any challenges which may be arising so that they can reintegrate as quickly as possible.

Bob has run training sessions for junior doctors, trainers and members of HEEM staff in leadership, teamworking, negotiation, resilience and cultural communication issues in Healthcare Education. 

Bob’s background is that he studied law at Cambridge University then qualified as a barrister.  He initially specialised in the law to do with people at work then progressed through a range of increasingly senior human resources positions to become HR Director of a company which employed 30,000 people. He has been running his own consulting and coaching business for many years and is an associate at several Business Schools. 

He co-authored the Leadership Judgement Indicator (LJI), a psychometric instrument which has been published in eight different languages.  He has spoken at major international conferences including CIPD’s HRD in London, the 40th Annual IFTDO World Conference in Warsaw, Poland and the ASHRM conference in Abu Dhabi in 2013. He gave the keynote address at the East Midlands School of Dentistry’s 2017 Symposium.

2) Productivity Retreat for OOP Trainees - NEXT course 19th NOVEMBER, 2019 at the HILTON LEICESTER 9:45a.m. - 4.30p.m.

A full day of protected productivity designed especially for people who want to get things done but find that life or work gets in the way of progress.

Are you:

  • -An East Midlands Trainee currently out of programme (OOP), preferably OOPR or OOPT

  • -Someone who struggles with procrastination?

  • -Need to complete research or a qualification as part of your role but find you can't find the time?

  • -Someone who wants to get things done but finds that life gets in the way of progress?

If you said yes to any of the above then join Dr Katy R Mahoney, expert performance and development coach, at our productivity retreat in Nottingham. Make a positive step towards completing that important job that never gets priority.

The retreat includes the opportunity to:

  • -Learn several “staying focused” techniques

  • -Identify performance gremlins & how to harness their power to propel your productivity forward

  • -Spend over 4 hours dedicated to your own work (you must bring any laptop, chargers, books and any paperwork you might need with you on the day)

  • -Learn how to identify powerful thought patterns that will help you to overcome procrastination

Book your place on Intrepid Course Manager at

The course is free to East Midlands Trainees.  Refreshments and a hot lunch are included. 

Your place on the course includes an optional follow up coaching appointment.

Please note - the above training includes 4 hours of training and 4 hours of time dedicated to your own work.  You must have available work towards research (or an exam) that you can bring with you to do on the day