What is a SuppoRTT Champion?
Each employing trust within the South West region has a designated SuppoRTT Champion, whose role is to oversee the return-to-work process. There are 19 hospital trust-based Champions, as well as one GP Champion for Peninsula and one GP Champion for Severn. They are all hospital consultants/GPs working within the trust. One of the roles of the SuppoRTT Champion is to liase with the unit/department, particularly the Clinical Lead, College or Specialty Tutor and the ES prior to a trainee’s return date, to highlight that the trainee is returning from a period of absence and additional support and enhanced supervision of the trainee is required during the return period. Throughout the process, the trainee’s reviews will be with their educational supervisor, but if additional guidance or support is required, the SuppoRTT Champions are a fantastic resource. They will have detailed knowledge of the local and regional resources available for return to training e.g. SuppoRTT mentoring scheme, return to training events such as one-day conferences and study days. They can also refer directly to their trust Occupational Health department and to the Professional Development Unit at HEE SW and will be instrumental in the new peer mentoring network that is being established.
Peninsula SuppoRTT Champions
Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
Dr Jane Boydell
I'm the SuppoRTT champion for Cornwall Foundation Trust. I've worked as a consultant psychiatrist in adult psychiatry, in Cornwall, since 2012. Throughout my training I returned to work after maternity leave, round the world travel and after a MSc. In my free time I enjoy cooking and being walked by the latest addition to our family, a black Lab puppy. I'm very keen to support others returning to work, whatever the circumstances.
Devon Partnership NHS Trust
Dr Simona Brown
I have worked in the Peninsula for nearly ten years in various positions: staff grade, speciality trainee and old age psychiatry consultant. I worked part time and full time for periods of time. I experienced juggling work, maternity leave, exams with demands of clinical duties.
With the hindsight I felt that Katy Perry’s song ‘Wide awake’ kind of summed it up for me: ‘I wish I knew then what I know now’, yes hindsight makes a lot of difference. I welcome greatly the current initiative to improve junior doctors' experience and I feel committed to be part of.
Dr Simon Bonell
My name is Simon Bonell and I am the SuppoRTT Champion for Livewell Southwest. I am a consultant psychiatrist for adults with intellectual disabilities and have been a clinical and educational supervisor as well as training programme director for some years. When I’m not at work I’m busy with my four children and I sometimes fit in some cycling!
Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust
Dr Sarah Johnson
My Name is Sarah Johnson and I am a consultant radiologist in Barnstaple, North Devon. I trained in the Peninsula and Oxford as a less than full time registrar.
I have previously held support roles as a trainee, specifically as secretary of the Oxford Trainee advisory committee which was set up to support trainees with issues in training, from outside of their own specialty.
Having returned after 10 months’ maternity leave to a new specialty I feel in a good position to understand the challenges involved in returning to work after a period of absence, for whatever reason. and appreciate the impact of returning to work on families; in my case a small baby and a needy retired greyhound…..
Unlike the stereotype of the grumpy radiologist in a dark room, I have an open door and currently am ES for both radiology STs and F1 and F2 doctors in North Devon.
Peninsula General Practice Setting
Dr Tim Davis
I am the GP Support Return to Training champion for the Peninsula region, I work as a GP less than full time in South Devon. I work one session a week in this role onto of fitting work around a busy life at home with three small children. I’m passionate about trying to improve support for trainees and qualified doctors so that they can achieve a good work life balance and enjoy their career.
Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust
Dr Sally Pearson
My name is Sally and I am an Emergency Medicine Consultant at Derriford hospital where I'm also the service line education lead. I've had two lots of maternity leave, been LTFT forever and moved not just trusts but regions, having fairly recently arrived in Devon from Manchester. Outside of work I have 2 school age girls, one crazy sprocker puppy and a long suffering husband. I enjoy cooking, run a bit (mostly so I can eat cake and drink gin with less guilt!) and love being outside, especially near or in the sea.
Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust
Mr Richard Walter
SuppoRTT Champion and Consultant in Trauma and Orthopaedics, Royal Cornwall Hospitals
I've taken on this role hoping that I can do something positive to help trainees at a difficult time in their careers. I'm an unskilled enthusiast in surfing and kitesurfing, so if I'm not working or changing a nappy, you'll find me at the beach.
Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust
Dr Joanne Webber
I am a Consultant in Emergency Medicine at The Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Trust. I have worked both as a trainee and a SAS doctor. Over the years I have experienced the challenges of returning to work in numerous different ways, whether it be due to maternity leave, sick leave, or a change of speciality. I am keen to do all I can to try and make the SuppoRTT process as useful and effective as possible so that you not only get back into work ok, but that you actually enjoy it! Outside of work I juggle family life, the dog, our small-holding, and numerous half-finished DIY projects. Left to my own devices I would be supremely happy with a good book!
Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust
Dr Indranil Dey
I am Indra Dey, working as a Consultant Paediatrician at Torbay Hospital. My professional interests are in Paediatric Epilepsy and Eating disorders which are diverse fields and never lets me get bored. Having a teenager daughter and a 7-year-old boy at home can sometimes be helpful to understand behavioural basics of these populations at work! Love movies and have tried singing in past when keyboard tapping noises become excruciating…
As a paediatrician, we have a large number of returning trainees in our specialty. We hope that we will be able to offer a structured and a high quality return for trainees across all specialities in a way that will make the return exciting and safe for them as well as the patients they will look after. We will be working closely with yourselves and your educational supervisors to make this process smooth. All the best of luck.
Severn SuppoRTT Champions
2gether NHS Foundation Trust
Dr Sarah Greef
I am the SuppoRTT Champion for 2gether NHS Foundation Trust. I am a General Adult Psychiatry Consultant working 3 days a week. I started working less than full time during my training (from ST5) and have continued this in to work as a consultant. I am pleased to be involved in this new initiative to support trainees who are returning to work.
Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust
Dr Charlotte Boyer-Millar
I am a dual trained Psychiatrist who works as an Intellectual Disability Consultant in South Bristol. I work 80% and trained at 100%, 60% and 80% at different times. I am an educational supervisor for core and advanced trainees and am delighted to be part of this new programme to improve Dr’s return to practice – long overdue. Outside of work I have a lively daughter, an even livelier kitten and a thankfully a less lively horse.
Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Dr Marie Wheeler
I am the SuppoRTT Champion/Tutor at Gloucestershire Royal and Cheltenham General (GHNHSFT).
I am a Paediatric Consultant in Gloucester in General Paeds and Allergy, having worked in Gloucester since 2005.
I have maintained a healthy interest in training and am one of the Foundation Programme Directors in Gloucester and the RCPCH LTFT Advisor for Severn. I have worked all combinations of LTFT and now FT and have returned to work a healthy number of times.
Outside of work, I try to keep a handle on our 4 children, which surprisingly becomes more challenging with time - 2 are now away from home 'studying'. Hobbies include also trying to control the family spaniel Molly, with a touch of spin and yoga type activities and the determination to return to tennis.
Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Dr Jessica Daniel
I currently work at the Great Western Hospital in Swindon as a Consultant in Sexual Health and HIV. I am the current Foundation Programme Director, having worked in the Foundation Programme since 2013. I am a mentor and a coach. I have a lot of experience supporting trainees during difficult periods in their training helping them to achieve positive outcomes. I qualified as a doctor in 2000 and so I have had experience of both the 'old style' and 'new style' of medical education and have been involved with implementing many of the more recent changes to training.
Personally I have had 2 periods out of training for maternity leave so I have first hand experience of managing returning to training and I am still trying to achieve that perfect work - life balance!
Dr Bill McCrea
I am a consultant cardiologist in Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. I have previously been a Training Programme Director for The Severn Deanery and I am an Educational and Clinical supervisor to our cardiology trainees in Swindon. I have now been in a pastoral support role for almost a year. I enjoy teaching and advising junior doctors.
Miss Sarah Irby
I am a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon in the Great western Hospital in Swindon. My areas of interest are paeds orthopaedics and adult foot & ankle.
I am responsible for junior doctor support (along with Bill McCrea) in the hospital and also the new SuppoRTT Champion.
North Bristol NHS Trust
Dr Curtis Whittle
My name is Dr Curtis Whittle. I’m a Consultant in Anaesthesia at Southmead Hospital, North Bristol NHS Trust and the Foundation Programme Director for F1s, as well as an Educational Supervisor. I am also Simulation Lead for my Department, Severn Foundation School and Bristol School of Anaesthesia. Through this role I have taken on the development and rolling out of the new simulation based ‘return to work’ courses for all trainees who have had an extended period off work for whatever reason, as part of the HEESW SuppoRTT initiative.
Aside from that, I have 2 boys who adore their hockey and tolerate school, a new border-terrier puppy and an older golden retriever. Any spare time left is spent cycling, mountain biking, gardening or Sailing – especially the NHS Regatta!
Dr Christina Laxton
I have been a consultant anaesthetist at Southmead Hospital in Bristol since 2002, and have worked LTFT since 1996 after my first child was born. I have been the LTFT Advisor for the Bristol School of Anaesthesia for many years and more recently the LTFT Champion at NBT. I am also the Assessment lead for the Bristol School of Anaesthesia. Supporting trainees, both RTT and otherwise, and indeed supporting consultants and our wider teams, is crucial in the current NHS, and I feel privileged to be part of a Support faculty at NBT to try to help in whatever way I can. My other professional interests include obstetric anaesthesia and blood conservation. Outside work, I am getting used to an ‘empty nest’ and am on a super-flat, frustrating learning curve to play golf with my husband!
Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust
Dr Rebecca Mason
I am the Local SuppoRTT Champion for the Royal United Hospital Bath, as well as a LTFT Respiratory Consultant, working four days a week; Tuesday – Friday. I live in Bath with my husband, daughter and son. I enjoy running and reading (when time allows!) and spending time outdoors with my family. Life is always busy and a juggling act but we wouldn’t have it any other way!
Severn General Practice Setting
Role currently vacant
Somerset Partnership / Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust
Dr Stephen Harris
Consultant in Anaesthesia & Intensive Care since 2006. Previously held other PG roles including F2 Programme Director & Educational Strategy Lead for Severn Foundation School. Currently also Associate DME for Quality and looking forward to the challenge of being a Champion!
Home life is mainly sleep-deprived (courtesy of 2 small boys)!
University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust
Dr Rebecca Thorpe
I’ve been a Consultant in Adult and Paediatric Emergency Medicine University Hospitals Bristol NHS Trust for 5 years. I’ve recently been appointed as a SuppoRTT Champion in a job share with Sam Milsom. My special interests are mental health in ED (Emergency Department), high impact users and staff wellbeing. I live in Bristol with my young family.
Dr Samantha Milsom
I am an Emergency Medicine Consultant working at the Children’s Emergency Department at Bristol Royal Hospital for Children. I am the SuppoRTT Champion for UHBT as a jobshare with Becky Thorpe. I enjoy spending my time with my other half and our three young boys, Ernie, Alf and Doug, running them ragged in the outdoors. Aims in life include a family trip to Lapland in the not too distant future and catching up on sleep!
Weston General Hospital
Miss Bee Martin
I have worked in Weston for 17 years as a vascular surgeon and during that time I have held various educational roles working alongside our trainees and junior doctors. I understand the difficulties of juggling different roles and dealing with life events and the impact this can have on training and day to day life. I am delighted this has been recognised as an area where all of us can struggle and am pleased to help in any way I can to support our returning to work trainees.
Yeovil District Hospital
Dr Katie Smith
I am a consultant gastroenterologist working in Yeovil District Hospital and enjoy all aspects of my job here. I am a unit tutor for 3rd year Bristol university students, an educational supervisor and have also supported a few trust grade junior doctors en-route to the formal training system.
I have 3 children and spend a lot of my spare time looking after horses and battling an overgrown garden.
If it is not clear to you who your designated Support Champion is, advice can be sought at firstname.lastname@example.org