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Rotating to different locations for training placements is one of the significant stressors that we all face as junior doctors.
Junior doctors are adults: we have established families, friends, social lives, hobbies and other commitments which are almost always centred upon where we live.
WJDC recognises that trainees often have little input into where our rotations are located, or for how long they last. The location, length or other aspects of the rotation can mean that trainees do not wish to permanently make a home in their new location.
Moving home, or to a temporary residence (whilst keeping your old home) can be costly. The alternative – commuting long distances across Wales – is often unsafe and erodes time off-duty which should be being used for rest, relaxation and generally, life outside of training - along with the significant burden of training-related work required in our off-duty time.
WJDC maintains that trainees should not have to bear the financial expense for relocating as a result of their training programme requirements and that, at a time when the wellbeing of junior doctors is often tested, this is of vital importance. Enduring the other non-financial aspects of relocation is enough.
So, what is being done to mitigate this?
Over the past year, WJDC has been working with Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW) and NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership (NWSSP) to improve the current trainee relocation and travel expenses policy. This is part of an agreement for more regular reviews of the policy, so that where feasible, elements can be further improved to ensure that no trainee in Wales is financially impacted as a result of being required to move for their training.
I’m pleased to say that WJDC has endorsed and approved the new all-Wales trainee relocation and travel expenses policy, having secured a number of important improvements, including:
We would encourage you to read the revised policy to understand the full entitlements you now have. You can view this, here.
WJDC values your feedback about this policy - the positives, negatives and any suggestions for improvements. We would also encourage you to feed back to HEIW too, especially about the experiences you have of using it.
WJDC is listening to your feedback and continues to work hard to improve your working and training life in Wales.
You can contact WJDC by emailing [email protected]
You can contact HEIW by emailing [email protected]
Dr Cheetham is chair of the Welsh Junior Doctors Committee (WJDC)