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Core training

Core training in Psychiatry involves completing placements in a range of subspecialities within Psychiatry including 12 months in General Adult Psychiatry. During this time, you will be supported in preparing for the MRCPsych exams. Find out more about the Psychiatry curricula

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There are a huge range of training opportunities for core trainees based across multiple sites. These cover a wide range of psychiatry specialties, including: 

  • General adult inpatient
  • General adult community
  • First episode psychosis community
  • General adult psychiatric intensive care unit
  • Old age psychiatry inpatient
  • Old page psychiatry community
  • Liaison psychiatry 
  • Old age liaison psychiatry
  • General adult perinatal (inpatient and community)
  • Drug and alcohol (inpatient and community)
  • CAMHS general adolescent community
  • CAMHS looked after children community
  • Intellectual disability inpatient
  • Intellectual disability community 
  • Specialist neurodevelopmental
  • Forensic psychiatry high secure hospital 
  • General adult CRISIS team 


As a core trainee in Nottingham, you may be based at Highbury Hospital, the main general adult psychiatric hospital. However, there are also core trainees based at Hopewood Hospital, Rampton Hospital, the Queens Medical Centre, and several other community hubs throughout Nottinghamshire. 

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Teaching can be split according to your year group and you will often be taught with your peers. 

There are weekly teaching sessions with all levels of doctors from F1 to consultant in attendance. These sessions start with a case presentation, where junior doctors will present an interesting case to the group. This is a great opportunity to learn about interesting cases and take part in discussions. Following this we have a journal club presentation, where an article is chosen and presented by junior doctors. Again, this is a great opportunity to discuss and keep up to date with the latest research and interesting findings. This is also how you will complete your case presentation and journal club presentation requirements for ARCP. For Nottingham based doctors these take place on a Wednesday morning. For Mansfield doctors these sessions are held on Monday afternoons. 

Core trainees will also be expected to attend the MRCPsych Teaching course. These are whole day teaching sessions where you will be taught in your year group and core trainees from other areas within the East Midlands also join. The sessions cover topics which are part of the exam curriculum are a great opportunity to learn more detail about the subjects while preparing you for exams. There are plenty of opportunity for interaction and questions. 

We also have simulation teaching, which is run with Nottingham and Mansfield based core trainees and with your core trainee year group only. This means that the sessions are smaller with more opportunity for interaction and group contribution. In this teaching session, one trainee will participate in a simulation scenario where the others will observe. Feedback on how this went is then given and the scenario is discussed amongst the group, although sometimes daunting, these simulation sessions are very useful times to reflect on your own communication skills and practice for real-life difficult conversations. 

There is also a teaching programme run by core trainees at Nottinghamshire Healthcare. This was set up to help GP and Foundation Trainees develop their understanding of general psychiatry. Case based discussion sessions are led by core trainees. Higher trainees also attend and will observe and complete an assessment of teaching for the core trainee. 

To aid with our child and adolescent experience we have teaching sessions run by a child and adolescent consultant. This is a great opportunity to discuss cases or questions which arise during on calls. Often cases are presented, which can be a useful opportunity to learn from real-life examples and discuss specifics of child and adolescent psychiatry. 

Research and academia

Nottinghamshire Healthcare and the University of Nottingham hosts several NIHR Academic Clinical Fellowships (ACF) in Psychiatry, these can be in General Adult, Old Age, Forensic, or Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Applications for these fellowships is seperate to clinical core psychiatry training. For those interested please see: These trainees will have 75% of their time allocated to clinical training and 25% ringfenced research time. The structure of this research time can be decided by the trainee and their academic supervisor based on the research the trainee is working on. Some ACFs may take this as around 1 day per week of research time, others may take this as blocks of 3 - 6 months during their training. ACFs are expected to complete their core training competencies in 3 years alongside clinical core trainees. 

Research and academia image

The Institute of Mental Health (IMH) is one of the leading inter-disciplinary mental health institutes in the UK. It is formed by a parntership between the University of Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Healthcare. Since its formation in 2006, the Institute has established a track record of success, with achievements in pioneering and innovative, service-facing, inter-disciplinary research. It hosts eight centres of excellence, alongside other key areas of mental health research. Those interested are encouraged to explore the IMH's website:

Clinical core trainees are also encouraged to get involved in research. If there is a particular area of research or project which they would like to work on they are encouraged to discuss this with their clinical and educational supervisors to facilitate them being able to complete this, as well as discussing this with the academic at the University of Nottingham. 

The Trust also has a service which can aid a trainee in their research including access to healthcare databases such as UK CRIS and a specialsit database searching service through the information services. 

Quality improvement and leadership

Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has embedded culture of continious quality improvement. Core trainees can be involved in quality improvement projects within their roles or throughout the Trust. Those who wish to learn more about quality improvement can sign up to participate in day or half-day quality improvement training workshops to gain qualifications in quality improvement such as the Bronze or Silver award. 

Core trainees are also encouraged to take on clinical leadership roles and may wish to act as trainee representative on local, regional, and national committees. The trainee who has shown the most impressive leadership over the year is awarded the Young Leader / Innovative Practice award at the Trust's annual medical education conference. Previous trainees particularly interested in leadership may wish to apply for training opportunities within the Trust / East Midlands such as Leadership Fellowships or Masters level apprenticeships in Strategic Leadership. 


The Royal College of Psychiatrists set out specific psychotherapy competencies a core trainee must complete during their training. This includes attendance at Balint Groups and completion of two supervisied psychotherapy cases, one long case and one short case. 

Core trainees placed in Nottinghamshire Healthcare can attend weekly Balint Groups. This group is led by Dr Nicky Philipps, Consultant Medical Psychotherapist. 

Core trainees are assigned a psychotherapy tutor (currently Dr Nicky Philipps and Dr Helena Vassiliadis, Consultant Medical Psychotherapists) who will meet with them throughout the year to monitor psychotherapy progress and help them plan their time to meet their psychotherapy competencies. 

Core trainees can complete their psychotherapy cases in several psychotherapeutic models e.g. psychodynamic psychotherapy, cognitive behavioural therapy, family therapy, or group cognitive behavioural therapy.