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Health, Welfare and Professionalism

The GMC provides guidance for managing professionalism concerns and fitness to practise to provide a consistent framework that each university and medical school adapts to suit local processes. The University processes, regulations, policies and the GMC Guidance documentation can be accessed via the links on the right hand side of this page.

The Health, Welfare and Professionalism (HWP) and Fitness to Practise (FtP) processes are supportive and not disciplinary. The aim is to help prevent issues becoming more serious, a greater cause of difficulty and potentially an FtP concern. Many students experience a wide variety of difficulties during their course, most of which are resolved by the student demonstrating insight, working cooperatively and communicating appropriately with staff and the student support network. On the occasions where difficulties continue unresolved, the HWP Group becomes involved and the vast majority of difficulties that the HWP Group supports are invariably resolved and referral to the WMS FtP Committee is very much the last resort.

GMC/MSC Guidance

Achieving good medical practice: guidance for medical students:

Paragraph 40: 'As a medical student, you must tell your medical school about any serious health conditions, or any aspect of your health or personal circumstances that could affect your training (especially your placements) or your relationship with colleagues. This is so that your medical school can support you, and it can only do this if it knows that you have a health condition. Telling your medical school shows you have insight into the impact your condition may have on patients, your fellow students and yourself. This is a crucial factor that medical schools consider in relation to health and fitness to practise.'

Professional behaviour and fitness to practise: guidance for medical schools and their students:

Page 4: 'Medical students are working towards joining the medical profession. Their studies will put them in contact with patients and members of the public, who may often be vulnerable. Because of this, we expect medical students to display standards of professional behaviour that are different from those expected of other students not training to join a regulated profession. Meeting these standards is a requirement for graduation with a primary medical qualification.'

Paragraph 14: 'A health condition alone is not sufficient to conclude impairment. Provided there are no concerns about the student’s conduct, they are seeking and following treatment and advice, and taking steps to manage any potential risks to patients, it’s unlikely their fitness to practise will be called into question.'

Reasonable Adjustments

WMS is committed to providing reasonable adjustments to students with health conditions and/or disabilities. These are evidence based, informed by professional expertise and are considered in accordance with academic or other professional standards. Reasonable adjustments in relation to timed non-clinical written exams are well understood and by understanding relevant medical information, your other support needs can be discussed, for example, in clinical placements. In the first instance you should discuss potential adjustments with Disability Services.

Self-referral

Please don’t wait to see if a difficulty resolves itself or try to resolve it on your own. It is strongly recommended that you self-refer to the HWP Group using the Self-referral form. Please discuss your self-referral with a member of the WMS Student Support Team. Where relevant, please include supporting information e.g., medical reports, reflection, police and court documentation. If you are not able to provide these at the time of submission, please do so as soon as possible afterwards. Your self-referral will normally be reviewed at the Group's next scheduled meeting and you will receive a written outcome. Please note that you may be asked for clarification or further information.

Third Party Referral

There are rare occasions when a student is referred to the HWP Group by a third party, which includes Medical School and other university staff, staff in placement provider organisations, fellow students, members of the public and the Police. The referral may be made with or without the student's knowledge.

WMS Health, Welfare and Professionalism Group

The Group normally meets on the third Tuesday of every month and the membership is:

  • Neil Stockton, Head of Governance and Quality (Chair);
  • Dr Anne-Marie Chilton, Senior Tutor;
  • Dr Louise Davis, Chair of the Course Progress Group;
  • Dr Phil Goss, Centre for Lifelong Learning, Independent Member;
  • Dr Damien Homer, Head of Disability Services;
  • Sarah Knight, Dean’s Office (Note taker).
  • Professor Colin Macdougall, Head of Medical Education;
  • Rebecca Mole, Head of Professional Standards;
  • Professor Olanrewaju Sorinola, Phase II Lead;
  • Dr Kate Owen, Director of Medical Studies;

The University’s Equality, Diversity and InclusionLink opens in a new window Policy is adhered to throughout and you can expect to be treated fairly and with great consideration.

Student Disciplinary Offences and Misconduct, including Sexual Misconduct

If you are subject to an allegation that falls under the University’s student disciplinary and misconduct policies and regulations, it will be dealt with through the respective policy or regulation first and then considered under the HWP/FtP process, if relevant (see HWP and FtP FAQLink opens in a new window). If you have been affected by sexual misconduct, please refer to the University's Sexual Misconduct PolicyLink opens in a new window.

WMS Fitness to Practise Committee

Rarely, when an issue or difficulty has become a potential FtP concern, the Group considers whether the threshold of student fitness to practiseLink opens in a new window might have been reached. If this is the case, a referral to the WMS Fitness to Practise Committee normally follows. It is fully understood that this is a stressful and difficult experience so should you find yourself in this position, please take advantage of the advice and support offered. The Committee normally meets four times a year with ad hoc meetings if required. The scheduled meeting dates for 2022/23 are:

  • Tuesday 20 December 2022;
  • Tuesday 7 March 2023;
  • Tuesday 6 June 2023;
  • Tuesday 5 September 2023.
How does it all work?

The Operational ProceduresLink opens in a new window describe how the HWP Group and the WMS FtP Committee work and you may find it useful to read the HWP and FtP FAQsLink opens in a new window.

Whom can I talk to?

If you have any questions or need advice please contact any of the following:

  • The Senior Tutor, Anne-Marie Chilton, A dot Chilton dot 1 at warwick dot ac dot uk; External: 024 765 73808; Internal: 73808.
  • Your Deputy Senior Tutor:
    • Year 1: Ellie Powell, eloise dot powell dot 1 at warwick dot ac dot uk
    • Year 2: Judy Purkis, Judith dot Purkis at warwick dot ac dot uk External 024 765 51145; Internal: 51145.
    • Year 3: (2020 Cohort) Zaki Gaballa, Zaki dot Gaballa at warwick dot ac dot uk
    • Year 4: (2019 Cohort) Tom Billyard, [email]tom.billyard@warwick.ac.uk[/email
  • Your personal tutor or clinical personal tutor;
  • Head of Governance and Quality, Neil Stockton, N.Stockton@warwick.ac.uk; External: 024 765 75770; Internal: 75770 (Chair of the HWP Group and Secretary to the WMS FtP Committee);
  • HWP resource email account: Healthandconduct at warwick dot ac dot uk.
Privacy

The University of Warwick will process your personal data in relation to your studies. The legal basis for processing your personal data is that it is necessary for the performance of a contract. Your data will be used in relation to HWP and FtP concerns that arise during the course. It will not be shared with any third parties external to the University of Warwick except when you have been considered by the WMS FtP Committee. In this case, your FtP and HWP data will be shared in any fitness to practise requests from any recognized professional, statutory or regulatory bodies and provided to the GMC in the Student Fitness To Practise Annual Return. If you are excluded from the University, your data will be entered into the Medical Schools’ Council's Excluded Students' Database. Your HWP and FtP data will be kept securely in accordance with the University's Records Retention Schedule.

The University of Warwick is the Data Controller and is committed to protecting the rights of individuals in line with Data Protection Legislation. The University's Data Protection web pages provide further information on your rights and how the University processes personal data. If you wish to submit a data subjects rights request, make a complaint or report a suspected personal data breach, please contact the University’s Data Protection Officer by email at infocompliance@warwick.ac.uk.