As a CAMHS trainee you have the opportunity to work both in inpatient and community services. The training includes at least 6 months of inpatient experience and the rest of the time can be spent in community experience. Your training can take place anywhere in the West Midlands but more specialised services such as Forensic Services, normally take place in Birmingham. The training opportunities can be spread across the West Midlands, which gives you the opportunity to travel across different areas and meet the diverse community of the West Midlands. 

In these three years you are expected to acquire a multitude of experience both in terms of clinical work but also engage in leadership and service development projects. As part of the training, you are also expected to develop your experience in Clinical Governance. 

One of the overwhelmingly positive aspects of working and training in the West Midlands, is the opportunity to undertake special interest sessions for 1 day a week, to expand your clinical knowledge in other areas of service provision in Young People. This includes and is not limited to: Forensic Psychiatry, Intellectual Disability, Liaison Service, Drug and Alcohol services, etc. This is normally arranged via the trainees who can liaise with the Consultants working in that service, who are overwhelmingly happy to have a trainee shadow and assist them in their clinical roles. 

As a CAMHS Higher Speciality Trainee in the West Midlands you will have teaching every Monday afternoon in school term time. This has historically taken place in Birmingham but in more recent times has taken place virtually. Outside term time, trainees are expected to attend their usual place of work on Monday afternoons. The programme is overseen by the Academic tutors, currently Dr Laura Coglan and Dr Bindu Poornamodan. The teaching is a 3 year rolling programme organised by the peer group with each member taking a turn to organise a term. Teaching sessions are planned to cover the CAMHS curriculum ILO’s. Within the teaching timetable there is also a fascilitated “Balint” group scheduled several times per semester. The last session of each term, the Peer Group meeting, is used to discuss feedback on the term’s speakers and allocate roles.

The West Midlands Higher Trainee peer group has historically been friendly and helpful in guiding new trainees through their training, with suggestions on how to improve their portfolio and to achieve their training goals as part of meeting the requirements of the training curriculum. In terms of placements these are normally discussed with the TPD to ensure a good work-life balance and also in view of achieving the training goals.