Medicine (MBBS) year 6
We intend to set out in one communication, as fully as practicable, our plans for the academic year ahead. We have written to you regarding the return to clinical placements to assess whether additional arrangements were required for any students, as well as through your weekly bulletins, but we hope the following information will provide overall clarity as far as possible for the rest of the year.
A reminder that your amended Year 6 timetable, as previously circulated, is available on Blackboard for your reference. This will be updated and republished here (and circulated to you) in the event that we have to make any changes to the structure of your year to accommodate public health guidance, for example.
You have all completed your Introduction to Year 6 course, and should have viewed all the live and recorded material made available to you. Recordings are available on Panopto and can be accessed through the relevant folder on Blackboard.
We have collated a weekly package of digital learning which you should complete during each Year 6 placement. Full details are now available on Blackboard, and you must complete the correct package for each week of your placement. After completing each weekly package, please use the Qualtrics form to submit your questions and suggest areas that you would like to further explore in the teaching session. Please submit the form by 12 noon on Wednesday each week.
There will be a teaching session (MS Teams) on Thursday each week at which the cases can be discussed. Links for the MS Teams meetings are available on Blackboard.
A recording of each teaching session will be posted on Blackboard in due course. As these sessions will be recorded you will not need to miss any scheduled face-to-face teaching on-site.
Please note that there are different arrangements for MSK and GPSA. The packages for these placements are available as an additional resource for you to complete in your own time (or as directed by your Firm Lead). There will be no accompanying teaching sessions for the MSK and GPSA digital learning, and you will not need to complete the Qualtrics form.
Mid-placement reviews will continue to take place, which will be valuable opportunities for you to gather feedback.
No changes to the module learning outcomes have been made as a consequence of moving to the multi-mode delivery format. If the College is not able to deliver any modules in order to meet the programme learning outcomes due to the impact of public health guidance in place at the time, the length of the programme may be extended. If your registration with the College needs to be extended, the College will not charge any additional tuition fee in respect of completion at a later date, but you will be responsible for your own living costs, and the College is unable to guarantee providing you with accommodation beyond your original completion date (if you are living in College provided accommodation).
The College does not intend to change the advertised tuition fees for 2020/2021.
We will not change how your degree is awarded. Medicine will continue to be a pass/fail course.
These changes will not affect your ability to apply for registration with the General Medical Council (GMC) upon successful completion of the programme.
Spring and summer terms 2020-21
We plan to continue offering your programme in-person during the Spring and Summer Terms in 2021, and this means that your attendance will be required. We have contingency plans in place in case of further disruption as a result of COVID19 and associated restrictions. Some content will continue to be delivered remotely.
Any placement or year abroad (or partial year abroad) may be cancelled or rescheduled due to UK national guidance or that of other countries. The College will need to adhere to partner institutions requirements as well as to UK travel advice. Electives in 2021 must be undertaken at one institution only. It may not be possible to protect the elective window if further changes to the course map are necessary, as our priority will be to ensure that we can deliver any remaining placements, teaching and exams so that you can successfully complete the MBBS course and graduate. We understand that the ongoing Covid-19 situation means uncertainty, particularly about international travel. Please consider carefully before committing financially to an elective abroad, and do consider opportunities available in the UK.
Your health and safety
Your health and safety are of paramount importance, and we continue to work with our partner hospitals and GP practices to ensure you are made as safe as possible whilst on placement, including ensuring the requisite personal protective equipment is available to you at all times. A reminder that you will not be expected to remain on any placement where this cannot be provided, and you will not be expected to purchase this for placements.
A new DOPS has been created to ensure that all students are competent in the donning/doffing of PPE – this must be completed within the first week of your first rotation. Please see the dedicated page on MedLearn to watch the training video and for further information.
All on-campus teaching will be subject to public health guidance, College guidelines on social distancing, and any additional health and safety measures. All placement teaching will adhere to NHS policies and guidelines. We are conducting a full risk assessment on our teaching areas and planned activities to ensure that any measures required to meet this guidance are in place for the start of teaching.
The College is implementing enhanced infection control procedures, for example, by frequently cleaning and disinfecting objects and surfaces that are touched regularly including door handles, light switches, furniture, handrails, IT equipment, desks, phones, flush plates, taps and dispensers. Perspex screens will also be used across the College in reception and service areas. Around the College, in teaching spaces and in our halls of residence there will be hand sanitisers and multi-surface cleaning wipes for you to use, as well as plenty of hand-washing facilities.
Whilst on campus, you should follow the UK Government’s official guidance and College policies. These currently do not mandate the wearing of face coverings, however, in multi-occupancy locations such as laboratories, teaching and communal spaces, wearing a face covering shows our consideration for the safety of those around us. Face coverings should cover both your mouth and nose. Please note that in line with current Government rules, face coverings must be worn for the full duration of journeys on the public transport network across London and the UK if you are required to come onto campus. We expect our students to adhere to UK (national and local) travel advice.
If there is a further outbreak of COVID-19 during your programme, in line with Public Health Advice from the UK Government, we may be forced to suspend on-campus or clinical site activity. This may be in connection with either national or local requirements, or in accordance with guidance in place at the sites of our partner NHS Trusts or primary care practices. Since we will already be delivering aspects of your programme remotely to some students, we will continue to be able to deliver most of your programme remotely, and you will be able to meet the learning objectives of your programme. Some learning and assessment activities will be very difficult to replace with a remote equivalent. In these cases, they will be moved with minimal disruption to a later date in your programme.
As you will know, on-site teaching will primarily be delivered at the South Kensington and Charing Cross campuses as well as our partner Trust/Primary Care locations, assuming national guidance at the time does not prevent this.
Students are expected to fund their travel to placement sites, as you are aware. Should changes to your accommodation or to the location of teaching to a campus or placement site not listed here occur as a result of future changes to local or national guidance, this may impact on travel costs. If changes to campus or placement site are necessary, we will advise you in advance.
For clarity, our partner Trusts are listed below, and you may be sent to one or more of these locations:
Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust (including Charing Cross, Hammersmith and St Mary's Hospitals)
Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (including Chelsea and Westminster and West Middlesex Hospitals)
London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust (including Northwick Park, Central Middlesex and Ealing Hospitals)
The Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (including Hillingdon and Mount Vernon Hospitals)
Ashford and St. Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (St. Peter’s Hospital)
Your GP practices will represent a diverse range of populations in and around London. You may be rotated through other partner NHS locations through later phases on the course.
Students in receipt of an NHS Bursary (except for Fees Only bursary students) are eligible to claim for travel and accommodation costs incurred whilst on clinical placements, as long as they are made in accordance with the NHS Bursary guidelines for practice placement expenses claims. Claims must be submitted within nine months of the last date of the placement being claimed for.
NHS Bursary Practice Placement Expenses provide reimbursement towards the cost of:
Travel to and from the student’s placement site (if this is in excess of normal travel costs to university)
Temporary accommodation if the student has to stay away from their normal term-time accommodation whilst attending a placement (e.g. during GPSA or Elective placement)
The School of Medicine Hardship Fund is available to any students struggling with finances, and all students are welcome to apply multiple times as circumstances require. All the information on this is in the Your Finances section on MedLearn.
Academic and welfare support
We know that many of you will continue to be affected by the sad and sudden loss of the Year 6 Senior Tutor, Dr Mike Schacter. We encourage you to get in touch with the FEO Welfare Team or with Dr Julia Hillier if you need any extra support at this time, or in future. They will do all they can to help. You can also refer to the School-wide email from the FEO Welfare team with extra School and College provisions that have been made to support you at this time.
The support provision for you for the year ahead keeps the same structure. Your teaching staff, Tutors and the FEO Welfare team continue to be available should you have questions, concerns or find you need extra support at any time.
Whilst the Student Union activities may not be quite the same as normal, ICSMSU and ICU are still active and we are working closely with them to develop as many opportunities for community building and social activities as possible, mindful of any government guidance that may be in place at the time.
Your School of Medicine
Our world-leading educators and researchers will be available to teach and support you both remotely and on-campus, where applicable and where guidelines and circumstances allow. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is possible that some staff within the Faculty of Medicine may be temporarily unavailable due to their professional or clinical responsibilities. This will not directly affect your teaching.
We know that the year ahead is going to present you with more new situations than any of us could have predicted. We know that this may seem daunting, and we wish to reassure you that your student experience is hugely important to us. We have expanded our ability to manage remote learning and assessment, as well as academic and welfare support, to ensure that your educational experience at Imperial is of exceptional quality, especially during these unprecedented times, but also in the years ahead.
Stay safe and well,
Dr Amir Sam, Head of Imperial College School of Medicine
Dr Niamh Martin, Head of MBBS Year 6