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ST1 and ST2 - Teaching and GP Education

GUIDANCE - Attendance at Small Group Study Afternoons & Training Practice Visits in GPST1 and GPST2 

There has been some discussion about the fact that some GPST1/2s have been unable to attend several of the small group study afternoons, and some are even falling below the 70% level that is regarded as a minimum to allow for holidays/sickness. 

The monthly small group work (together with regular visits to practices) is considered an essential component of the GPVTS. It is during these sessions that you should be aiming to link what you are experiencing in your hospital posts with your chosen career in General Practice. 

The Associate Postgraduate Dean (GP) Group have discussed the issue, and would like to emphasise the importance of these sessions, but recognise that hospital rotas have sometimes made it difficult for GPSTs to attend. We have produced the following guidance. 

• Small group GP study afternoons are compulsory. 
• The GP office will record each GPSTs attendance, and if absent record the reason for absence. 
• The GP office will email both the educational supervisor, and the departmental clinical supervisor giving the reason for absence of GPSTs 
• The GP office will also record attendance of GPSTs by department (so that we can identify particular attendance problems by department). The GP Programme Director will liase with departments where there are problems with attendance to try to help with solutions 
• If an individual’s attendance falls below 70% their educational supervisor and the GP Programme Director will be notified (and copied to AD). 
• At the end of the year (before the ARCP) attendance of less than 70% will be reported to the educational supervisor (copied to AD). The GP Programme Director will also be informed and will ascertain whether the low level of attendance can be justified (eg genuine problems with departments denying study leave, sickness etc). The educational supervisor should ask for an ARCP panel review if after discussion with the Programme Director there does not appear to be a genuine reason for a low level of attendance. This may well result in a decision that the year has not been completed successfully. 

Visits to your GP Training Practice 

You will experience a great deal of benefit from visiting your training practice to see your educational supervisor, ie Trainer. It helps you to make your learning from your hospital posts much more relevant and introduce you to general practice. 

Some GP trainees in the past have found difficulty arranging these visits because they have left it to the last minute. It is extremely helpful to your departments and the practice if you plan your visits well in advance and put in for study leave early. 

We recommend planning your training practice visits as 1 day every 2 months rather than ½ day per month as this seems to be easier to arrange on both sides.

 Small group lead TPDs

 Your small group leader will facilitate your monthly teaching sessions.  They will provide pastoral support if required.  Contact them in person or via email to notify about any issues of significance which may impact upon your GP training.

Small group TPDs meet with trainee’s who have failed any element of their nMRCGP.

 Small group TPDs will not routinely check your eportfolio but if a problem arises then this may well be entered on your eportfolio in the educators notes.

The TPDs may enter in the educators notes if your portfolio is found to be underpopulated at any stage of your training.  Therefore it is important that you Share your encounters soon after writing them, (do not save them up as this causes workload issues for your ES and is generally not helpful.)

Other issues noted during the small groups, for instance arriving late or not preparing a talk when scheduled to do so would represent a professionalism issue and may be entered in your portfolio.

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