LTFT Training

The Severn Deanery has a strong commitment to helping all doctors reach their full potential and to helping those with child-caring or other responsibilities or health problems, to continue training. Becoming part time (in training speak “less than full time”, LTFT) is possible during your GP training. It is not a given right, but is strongly supported by both deanery and at patch level.

Step by step process to becoming an LTFT trainee

– Step by step process to becoming an LTFT trainee

– Read the information below and on the GP school and Deanery website

– Inform Lindsey Buckenham of your intention

– Liaise with Lindsey Buckenham to arrange a meeting with member(s) of the Gloucestershire GP Education Team to discuss the implications that working LTFT will have on your training.

Apply for LTFT funding approval

– On approval, the GP school will also need to be told. For information and a step-by-step guide for what to do when applying for LTFT plese look at this information on the Deanery Website

– We strongly recommend that you contact the RCGP certification unit a few months before entering the final (ST3) GP component of training. This means that your completed rotations can be checked and validated well in advance of completion of training.

The ‘Gold Guide’ is your reference guide for postgraduate specialty training in the UK.

It states that LTFT trainees will:

– reflect the same balance of work as their full-time colleagues

– normally move between posts within rotations on the same basis as a full-time trainee

– not normally be permitted to engage in any other paid employment whilst in less than full-time training


Our first priority is that on completion of your training you will have achieved the necessary requirements for gaining a certificate of completion of training (CCT). The Training Programme Directors (TPDs) balance the needs of all of the trainees who require placement; taking into account any jobs that they have done previously in GP training, to ensure that all trainees complete training within the guidance issued by the RCGP.

Eportfolio and WPBA

Work Placed Based Assessments requirements are pro-rata for LTFT trainees – we suggest that you look on the RCGP website for details. Your ePortfolios need to be altered to ensure the annual reviews are competed at the right time – discuss with Clare Whittle and Kirsty Weaver at the deanery as and when you know which jobs you’re doing, and when you’ve had periods of leave so that they can input this to the ePortfolio. Every LTFT trainee should put a scanned copy of their timetable into the ePortfolio as evidence of time spent in a department as evidence, if the hours are challenged. New timetables should be scanned in at the each change in job.

Allocated Training Rotations

If you become part-time, or take time out of training you will leave your originally allocated training rotation. On return to training, the administrator & TPDs slot you back into whichever posts are available at that time; as a result there will be significant uncertainty about which jobs you will be doing during the remainder of your training. The team aim to fill any vacant GPST hospital posts, in order to avoid compromising patient care. Unfortunately the choices you made about rotations & your personal preferences for locations etc at recruitment are extremely difficult to accommodate under such circumstances.

Post Allocation

Posts for LTFT job-share GPSTs are allocated from the pool of available local jobs and these posts change frequently due to trainees vacating them for various reasons. The future availability of posts is therefore mostly unknown, and consequently jobs cannot be guaranteed in advance. Often the decisions have to be made late in order to accommodate late changes in trainee circumstances, which have knock-on effects on other GP trainees. Ultimately, if no local job exists you may be offered a post in another patch within the deanery, or if no there are other options for local training then you may be offered a post in another area. We do our very best to avoid placing trainees out of area, but it is occasionally unavoidable.

Timing of Allocations

Posts are usually allocated by the patch administrator and TPDs, with input from the Patch Associate Postgraduate Dean (APD) if necessary. All trainees who have left their allocated training rotations are considered individually and allocated their next post. This will take place at least 8 weeks prior to the end of each job, and trainees are usually notified within 1 week of the decision.

Hospital vs GP Placement

Total time spent in hospital posts may be longer or shorter than 18 months (the current standard). Total training time is not always exactly the minimum 36 months FTE and may last slightly longer. There is a minimum time in both hospitals and GP of 12 months FTE over a 3 year scheme. The remainder can be made up from either area. Any job must usually be a minimum of 3 months full time equivalent (FTE) to count for training. It is possible, however, to gain all the competences required in a shorter period, assuming the agreement of the ARCP panel. This depends upon regular e-portfolio entries demonstrating learning during this period, evidence of review meetings with your CS and ES during this time, and no periods of sick leave during the post.

LTFT Hospital Posts

LTFT trainees must work at 60% of full time during their hospital jobs. To ensure that each post is adequately covered from a service point of view, job-sharing must be worked out with your job-share partner and the lead consultant of the department you’ll be working in. Two trainees working at 60% gives 1.2 whole time equivalents. This means there is in-built capacity for handover and for attendance at the VTS sessions. If a job-share breaks down, training plans and rotations may need to be completely re-organised. Often, a hospital department cannot accommodate a single trainee working at 60% of full-time. Unfortunately, no rotations can be guaranteed.

Annual Leave & Study Leave

Annual leave and study leave are altered by going on maternity or off sick – discuss this with your local GPST administrator and HR, or look on the deanery website for details.

VTS Attendance

GPSTs are expected to attend all of the usual training sessions for 12 calendar months or LTFT pro-rata over a longer period. For example:

– ST1 & 2s: 30 sessions normal attendance for 12 months or at 60% LTFT = 30 sessions over 20 months = 1.5 session per month, on average

– ST3s 40 sessions normal attendance for 12 months or at 60% LTFT = 40 sessions over 20 months = 2 sessions per month, on average

Release Course Attendance Policy

Extending Training

Current RCGP advice to Deaneries (May 2011) states that any sick leave longer than 2 weeks per year; or one week in any post, will require an extension of training. With regard to maternity leave, an extension to training may be requested if the period of absence is greater than 12 months in total (for example, where leave or sickness is added to maternity leave) and when there is less than 3 months until the end of training. In these circumstances it would be expected that a period of additional training would be necessary to allow adequate time for the Educational Supervisor to assess the doctor’s competencies. We would anticipate that this period might usually be of 3 months duration.

LTFT Peer Support Group

There is a Gloucestershire LTFT peer support group which meets ocassionally to discuss issues relating to LTFT training, and has a wealth of relevant experience that you may find it helpful to tap into. Hilary Carter-Thompson will be able to provide contact details.