Types of Leave

What you need to do is:

– Contact us (the VTS) to to arrange a meeting with the program director team
– Complete an absence form (which requires your PD’s signature)
– Tell the deanery (by completing the absence form and sending to the email at the bottom of the form).
– Tell your educational supervisor
– Inform medical staffing of your pregnancy and when you plan to start your maternity leave – the earliest that you can go on maternity leave is 29 weeks (but obviously most people go much later) – the department for whom you are working when you are 25 weeks pregnant is the one responsible for your maternity pay. You need to contact the HR department of the Trust if you’re not in a GP post (such as a hospital job).

There’s lots of information to read on the Deanery website, specifically the Working as a Trainee during Pregnancy document.

When you’re ready to come back, contact us the VTS again in plenty of time.

Taking time out of programme (OOP) is covered by the Gold Guide.

This covers time OOP for 4 reasons:

1. OOPT – time out for approved clinical training

2. OOPE – time out for clinical experience

3. OOPR – time out for research

4. OOPC – time out for career break

Within the context of GP training, which is already of quite short duration, you are unlikely to get OOP training that is approved as part of your training programme. So the most common reasons why GP trainees get time OOP is for clinical experience (such as a period of time overseas) or for a career break (such as for caring responsibilities). Time OOP is for a maximum period of two years. It is likely that your rotation will change on your return to the training programme.

In applying for OOP you need to remember that it is not an automatic right but is at the discretion of the Postgraduate Dean. In the first instance you need to get your ES, GP training team and the GP Dean to appreciate the value of what you are proposing. You cannot apply for time OOP until you have been in post for a minimum of twelve months. If you are on an NIHR ACF programme then you are not eligible to apply for time OOP.

The Oxford Deanery provides its own guidance on OOP

There are three key points that you need to demonstrate to improve your chances of a successful application:

– Why you need to take time out of programme now rather than waiting until you have completed your GP training programme.
– How this will benefit your final career aim of being an NHS UK general practitioner.
– That you have thought about, and minimised, the effect on your GP training programme e.g applying for an August – August period.

Sickness absence

If you are off sick then your priority must be on getting better. However there are also certain administrative aspects to consider.

For short term uncertified periods of illness (i.e less than 7 days) you need to inform your ES and the GP training team. This will then be recorded on your e-portfolio under educator’s notes. This is important because if you have more than 2 weeks of unscheduled leave (such as compassionate leave, unpaid leave, sick leave) in any year it would mean that you would need to extend your training. Usually, if this is a matter of a few days they would simply be added onto the end of your GP training.

For periods of illness lasting more than 7 days you will need a sick note from your GP, or treating doctor. You need to take a photocopy of this and submit it to the Deanery as well as sending the original to your employer (which may be a hospital department or a general practice). An extended period of absence may well result in an occupational health assessment, particularly if you need to consider a phased return to a work or an alteration to your duties. You will probably need to extend your training to compensate for this missed training time. If your illness (or any other reason) makes you think about your career then you might like to consider seeking the help of the Career Development Unit.

Sometimes individuals are reluctant to take time off sick as they feel that they are managing the day -to -day demands of the job. It is worth remembering that if you are considered fit for work then you need to continue with your e-portfolio. Failure to keep up to date with your e-portfolio will result in you getting an unsatisfactory outcome at your ARCP, whereas obviously if you are off sick then there is no expectation of continuing with it.

Finally if you are unfortunate enough to be off sick for a period of two years this will automatically trigger an occupational health assessment as to your current fitness for training. If this finds that you are not fit to return at that point in time then you will need to leave the GP training programme. Obviously this will be discussed with you and the GP training team and it is likely that the CDU will be involved to help you think about your future.

If you wish to contact Occupational Health whilst in General Practice the email address is: occupational.health@oxfordhealth.nhs.uk

If you wish to contact Occupational Health whilst in your hospital post then you must go through your employers Occupational Health.