Becoming a GP Training Practice has many benefits for your practice, your team and your patients. Do not be disillusioned, becoming a GP Training Practice is not an easy accreditation to earn and your local deanery is your first port of call when researching the specific criteria they require you to meet.
Being a GP Training Practice is an extremely positive attribute and will add kudos, possibly improve clinical standards and record keeping and will help attract talented GPs. Your practice will gain an asset in the form of your GP Trainer. The GP who becomes your GP Trainer will benefit from a morale boost and their role as GP Trainer will help avoid burnout by diversifying their role and introducing new ideas and learnings to the practice team. There are also, in some instances, financial benefits for the surgery which your local deanery will discuss with you.
In order to successfully apply to be a GP Training Practice you will need to assess and evaluate a number of factors and then apply through your local deanery.
Your local deanery will be assessing your practice against a list of criteria, elements of which will include:
- Standards of patient care
- Quality of Outcomes Framework Scores
- Audit Program
- Percentage of summarised notes
And critically they will be evaluating the balance of service commitment to training opportunity – in other words can your practice maintain standards of patient care whilst providing a large and diverse patient list so that your trainee GP can experience a varied case load and work that case load without negatively impacting appointment times and other team members ability to deliver patient care.
Your practice needs to be able to support the GP Trainee’s mandatory tutorials, vocational training programs and support the GP Trainer with their continued development and learning.
GP Trainer Requirements
As a GP Training Practice you will need to employ at least one, qualified GP Trainer. Your GP Trainer will need:
- To be a qualified GP with at least 2 years’ experience
- Have a supporting qualification in delivering primary care education
- Complete an approval visit from your local deanery
A GP Trainer will need, realistically, to run weekly joint surgeries with their GP Trainee. They will take consultations in turns and each consultation needs to be credited with 15-20 mins to allow time for the doctors to discuss and identify learnings from each case. The impact on the appointment availability for patients does need to be considered.
What does your practice need to provide as a GP Training Practice?
Your GP Trainee will need a well-equipped consulting room preferably of their own, they will require equipment so that they can work effectively in the surgery and on home visits and they will need access to a video camera. Your surgery will also need to show evidence of:
- Patient involvement
- Quality improvement
- Records and registers
- IT systems
- Management structures and procedures
- Fit for purpose premises
- Library of essential and up to date texts
Vitally your practice needs to show commitment from all stakeholders to be an educational organisation. The success of your application depends on your practice being well organised, providing opportunities for learning and demonstrates the appropriate and expected values of an education provider – cohesive team working, staff development through appraisal and continual professional development.
Your GP Trainee will need to be included in all aspects of surgery life so you will need to be prepared for them to be part of team meetings and be able to share integral business details with them so that they can grasp the business workings of a GP practice.
How will being a GP Training Practice impact other team members?
To be a successful GP Training Practice all team members need to be involved and be prepared to support the learning of the GP Trainee.
Here are the areas your team members will be responsible for should you decide to become a GP Training practice
- Pastoral Care
- Support during surgeries
- After surgery debriefs
- Employment of the trainee – ensuring paperwork is in place and undertaking practice management training
- Clinical supervision when trainer not available
- Support with tutorials, debriefs and assessments
- Direct Observation of Procedural Skills and teaching of specialist clinics e.g. chronic disease management
- Managing appointments to accommodate trainee’s training requirements
- Patient satisfaction questionnaires
- Consent forms for video sessions
Implications for your patients should you become a GP Training Practice…
Most patients welcome the idea of supporting learning and helping a trainee doctor. You will need to be aware of the balance you strike with your patients’ needs and the needs of your trainee. This is in particular reference to the balance of appointments; most patients request to see the same doctor and so your GP Trainee does run the risk of being left with short notice bookings reducing the diversity of the cases they treat.
You may need to put a policy in place that suits your practice needs, the needs of your patients and the needs of your trainee so that appointments are dealt with fairly for all involved.
If you are considering becoming a GP Training Practice you will need to contact your local deanery.
Prospect Health can help you should you be looking to employ a GP Trainer. If you would like to discuss your practice’s needs please contact the Prospect Health GP Team on 01423 813 454.