GP Trainee contact and working week rota FAQ

If there is a disagreement between the practice and trainee on the matter of the rota who should I ask for help?

First, speak with your Educational Supervisor/Practice Manager or TPD. If you still need more guidance you can discuss it with your lead employer.

For Severn trainees the contact email is:   

For SW Peninsula trainees the contact email is:

Are lunch breaks/practice team meetings paid and part of our rota?

Yes, these hours should be included in your working schedule as a part of your 40 hours (or less) paid contract. There should be a 30-minute paid break after 5 hours of continuous work.

 A practice team meeting might be considered as Independent learning time (if addressing your learning needs, such as audit/QIP/safeguarding), clinical admin time (if discussing patients with other professionals), or structured education time (eg if having a clinical presentation). For each practice how these categories are proportionally allocated needs to be agreed locally with a degree of flexibility applied.

What should trainees be doing if there is no external structured teaching during the week?

As per School of Primary Care website:

  • Teaching Programme Induction days
  • Half Day Release Course (HDRC)
  • Timetabled Education Provider Organisation (EPOs such as BGPERT, SGPET, GGPET)
  • Topic Teaching
  • AKT and CSA courses provided by local RCGP Faculty
  • Careers Fair
  • Attending ST3 practice for ST2 trainees

If nothing has been organized within your training patch you can always ask your TPD for guidance or have a look at this website

You are not expected to be in clinic as it is your educational time.

Why do different practices organize the work schedule differently?

Different practices work in different ways, which is fine as long as your allocated rota is in line with your contract. Check the School of Primary Care website, RCGP and BMA to make sure that your working week is right.

What should I do when there is no external structured teaching organised (VTS/HDRC)?

Each week consists of 3 educational sessions: 1 VTS/HDRC, 1 independent education, 1 practice-based teaching.

If there is no teaching organised it should be used as independent education time. Sometimes practices may still ask trainees to work in these hours because it used to be agreed under the old contract, however now they should be reminded that it is no longer part of our contract.

Do I need to keep a record of what I do during independent learning sessions?

As independent learning sessions are contracted paid hours, your supervisor can legitimately ask for evidence of what you have been doing during that time. Evidence can be provided by documenting learning on the ePortfolio and/or keeping a personal record of your activities.  This is particularly important to do if you are doing independent learning during a week when you are otherwise on leave from your clinical duties. In this situation, it would be best to agree with your supervisor the nature of your independent learning in advance.

If I am asked to do a Covid Vaccination clinic, which part of the rota should this come out of?

It is reasonable to do one or two clinics as part of independent learning, to gain knowledge and experience of how these are run. Subsequent clinics should be taken out of clinical time.