King’s Lynn GP Specialist Training Scheme is a small and friendly scheme in the north west corner of Norfolk. It was one of the first GP training schemes in the country when vocational training first started over 40 years ago.
Thus we have a very established scheme with a strong supportive network of experienced trainers, most of whom were trained on the scheme themselves.
West Norfolk is a relatively unknown area but over the years we have seen again and again, that once people put a foot in the area they often find it hard to leave. The roads are not particularly fast compared to other areas in the country.
The scheme, the local (Queen Elizabeth) hospital and Practices are all very friendly – and this is one of the reasons for people remaining in the area after completion of training.
The scheme is small enough for the half-day release programme to accommodate all current trainees. This leads to additional peer support from a weekly meeting with trainees both at the same stage as oneself and also a little ahead and a little behind. Invaluable experience of specific jobs can thus be passed on.
The Training Programme Directors (TPDs) know all of the trainees on the scheme by name, made possible more by the size of the scheme than the huge memories of the TPDs. This can be helpful if problems arise, with the trainees hopefully finding the TPDs supportive and approachable colleagues, often as their first port-of-call.