The GP Training Scheme

Every August, there are seventeen places for GP Vocational Trainees to join our scheme. For most trainees, this provides you with your first year in selected hospital posts; the second year is mixed, and includes one further hospital post, four months in a General Practice, and four months in an 'Innovative Training Post', half time GP; and finally a year as a GP Registrar in a different General Practice. In the second year, the ITP is based in GP (as opposed to the hospital), but will have a major community specialty orientation—e.g. community paediatrics, rheumatology and palliative care. There are now also a number of rotations that including a General Practice placement in the first year. In addition there is a new opportunity for Trainees to do a Public Health placement.

In each of the three years, there is a Wednesday afternoon half day release course for all members of the scheme. Many of the sessions are Trainee-led – giving ample opportunity to develop teaching skills.

The Rotations

The following diagram shows the outline of rotations for each job - there are a number of slightly different rotations. (Most of the posts are self-explanatory, but the light blue entries are 'Innovative Training Posts' – in these, you are ½ time in general practice and ½ time in the indicated specialty – ie community paediatrics, rheumatology, palliative care.) Rotations From 2017

Allocation of jobs takes place to accommodate as far as possible the needs and wishes of participants. But it may not be possible to give everyone their first choice, and so the Training Programme Directors may have to make the final decisions.

General Practice

There are currently fifteen training practices in the Huntingdon District, ranging from small, rural dispensing practices, to those in the larger, growing towns. They extend from St Neots, Eaton Socon, Buckden and Kimbolton in the south and west of the area to Doddington, Chatteris, St Ives and Ramsey in the north and east.

You will have the same Educational Supervisor throughout the three years who will be your trainer in your final practice. You will meet your ES during your first term and every six months thereafter. They will guide you towards the development of an excellent eportfolio which is the evidence you will need to show that you have reached the appropriate standard for independent practice. Your Educational Supervisor and the Training Programme Directors are also there to support you if you are having any difficulties.

Half Day Release

This programme takes 30 half days per year, and runs on either Wednesday afternoons. In addition we run three Away Days per year which you will need to take as study leave. The autumn Away Days ‘Know Yourself’, ‘Teamwork Matters’ and ‘Know your Profession’ include internal activities to help you get to know each other, to get the most out of your training and to ensure that the scheme is continuously developed to meet your needs. We address hot topics which benefit from whole day learning at the Spring Away Day, such as telephone consulting, drugs and alcohol problems, sexual and reproductive health etc. The summer Away Day is run jointly with the Cambridge GPST programme with the topic chosen by the trainee hosts.

An important aim is for Trainees to become accustomed to planning their own education. Their MRCGP e-Portfolio will help in this. We see the role of direct teaching as a relatively small part of the course and we are increasingly using small group work including Balint case discussions. Perhaps more important, is the recognition of the shift of emphasis in General Practice from, for example, the disease to the patient, and from a hierarchical approach to medicine to a team approach to medicine. Trainees are given every opportunity to comment on the release course sessions, to be critical of the methods used and to improve its effectiveness. 
Please follow the links below to find examples of our teaching programs:


We believe that in order to gain the most from the three years, the performance of traines needs to be continuously assessed in order that strengths can be built upon and weaknesses improved. The performance of the consultants, trainers and TPDs will similarly be reviewed.

A variety of assessment methods are used. These are detailed in your MRCGP e-Portfolio, which will guide you as to what is needed and when. Within your attachments, you will undertake a variety of formative assessments (e.g. Multi-Source Feedback, Case-Based Discussions). As far as formal critical assessments are concerned towards achieving eligibility for membership of the RCGP, you will take a multi-choice applied knowledge test (AKT), probably in ST2, and a clinical skills assessment (CSA, held in the College's new headquarters in Euston) in ST3. For full details, please see the RCGP website: and

Every six months, your Educational Supervisor will review your progress with you at a face-to-face meeting, and enter an agreed report into the e-Portfolio.

Extra Information


Single accommodation is provided during the Hospital posts and some married accommodation may also be available.

Education Centre

The Hospital has a new large multi-disciplinary Education Centre, with a number of rooms used for large group meetings. Other smaller rooms are available on request. There are three seminar rooms, three classrooms, Clinical Skills Lab, CPR Training Room and a large library equipped with General Practice books, relevant journals and Internet facilities.

School of General Practice at the East of England Deanery

The training is financed under guidance from the School of General Practice at the Health Education East of England. The Health Education East of England website can be found at:

Doctors' Mess

This is an active and comfortable area adjacent to the Education Centre and used by all Junior Doctors with breakfast facilities, table tennis and table football, Nintendo game station and access to the Internet along with a TV lounge.

Further Information

We hope we have covered all the important points in this website. However, if you still have questions which need answering, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us - preferably by email. Details can be found on the Contact Us page. Please note though that we cannot help or advise about your application, which must be made through the national system

How To Apply

All applications for GP Specialist Training in the Eastern Deanery are received centrally according to a nationally-agreed system, see below. Following a set of written assessments, applicants are short listed for interview in an "assessment centre" according to a standard procedure. Those who are successful at interview are offered places on the West Cambridgeshire GP Specialist Training Programme.

If you are offered a place on the Specialist Training Programme, we ask you about your preferences as to which rotation/s you would like to do. We then make the best overall allocation to rotations in the light of everyone's preferences, experience and need. It is not possible to reduce the overall length of the programme, nor, normally, to change attachments to different specialties.

Once you have been attached to a practice you can expect to stay with it throughout the three years of the scheme. However, we can make arrangements for temporary swaps so that you can have some experience of different practices.

Full information about application procedures for GP training is available from the National GP recruitment website There is also information about recruitment in the East of England at The application procedure is a national one, run nationally: please do not contact the Scheme or the Training Programme Directors about applying to it, as the only help we are able to give you is to direct you to these sites!

Other useful websites for applicants:
Royal College of General Practitioners: British Medical Association: