To ensure all trainees are clinically confident and fully supported when returning to training following a sustained period of absence, HEE EoE is committed to offering a number of mechanisms in order to support the return to clinical practice:
- Individualised SuppoRTT plan
- Access to ring fenced places on pre-existing specialty specific courses and regional teaching days
- Period of enhanced shadowing 2 weeks prior to the trainee’s return date
- Return to Clinical Practice Days
- Additional funding for bespoke training may be available
- A contribution towards childcare costs when attending shared parental leave in touch (SPLIT) days & keeping in touch (KIT) days may be available
In order for trainees to document any plans to stay up to date with training whilst away from practice and also identify any anticipated support required upon their return, trainees are now required to complete an individualised SuppoRTT plan and participate in structured planning and review meetings when leaving and returning to training with their Training Programme Director (TPD)/College Tutor.
A fully electronic SuppoRTT plan can be downloaded from the bottom of this page. You will not be able to open the form directly from the website, please right click over the file and 'save link as', save the document locally on your PC to a folder/desktop and then open directly from your PC.
A full overview of the SuppoRTT planning and review process, including timeframes can be found here: SuppoRTT process flowchart
HEE EoE SuppoRTT Leads: Dr Francesca Crawley (Associate Dean) and Dr Lynette Spalding (Clinical Fellow)
Please direct all SuppoRTT enquires and any SuppoRTT documentation to the SuppoRTT mailbox: email@example.com
Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (AoMRC) Guidance: Return to Practice Guidance (2017)
NHS Employers Maternity Factsheet: General Maternity Guidance for rotational Junior Doctors in Training
Access to SuppoRTT in the East of England (EoE) is available to all trainees in the region who are planning to take, or already on, an approved period of time out of training for one or more of the following reasons:
- Parental / maternity leave exceeding 3 months
- Out of Programme for Research (OOPR) or a Career Break (OOPC)
- Global Health Fellowship
- Sick leave of 3 months or more
- Doctors who have been out of training for more than 3 months and have accepted an East of England training post
Trainees should begin planning their time away from training with their TPD/College Tutor at the earliest opportunity and no later than 3 months in advance of their intended leave date.
Trainees should also begin completing the SuppoRTT planning form at this stage SuppoRTT Plan Form
Trainees will complete an individualised SuppoRTT plan and participate in structured planning and review meetings when leaving and returning to training with their TPD/College Tutor. This will enable trainees to document any plans to stay up to date with training whilst away from practice and also identify any anticipated support required upon their return.
The SuppoRTT plan is broken down into 3 parts with each part being completed at a different stage:
Part 1 of the SuppoRTT plan is completed 3 months in advance of the trainee’s anticipated leaving date. This provides trainee’s with the opportunity to plan time away from clinical practice with the TPD/College Tutor and document plans to stay up to date with training whilst away.
Part 2 of the SuppoRTT plan is completed 3 months in advance of the trainee’s return date. This provides trainees with the opportunity to plan the return to clinical practice with the TPD/College Tutor and document any anticipated support required upon their return. If a trainee feels enhanced shadowing is unnecessary this should be clearly indicated on part 2 of the form at this stage.
Part 3 of the of the SuppoRTT plan is completed 2 weeks after the trainees return date. This provides trainees with the opportunity to review the return to clinical practice with the TPD/College Tutor.
Trainees must upload their SuppoRTT plan to their ePortfolio and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org once each part is completed.
Please find the SuppoRTT plan form available for download at the bottom of this page.
Trainees must upload their SuppoRTT plan to their ePortfolio and email it to email@example.com once each of the 3 parts is completed.
Once received by HEE EoE the SuppoRTT plan will be shared with the relevant parties including Training Programme Directors, College Tutors, HR/Medical Staffing Departments, Finance Officers and internal HEE teams.
In order to rapidly regain clinical knowledge and confidence, doctors returning to training following a sustained period of absence will be strongly encouraged to participate in a period of enhanced shadowing for 2 weeks prior to their return date.
During this 2 week period;
- Trainees will participate in closely supervised work and by the end of the period trainees should be working at a level commensurate with re-entry into the training programme.
- Trainees will be surplus to the rota at their employing Trust and will not be used to fill rota gaps
- Trainees are able to work a two week period (10 working days) and this can be on a pro-rata basis for LTFT.
- The trainee’s employing Trust will pay the trainee for this period via the usual pay mechanisms.
If a trainee feels enhanced shadowing is unnecessary they should discuss this with their TPD/College Tutor during their return to training meeting 3 months in advance of their anticipated return date. The trainee’s intention to opt out of enhanced shadowing must be clearly indicated on part 2 of the SuppoRTT plan form.
Trainees must contact HR and the rota coordinator at their employing Trust at least 3 months prior to their return date to arrange enhanced shadowing and negotiate a start date.
Trainees should also inform their TPD/Educational Supervisor/College Tutor if they are intending to participate in enhanced shadowing.
Trainees can volunteer to work out of hours/on-call during the enhanced shadowing period providing a peer or consultant colleague is identified to offer supervision.
If trainees wish to participate in OOH/on-call this should be discussed and agreed in advance with their TPD/College Tutor.
This will be reviewed and a decision made by the ARCP panel at the trainee’s next ARCP.
A number of spaces on pre-existing specialty specific training courses and teaching days have been ring-fenced by Training Programme Directors (TPDs) and Heads of School (HoS). These spaces have been specifically reserved in order for trainees currently away from clinical practice to attend.
A full list of accessible courses and teaching can be found on the SuppoRTT events web calendar: Local courses
Trainees wishing to attend any of these courses should express interest with their TPD and reserve a space in good time. Booking instructions provided on the SuppoRTT events calendar must be followed in order to confirm any course reservations.
For trainees taking maternity leave, Keeping in Touch (KIT) days should be used to access anything that will help them get back up to speed when returning to training. This could include shadowing in clinic or theatre, attending any relevant training courses, regional teaching, departmental meetings, accessing mandatory training or anything that will support trainees returning and keep them 'in touch' with the training programme.
Similarly for trainees taking shared parental leave, Shared Parental Leave in Touch (SPLIT) days may be utilised in the same way.
Trainees are strongly encouraged to plan the utilisation of any KIT or SPLIT days with HR at their employing Trust and any plans documented on their SuppoRTT plan form.
Further information is available via employing Trusts and here: https://www.gov.uk/employee-rights-when-on-leave
Contribution towards external training courses
Attending pre-existing local courses is the preferred method for re-developing competence and confidence. If there are no suitable local courses available, there may be a small amount of funding available for returners requiring further development of a specific skill set to attend external courses
Attendance at an external course will need to be discussed and agreed with the trainee's TPD/College Tutor and documented in part 2 of the SuppoRTT plan form. A SuppoRTT funding request form will then be completed by the trainee in advance of the agreed external course, approved by their TPD, and submitted to HEE EoE for final approval.
If approved by HEE EoE, the cost of the course and any reasonable standard travel expenses incurred will be reimbursed to the trainee via the employing Trust's usual expenses process.
Contribution towards childcare costs for trainee attendance at SPLIT/KIT days
A small amount of funding may be made available to reimburse childcare costs incurred whilst trainees attend KIT or SPLIT days.
Any planned KIT/SPLIT days should be documented by the trainee on their SuppoRTT plan form.
A SuppoRTT funding request form should then be completed by the trainee in order to reclaim childcare costs and submitted to the relevant authoriser for approval.
If approved, a contribution towards childcare and any reasonable standard travel expenses incurred to attend the KIT/SPLIT day will be reimbursed to the trainee via the employing Trust's usual expenses process.
A number of Return to Practice days will be organised centrally for returning trainees to attend. Topics covered will include wellbeing, resilience, mentoring, and Less Than Full Time (LTFT) training workshops.
Return to Clinical Practice days are free to attend and will be advertised on this website in due course.
For trainees taking time out of programme for research (OOPR), a career break (OOPC) or a Global Health Fellowship as part of OOPE, the East of England OOP process should also be followed.
For trainees taking OOP the return date will be the date stated on their OOP application form. Please click here for OOP process and application form
Details of who will be responsible for reviewing your SuppoRTT plan and taking part in the SuppoRTT meetings (TPD or College Tutor) are currently being identified and will be published here shortly.
When returning to a general practice placement, for the first two weeks, the trainee should be offered the usual GP practice induction period. This should include the opportunity to sit-in with various members of the practice team and a general reorientation to practice systems and protocols. Joint surgeries and home visits should be considered and regular/daily debriefs should also take place. Tutorials during this induction period should focus on identifying individual learning needs and planning how to meet these, including refreshing the trainee’s clinical skills. They should have a meeting with their supervisor towards the end of this period to ascertain that they are confident to return to ‘normal’ consultations.
If, following discussion, the GP trainer feels that the GP trainee needs more assistance than this, please discuss this with the appropriate TPD/AD. The possibility of an extended induction will then be considered, including a double trainers grant for up to one month