Supported Return to Training (SuppoRTT)
Information for Trainees
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
- Wellbeing courses
- 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
- PSI Resilience Questionnaire and Feedback
How to download and open the SuppoRTT Plan
Please ensure you download and save the document locally on your PC/laptop, then open it as a PDF with Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Reader before completing. The form cannot be opened or completed in a web browser.
MySuppoRTT: A small research team of trainees have been working on a dedicated website for SuppoRTT which has now been launched. This website provides over 300 resources to support doctors and dentists returning to training, including real-life stories, videos and links to useful pages. To access the website, please click the following link: www.mysupportt.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
Step by step guidance on how to set up a digital ID - Digital ID instructions
Electronic form guidance for Mac users - Mac user guidance
HEE EoE SuppoRTT Leads: Dr Francesca Crawley (Associate Dean)
Please direct all SuppoRTT enquires and any SuppoRTT documentation to the SuppoRTT mailbox: email@example.com
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), Career Break (OOPC), Experience (OOPE) or Trainnig (OOPT)
- 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
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 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
When to complete the plan
- Pre-absence form (part 1) - Trainees are required to complete the 'pre-absence' section of the plan at least three months prior to the anticipated leave date. The only exception to this is for trainees going on OOPR, who will need to complete the leavers section of the form earlier.
- Initial return form (part 2) - The 'initial return' section of the plan should be completed three months prior to your anticipated return date.
- Reviewing your return to training (part 3) - The 'returners review' section of the form should be completed 2 weeks after your return to work.
Please tick the relevant checkbox at the bottom of the form to open each new section.
If you are out of your training programme and did not complete the Pre-absece stage of the SuppoRTT plan process, you can still engage with SuppoRTT. Please complete the Pre-absence part of the plan up to 'reason for time out of training' and them move onto the Pre-return stage. It is recommended that you start this process as soon as possible.
Trainees must upload their SuppoRTT plan to their ePortfolio and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org once each part 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.
How to download the form
The SuppoRTT plan form can be downloaded from the bottom of this page and are incorporated into one form. You will need to right click over the document and 'save/download link as', then save the document to a local folder on your PC or desktop and open it form there. You will not be able to open the form directly from the website.
In order to rapidly regain clinical knowledge and confidence, trainees will be strongly encouraged to participate in a period of ‘Enhanced Shadowing’ for 2 weeks (up to 10 working days) prior to their return date.
During this 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.
Ideally a period of Enhanced Shadowing will be undertaken in the weeks immediately before your confirmed return to training date, however we understand that this is not always possible. In cases where this is not possible, you may arrange for a period of Enhanced Shadowing to be complete from your confirmed return to training start date, and this time will be considered at your next ARCP and a decision made on whether this will count towards your training.
How to organise Enhanced Shadowing
In order to arrange a period of Enhanced Shadowing, this must be discussed and agreed with your Training Programme Director (TPD) and HR/Medical Staffing at your Trust. You must document your Enhanced Shadowing plans on your SuppoRTT Pre-return form as this will inform HEE of any reimbursement required to be made to your Trust.
Please be aware that HEE is unable to confirm any Enhanced Shadowing arrangements, as this is managed with your Trusts HR/Medical Staffing department and/or your Rota Coordinator.
GP Trainees returning to GP Practices
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 the be considered, including a double trainers grant for up to one month.
If you do not wish to undertake a period of Enhanced Shadowing, please ensure this is clearly idetified on your SuppoRTT Pre-return form.
Thanks to the work of five Health Education England (HEE) Training Fellows, there’s a wealth of support to help returning trainees during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Fellows have developed a series of webinars, which have already attracted more than 2,600 registrants, with the support of Education Fellows Aimee Manicom and Kirsty Smith and SuppoRTT Manager Ann Heath.
The current National Supported Return to Training Fellows include three doctors on sabbatical - Dr Sarah Siddiqui, Dr Lizy Townshend, and Dr Ceri Chadwick. In addition, two Fellows - Dr Jenny Barber and Jen McLeavey - have had to return to work early to join the COVID-19 frontline.
Dr Siddiqui says it’s all about arming doctors with the confidence and practical skills they need to resume their training, with a firm focus on patient safety.
“With the current pandemic, for example, there’s a huge call for doctors to come back early from their time out. Everyone’s asking, ‘how can we help?’, but for some there’s a sense of guilt – some may feel out of their depth, while others will be wondering how their specialty is relevant.
“We aim to support their wellbeing, and to equip them with some training that will help ease them into redeployment. That could cover everything from respiratory failure and resuscitation to communicating bad news”.
To access the recorded webinars and podcasts, please click the link below:
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 regional courses and teaching can be found here: 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.
SuppoRTT courses, events and webinars
A number of SuppoRTT specific courses, events, webinars and podcasts have been developed and organised across the region. Information on these can be found by clicking here.
Attendance at regionally run and funded courses should be the preferred method when looking to re-developing competence and confidence. If there are no suitable regional courses available, funding may be available for returners requiring further development of a specific skill set to attend external courses.
Courses can be attended three months prior to and three months after the official return date, any courses attended after this three month period will need to be applied for under the study leave policy and process. Please be reminded that trainees may still access Study Leave during parentlal leave.
Attendance at an external course will need to be discussed and agreed with the trainee's TPD/College Tutor and documented in the Pre-Return section 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 or Lead Employer's usual expenses process. Your employer will reimburse your expenses in your monthly pay in the usual way.
Childcare costs during KIT/SPLIT days
For trainees taking parental leave, Keeping in Touch (KIT) days may be used to attend relevant training courses, regional teaching or departmental meetings. Similarly for trainees taking shared parental leave, Shared Parental Leave in Touch (SPLIT) days may be utilised in the same way. A small amount of funding may be made available to reimburse childcare costs incurred whilst attending KIT or SPLIT days, this will need to be applied for and authorised before your Trust can make reimbursement for these costs.
The SuppoRTT funding request form can be downloaded from the bottom of this page. You will need to right click over the document and 'save link as', then save the document to a local folder on your PC or desktop and open it form there. You will not be able to correctly open and complete the form directly from the website.
Please note: Trainee's must have completed a SuppoRTT plan Initial Return form documenting the courses or events their wish to attend prior to submitting a SuppoRTT funding request form.
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.
The HEE SuppoRTT team does not organise nor pay for KIT days. These should be discussed with your Supervisor and confirmed with your HR team (or Lead Employer for GP Trainees). Your HR team will also be able to advise you on pay for your KIT days. We do not have any further KIT days information - please speak to your local HR team (or Lead Employer for GP's).
Further information is available via employing Trusts and here: https://www.gov.uk/employee-rights-when-on-leave
Further information from the BMA can be found here: https://www.bma.org.uk/pay-and-contracts/maternity-paternity-and-adoption/return-to-work/returning-to-work-and-your-rights-as-a-working-parent
NHS Employers Maternity Factsheet: General Maternity Guidance for rotational Junior Doctors in Training
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
Please note that the SuppoRTT and Out of Programme processes are separate and should not be confused.
NHS staff have been given free access to a number of wellbeing apps from now until the end of December 2020 to support their mental health and wellbeing. This can be found here: https://www.nhsemployers.org/news/2020/03/free-access-to-wellbeing-apps-for-all-nhs-staff
Working as a doctor can be very stressful and we often try to hide any ill health which we might experience. Practitioner Health is a free, confidential NHS service for doctors and dentists across England with mental illness and addiction problems, who are working or looking to return to clinical practice. The service can help with issues relating to a mental health concern, including stress or depression or an addiction problem, in particular where these might affect work. The service is provided by health professionals specialising in mental health support to doctors and is available in various locations across England. The webpage is: https://www.practitionerhealth.nhs.uk/ and the service is accessed via self-referral.