Plymouth Vocational Training Scheme
The Plymouth VTS website is intended to be your prime source of reference for what is going on in the scheme, so keep an eye on it. We endeavour to post all the educational plans here, any forthcoming events, and other useful documents and information that comes our way.
Plymouth Educational Team.
The scheme is run by an educational team. The team includes the Plymouth GP Trainers, whose role is largely one to one teaching in the practice, and three Programme Directors who are responsible for delivering the educational programme.
The Scheme - An Overview
At any one time there are approximately 25 specialist trainees (STs) in each year of the three-year scheme (ST1, ST2 and ST3), working in hospital posts and GP training practices. We also have close links to the services, with mainly Royal Navy Doctors, both in hospital and GP posts, attending the educational programme and other events.
The scheme educational programme is held on Wednesdays in the Baylis Conference Suite, Plymouth Science Park. The training year is divided into three terms beginning in September, January and April.
ST1 and ST2 doctors have a full day session run approximately monthly, whereas ST3 doctors have half day sessions weekly. The full day sessions will start at 10am unless otherwise stated.
The afternoon session begins at 1.00pm for ST3s. This is a 1 hour small group session, facilitated by the Programme Directors, but directed by the ST3s for their own benefit.
The main afternoon session starts at 2pm, to run until approximately 4.30pm. Details of the afternoon programmes are available from the website under 'planned educational programme'.
We strongly encourage you to look at the planned educational programme in advance as we will place educational plans there which often have pre-reading or preparation to do before the session. Ensuring that this is done will make the session far more valuable for both you and your colleagues.
Those GPRs working towards the MRCGP may stay behind afterwards for group work aimed specifically at the exam, or sometimes this is arranged in your own time.
All STs are expected to attend the educational programme. If you are unable to attend because of holidays, study leave or sickness, then it is important you inform the administration team via phone on 01752 676168 or email. Non-attendance will be fed back to your clinical supervisors and will be treated as annual leave.
ST1s and 2s can have difficulties attending the educational programme. If you do we encourage you to discuss this at an early stage with us.
The educational content of the educational programme is intended to complement that taking place within your training practice. It is not intended to fill the gaps in your detailed factual knowledge. This is best done with your trainer or as an adult self-directed learner. What the programme offers you is the opportunity to learn with and from other specialist trainees, to consider topics that are more difficult to cover one to one in your training practice and those subjects that benefit from an ‘expert’s’ contribution. You will be actively involved in identifying and delivering this content, guided by the RCGP Curriculum for General Practice Training:
Your trainer along with the other Plymouth trainers, are an integral part of the scheme, developing and contributing to the programme. They recognise the programme as an important part of your GP training, and provide you with study leave to attend. During the year you and your colleagues will be able to direct the learning, agreeing topics/problems to be timetabled. The intention is to facilitate your learning blending your year’s learning needs with those established from previous years. Enjoy it.
We welcome your feedback and comments whilst you are on the scheme. It is very useful for us to know what is helpful and what could be improved, so that we can incorporate this information into future programme development.
Feedback forms are circulated after each educational session held and we ask that you complete these before you leave, providing constructive positive and negative feedback.
STs will have their progress documented in their e-portfolios which will be completed with your educational and clinical supervisors. Information about this is found elsewhere on this site.
If you wish to share an issue in confidence with the Programme Directors or Trainer we will respect this. Generally openness and honesty are most helpful.
Peninsula PGME will run a series of Peninsula days throughout your course. This will be to introduce particular areas of the GP curriculum that are best met with centrally organised courses. See elsewhere on this website for information about these.
Study Leave/Holidays/VTS holidays
STs attached to the scheme are entitled to 30 days study leave per annum (pro-rata for part-timers) to include attendance at the educational programme, courses and examination. When the scheme is not being held, you have an obligation to your Trust/practice. How this time is best used being decided between the ST and their trainer.
A major role of the scheme is to support you whilst you are undertaking a considerable change from trainee to competent GP. It aims to do this in two ways. Firstly by encouraging you to become a member of a group of colleagues by providing a social and educational programme where you can enjoy meeting and learning together. Secondly, by offering experienced Programme Directors and Trainers who fully understand the kinds of personal and professional issues you may encounter and who are available for confidential mentoring.
Completing the Programme
ST3s leaving the scheme, are invited to “Finishers’ Day”. This is held towards the end of your training. The intention of the day is to equip you with useful information and tips about independent medical practice and to update you about future educational activities.
We are delighted to have you with us. Work hard, play hard and enjoy your time in Plymouth.