SuppoRTT - Supported Return to Training

 

Returning to training after a period of absence can be a daunting and difficult time for trainees.

Trainees take time out of programme for many reasons, such as out-of-programme research and experience, parental leave, health issues, career breaks, or short-term suspension while under investigation. Time out of clinical practice can impact on a clinician’s confidence and skills.

The London & Kent, Surrey and Sussex Supported Return to Training (SuppoRTT) programme aims to support all trainees to safely and confidently return to training after a sustained period of absence. The programme applies to all trainees absent for 3 months or more, regardless of the reason. Those absent for a shorter period may also opt in. Existing Return to work online resources can be found here.

As returning trainees are a diverse group, SuppoRTT aims to provide a bespoke, individualised package for each returning trainee, rather than a single “one size fits all” approach. This consists of:

  • A structured and systematic process for planning absence and return to training, and maintaining contact while on leave;
  • A menu of options that can be built into an individualised return-to-training package, agreed between a trainee and their educational supervisor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Planning for absence

Before starting a period of planned absence of 3 months or more, all trainees should meet with their Educational Supervisor (ES) or Training Programme Director (TPD), and complete a pre-absence form. This meeting is to agree and document plans to stay up to date while out of training, and identify any anticipated support required when they return.

Trainees should begin planning their time away from training at the earliest opportunity and no later than 3 months before their intended leave date.

For unplanned absence, this meeting should take place as soon as possible after the trainee has gone on leave

 

Returning to training

All trainees should meet with their Educational Supervisor (ES) or Training Programme Director (TPD) approximately 12 weeks before their anticipated return date, and complete a return-to-training form.

Trainees should meet with their ES immediately upon return and at appropriate intervals during the return period, until both trainee and ES are satisfied that the returning episode can be closed. The trainee’s progress should be reviewed after a reasonably short period of time to ensure there are no causes for concern and assess level of competence so the ‘training clock’ may recommence.

The return-to-training plan should consider the following:

  • Supervised clinical sessions for a period of time if needed;
  • Phased return to work and flexible working arrangements where appropriate;
  • Coaching and mentoring, courses, and other learning activities to refresh skills and build confidence;
  • KIT/SPLIT Days (please see guidance here)
  • Preparing for Annual Review of Competency Progression (ARCP).

 

Eligibility

The following groups of returning trainees are eligible for SuppoRTT funding

  • Postgraduate medical trainees;
    • Currently in a recognised training programme​ and taking OOP;
    • Accepted on a training programme, but have deferred the start of their programme​​.
  • SAS/Trust Grade doctors who have secured a training programme post​;

Potential eligibility for SuppoRTT funding is currently being investigated for:

  • Postgraduate medical trainees who have completed the UK Foundation Programme, but are taking a break from training before entering specialty training;
  • Postgraduate dental trainees​.

 

Resources

A range of courses and other resources to support return to training are available or are in development. These include:

  • Coaching, mentorship and networked events;
  • Funding for supervised clinical sessions;
  • Refresher courses & updates and accelerated learning activities.

Further information is available from the Royal CollegesSpecialty Schools and TPDs or ESs.

While out of training, trainees are encouraged to

  • Keep a record of all continuing professional development meetings, conferences or courses attended while out of training;
  • Keep a logbook of patients seen, clinics and ward rounds attended (if any).

 

Professional Support Unit

The Professional Support Unit provides a confidential, expert suite of resources to support the professional development of clinicians in London. Access is by self-referral and is free for all doctors in training.

Contact and further information

If you have any questions or need further information, please contact the programme manager at srtt.lase@hee.nhs.uk or you local SuppoRTT Champion here.

Document Links

LKSS return to training flowchart

SuppoRTT Guidance

Case Studies - Return to Training 

KIT/SPLIT Days Guidance