Severn Foundation School and School of Primary Care

This guidance sheet gives you with some practical information to help you through your foundation placement in GP.

The staff in your local Postgraduate Centre will still be still there to support you and you will remain employed by your Hospital Trust. They will be able to answer any additional questions that you have.

  • What should you do in preparation for your post in GP?

Find out where you are going and how you will get there. Many of the practices are some distance from the acute Trust and you may need to make specific transport arrangements.

At least 2 weeks before your post starts, contact your GP supervisor by telephone and introduce yourself. This is courteous in the first instance but is also a useful opportunity for you both to consider your expectations for your GP post, any personal circumstances that will affect you working at the practice, and any particular educational objectives that you have. The Postgraduate Centre may be able to put you in touch with the practice's current F2, so that you can get useful advice and guidance.

  • What should you expect when you arrive in the practice?

When you arrive in GP you will spend the first week, or best part of that week, on an induction programme. Make sure that you take full advantage of this opportunity to find your way around the practice, understand a bit more about the practice area, sit in on surgeries, meet the doctors and other staff, learn how to use the computer system, and know how to get yourself a cup of coffee!

In particular, make sure that you know  

  • where to find the key equipment  
  • where the panic buttons are 
  • how to contact key staff if you find yourself dealing with an emergency.  

The practice will be able to adapt the induction to suit your specific needs, so if there is something you would particularly like to be covered, ask your supervisor.

  • How will I be supervised?

After induction, you will be closely supervised. In Severn, the GP/F2 leads have developed a "traffic-light" system. When you start in the practice, you will be supervised at "red" level. When your GP Supervisor thinks you are competent enough, you can progress to the "amber" level of supervision. At some stage you may be considered competent enough to have a "green" level of supervision. 

Red: you need to call the supervising GP in to see each patient before they leave the surgery; 

Amber: you either need to speak to the GP or call the GP in for each patient before they leave the surgery; 

Green: It is OK for patients to leave the surgery without having discussed them with the GP, but each case must be reviewed by the GP at end of the clinic. (Of course, even if you are at "green" level, if you have any concerns the GP will expect you to discuss the patient while they are still in your consulting room.)

You can do home visits, and the traffic-light system is just as relevant for you for home as for surgery consultations.  

If you ever find that you’re not being supervised properly, or have concerns about this please discuss with your GP supervisor ASAP. If this is not possible, please raise this with your local Foundation Programme Director, Post-grad administrator or Educational supervisor for escalation.

  • Holiday arrangements during GP

You are entitled to 27 days annual leave in the 12 months and this should be equally divided between your three posts.

Your annual leave during the GP post needs to be agreed with your GP supervisor in advance, even if you are booking the leave before you are in the GP post. Please liaise with both the Postgraduate Centre Staff and your GP Supervisor before making any holiday arrangements, or ensure that your Centre Manager has liaised with the GP practice on your behalf.

Similarly, please liaise with your Postgraduate Centre and GP Supervisor should you need to make arrangements for additional leave such as paternity leave, compassionate leave, study leave or special leave for interviews whilst in GP.

  • Who should you inform if you take sick leave?

Please inform your Trust HR Department as well as your GP Supervisor, and tell your Trust when you have returned to work.

  • What if you are incurring additional travel expenses during your F2 post?

You can claim travel expenses from your employing Trust whilst working in your GP post.

  • Is it still necessary to attend the Trust teaching sessions whilst in GP?

Yes, you need to attend the generic F2 teaching sessions organised by your Trust.

  • Should you still complete assessments whilst in GP?

Yes. Your GP Supervisor will expect this. Remember that it is your responsibility to make sure your assessments are completed.

  • Who is your contact for any queries, problems or concerns whilst in GP?

If you are experiencing problems in GP, speak to your GP supervisor in the first instance.

If this is not possible, or you feel awkward approaching your GP Supervisor, speak to your Foundation Training Programme Director or your Trust Postgraduate Centre Manager.

Whilst in GP, the Trust is still your employer for all HR related issues.

If you encounter any particular issues whilst working in GP, do to feed these back to your supervisor during the placement. GPs are keen to improve experiences wherever they can and constructive feedback is normally viewed positively.

  • What working hours are expected in GP?

Your working/learning week will be 40 hours. This is worked on Monday to Friday only at times between 8am and 7pm. You must not work out of these hours during General Practice.

Travel time from the acute base to the practice counts as work time too. If you are working in a practice a long way from the hospital then you may, for instance, find yourself working a 4 day week of 9am – 5pm. You should discuss this with your supervisor before you commence your GP post.

  • What can you expect from a typical week in GP?

A typical week might be: 

  • Morning surgery: followed by discussion patients seen with Supervisor. 
  • Lunchtime: administrative work. 
  • Early afternoon: clinical meetings, domiciliary visits, private study time. 
  • Afternoon/early evening: surgery. 

This pattern varies from practice to practice. Practices may ask GP F2s to work the same pattern that most GPs do, ie with longer working days but time off in lieu.

There will be a weekly tutorial lasting at least an hour, plus your weekly Trust F2 teaching.

Surgeries typically start at 30 minute appointments for each patient and reduce to 15- 20 minute appointments as you develop your skills, knowledge and confidence. You must always have access to another GP (not a locum GP). Your practice will tell you who is supervising you for each surgery.

We hope you enjoy and make the most of your GP post.