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Support to Prevent Extensions (SPEX) programme 


HEE South West are pleased to introduce the Support to Prevent Extensions (SPEX) programme. This is a highly successful, evidence-based intervention to help trainees pass the CSA/RCA exam, based on the award-winning HEE North West Support on Extension Programme.

During the COVID-19 pandemic the South West SPEX programme has been developed to deliver a remote course to improve consultation skills and improve RCA pass rates for our trainees. The RCA and AKT exams comprise the MRCGP which all GP trainees will need to pass prior to CCT. Further information on the exams can be found on the RCGP website.

There are two parts to the programme - SPEX1 and SPEX2.

  • SPEX1 is deigned to be an early introduction to "consulting like a GP", and done in General Practice in ST1/2. It is an additional communication course which complements the VTS for trainees that are identified as requiring additional support. The programme is offered by invitation.
  • SPEX2 is individual support during ST3 by an experienced educator, often an AD, TPD or RCGP examiner to improve consultation skills and pass the RCA.

Each trainee on the SPEX programme will receive a programme handbook to guide additional support to work through with their ES.

For further information on the programme, please see our SPEX FAQs.

SPEX contacts

SPEX admin team                                          SPEX.SW@hee.nhs.uk

Dr Simon Huins (Associate Dean for SPEX)  simon.huins@hee.nhs.uk

Dr Claire Fox (Associate Dean for SPEX)      claire.fox@hee.nhs.uk