Flexible Training/Working in Gastroenterology

The DoH and Deaneries have more recently been encouraging 'slot share' programmes (though flexible supernumary schemes are still available). These 'slot share' schemes fulfill the aim of integrating such trainees into the regular workforce. They allow an increase in the number of flexible trainees in the system at no (minimal) extra expense by allocating two part-time trainees to one full time clinical NTN slot. This is an excellent scheme for those with a 'matched' slot share partner with similar interests or needs which can be filled for both parties by the post. The opportunities need to be discussed carefully with your deanery and the programme director since subsequent rotation might make it difficult to deliver training with certain choices of sub-specialty or elements of standard training required by the RITA process. Old style flexible training programmes optimize flexibility as trainees are supernumary but are limited by the funds available. Talk to your Deanery about availability if you are considering this option.

Clear guidelines on eligibility and the application process are available – see websites below – and are intended to encourage a better understanding of the increasingly important role of such trainees, and to improve their access to such training.

1. The Department of Health: www.nhsemployers.org
2. The BMA: www.bma.org.uk

The British Society of Gastroenterology and the Royal College of Physicians are keen to encourage flexible training and flexible working patterns as Consultants. Excellent advice is available on the Web and a series of links are given below:

Local advice is available to you from the Chairman or Programme Director of the Specialist Training Committee in Gastroenterology for your Deanery, and from the flexible training officer with the Post Graduate Deans Department.

Advice is also available from the BSG centrally, please contact Chris O’Shea:christopher.oshea@bsg.org.uk or Dr Emma Wesley, Mentor for Flexible Training/Working: emma.wesley@nhs.net.

Useful Websites and Links:

1. The Royal College of Physicians: www.rcplondon.ac.uk
2. An excellent and clear web site giving lots of information is available from the London Deanery: www.londondeanery.ac.uk
3. West Midlands Deanery also have a good web site: www.wmdeanery.org
4. General advice is available from the BMA at: www.bma.org.uk

There is also national advice which includes details of schemes that at the moment provide financial support for flexible trainees going to flexible Consultant posts: www.dh.gov.uk