New community-facing posts for GP trainees launched
Trainee GPs will be getting exposure to the full range of community health services in Northumberland and North Tyneside through a range of brand-new posts.
Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the area’s hospitals, has GPs working across the system, as most acute trusts do.
Trainee GPs also have to spend a significant period of their training in hospital settings, and the Trust has a close working relationship with the Northumbria GP Training Programme, run by Health Education England (HEE) across the North East.
In a further boost to this partnership, Northumbria Healthcare is now launching a series of brand-new community-facing trainee posts across a range of disciplines.
It is one of the first trusts in the North East to offer this type of opportunities for trainees, and it is hoped that most if not all of the posts will be taken up by the cohort starting in August this year, particularly given that it coincides with an overall expansion of GP trainee numbers.
The most recent update to the GP contract means that the total number of GP trainee places nationally has increased by 500 a year, reaching 4,000 in 2021. In addition, the time a trainee spends working in general practice will increase to 24 months out of a 36-month training period.
GP training was previously split half and half between general practice and hospitals, so this change will lead to a reduction in the amount of time trainee GPs spend with Northumbria Healthcare, however, this will be offset by the new community posts.
These will be in a range of services, with one or more in sexual and public health, two in CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services), up to four in community posts based out of Hexham General Hospital, one in palliative care, one in gynaecology and one in orthopaedics.
Jane Weatherstone, Northumbria Healthcare’s director of primary care education and development, pictured above, said: “These new posts are a real feather in our cap and it’s due to the unique setup within our Trust and the amount of community services that we provide for the residents of Northumberland and North Tyneside.
“This scheme also has tangible benefits for patients in the area, as going forward, there will be GPs who have inside knowledge of all of the services that are available, while already having those personal links to be able to develop really successful partnerships.”
The initiative is another way of supporting the GPs of the future, by providing them different opportunities, while also giving them first-hand knowledge of key community healthcare services.
Justin Burdon, the primary care dean for HEE in the North East and North Cumbria, said: “I am delighted that Northumbria Healthcare and the Postgraduate School of Primary Care at HEE across the North East and North Cumbria have been able to work together to establish these posts.
“They are exactly the sort of posts that are needed to develop the GPs of the future: GPs with a sound knowledge of medicine, an awareness of the health needs of our population and with close links to the community and wider health services.”
Ben O’Connell, media and communications officer
Benjamin.O’Connell@northumbria-healthcare.nhs.uk or 07833 046680.