The GP training is spread across two schemes in this area, the Brighton scheme and the Mid Sussex scheme. During ST1 and ST2 trainees from both schemes undertake 4-monthly posts in both, Brighton and Haywards Heath hospitals as well as surgeries in the surrounding communities.
One of the ST1 posts is General Practice, with the opportunity to apply for an ITP (Integrated Training Post), spending part of the week in another speciality e.g. Palliative Care or Dermatology. The remaining posts may include a mix of A&E, Medicine, Paediatrics, Gynaecology, Psychiatry, Orthopaedics, ENT, Sexual Health and HIV medicine.
The entire ST3 year is spent at a GP training practice, which will be a different surgery to the trainee’s ST1 GP post. This 12-month placement enables trainees to become part of a team and gain the necessary insight and skills for qualification. Trainees have the opportunity to extend the ST3 year to build expertise in research, education or commissioning.
VTS teaching is half a day per week followed by a half day of private study, and is spread across three 10-week terms. It is held within the allocated scheme, either Brighton or Mid Sussex, and both have consistently received positive feedback on the quality of teaching and support from the Programme Directors. The mornings are normally split into two sessions, group discussions and updates from the Programme Directors, followed by a talk from speakers covering many topics including Diabetes, Respiratory and Neurology. Teaching is mandatory whilst in a GP post but trainees in hospital posts are always welcome to come whenever they are granted study leave. There is a joint residential biannually, covering practical topics such as resilience and job applications, and providing a fun opportunity to get to know each other.
Communication and support is an essential part of VTS. Every trainee will be allocated an Educational Supervisor, who will be a GP Trainer and the trainer they work alongside in ST3. They will also be assigned a Clinical Supervisor for each 4 month rotation to support them during their time in that specialty. Each year group, in both Brighton and Mid Sussex schemes, has one or two trainee representatives that attend meetings on the trainee’s behalf. They raise issues at Local Faculty Group meetings which are held three times a year. They also arrange socials, normally in a Brighton pub, where trainees from all years and both schemes have a chance to meet up in an informal environment.
The Trust also operates a ‘buddy’ scheme where each trainee is linked up to another GP trainee in the year above, who can be contacted for advice and support. Trainees also receive monthly newsletters that discuss issues including teaching, up and coming courses and VTS dates. Brighton and Mid Sussex have their own websites with relevant information, news and contact details. Each scheme also has their own GP Faculty Administrator who is there to assist them throughout their time in VTS.
For more inforemation about the KSS GP Training Scheme, please click here.