The Health Education England fully endorses the principles set out in the NHS Employers document “Doctors in Flexible Training: Principles underpinning the new arrangements for flexible training”
The term “Flexible” has been replaced by “Less than Full-Time” to avoid confusion. “Flexible” implies that the trainee can elect when they wish to work whereas this will be determined by their training needs
Any trainee in a substantive deanery approved post can apply for less than full-time training and if they meet the eligibility criteria this will be accommodated as soon as practicably possible
Please note you are only eligible to train Less Than Full Time if you have a confirmed substantive post with Health Education England. If you are in the process of applying for a post, you may only apply for LTFT training once it has been confirmed.
Trainees of either sex can apply for less than full-time training, but must have well founded reasons why full-time training is impractical
There are two eligibility categories:
Category 1: Those doctors in training with:-
- A disability or ill health
- Caring responsibilities for children up to and including the age of 16 (in line with “The Flexible Working (Amendment) Regulations 2009”
- Caring responsibilities for other dependents (spouse, parents etc.)
Category 2: Those doctors in training with:-
- Unique opportunities for personal/professional development not necessarily medically related
Category 1 will always take priority, but every effort will be made to accommodate Category 2 as well
You can access the online Eligibility Screening Form here.
Once eligibility is confirmed trainees will be sent the Less than Full-Time Training Approval Form and a Step by Step Guide to assist in it’s completion. Please note that for training approval LTFT trainees have to work a minimum of 50% (5 sessions) of the full-time equivalent although 60% is the norm.
Whenever possible LTFT trainees will be placed in a slot share occupying a full-time post, with each partner working 60% (to both facilitate effective handover and enable each partner to benefit from the formal teaching programme).
If a slot share is not possible then working reduced hours in a full-time post will be considered. It is possible to work up to 80% (the maximum for LTFT training). On-call should be pro-rata; however if willing a LTFT trainee can do the full-time on-call providing the total hours worked do not exceed 40
Only if a slot share or reduced hours in a full-time post are impossible will a supernumerary post be considered. Where this is will be determined by the trainee’s educational requirements. Such posts are the most difficult to arrange as although the basic salary comes from the Postgraduate Medical and Dental LTFT Budget the host trust has to meet the banding cost. (N.B. for all LTFT trainees on-call banding is calculated individually and is based on actual hours worked, the proportion that are “anti-social”, and the work intensity - for more information, please see here)
It is essential that well before a LTFT trainee rotates the prospective new host trust is aware of their LTFT status and confirms that they will meet any associated additional cost. For this reason 3 months in advance of a move the LTFT Administrator should be contacted to request a LTFT Training Approval Form which must then be completed and returned as soon as possible following the Step by Step Guide. This process must be repeated for every move whilst the trainee remains LTFT and is the trainee’s responsibility
Day in the Life
Tessa Davis is an ST4 trainee, currently on maternity leave, and due to return to a Less Than Full Time post following maternity leave: for her “day in the life” article, click here.
LTFT e-learning package for supervisors
Health Education England e-Learning for Healthcare (HEE e-LfH) has developed an e-learning session for Educational Supervisors of less than full time (LTFT) trainee doctors. The session aims to equip healthcare professionals with the knowledge and skills to effectively supervise a LTFT trainee and raise awareness of the supervisors’ responsibilities.
HEE is committed to improving Junior Doctors’ working lives and championing flexible working more broadly. With work/life balance highlighted as a mounting concern to doctors in training, and the risk of “burnout” affecting recruitment and retention in some specialties, the need for increased understanding and positive promotion of Less than Full Time Training is essential.
- 20-25 minute e-learning session for supervision of a less than full time trainee
- Your duties as a supervisor of a LTFT trainee under the Equality Act 2010
- The implications of LTFT training in relation to Certificates of Completion Training (CCT) dates, Annual Reviews of Competence Progression (ARCPs) and training extensions
- What LTFT training is and reasons why trainees may wish to apply
- The benefits of LTFT training
- How LTFT training is arranged and the different types of post arrangements available.
- Highly recommended for completion by all Educational Supervisors, Training Programme Directors and Heads of School.
- To access the learning content please follow this link:http://portal.e-lfh.org.uk/Component/Details/473676
- If you already have an account with e-LfH you can log in at this stage to access the content. Otherwise please register for an account using your work email address.
Representation and Support
HENW LTFT trainees are supported by two elected trainee representatives who sit on the LTFT Advisory Group and HEEE trainee forum. HENW (North West) trainees are represented by Dr Zurqa Rasul (ManchesterLTFTRep@gmail.com) and HENW (Mersey) trainees are represented by Dr Jacqueline Haworth (MerseyLTFTRep@icloud.com). Both representatives can be contacted for advice and support on LTFT issues.
For any LTFT queries please email the LTFT team on email@example.com or for emergency queries you can contact Sarah Gregg on 0161 625 7640. Shirley Remington, the Associate Dean for LTFT Training, can also be contacted about any LTFT issues; firstname.lastname@example.org
Less than Full-Time Training – GMC Position Statement, October 2011
Less then Full Time Training – GMC Position Statement Nov 2017
For your information, please find attached the GMC position statement for Conditions for less than full-time training. Below is a link for accessing this statement on the GMC website.