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General Practice Foundation Programme

You will find that working in general practice is different to working in hospital.  You will have the opportunity to work as an integral member of a small organisation. You will learn new things such as recognising illness in the early stages of presentation, how to deal with uncertainty and to take appropriate risk in managing patients in the community.  You will develop skills in clinical decision making and working in partnership with patients.  We hope you enjoy your time in general practice and that some of you may even want to become the GPs of the future.

You should find all the information that you require during your General Practice post here

The Northern Ireland deanery has responsibilities to ensure quality control of the foundation programme.  The trainers in General Practice (GP) have a specific role to deliver within this organization.

General Practice F2 Induction Booklet
F2 Tutorial Rota

Frequently Asked Questions - F2 Training in General Practice



Trainers are advised to sign an “educational contract” with F2.The legal contract is between the Trust and the F2. NIMDTA has an SLA between Trainers & NIMDTA

There are three main computer suppliers & three types of EMIS within that. Each practice uses different templates and has customised their screens in different ways, so computer training is perhaps best done locally. However, there is a list of induction competencies available for computer learning that could be delegated.


Yes, the filling of this bag could be one of the induction tutorials. Once you are in GP land and fully registered you would be expected to assist in any medical emergency that comes your way and coming straight from hospital they are often well equipped with these skills. These bags can be bought as simple toolboxes from local hardware stores.

Initially 30 minutes. Then depending on confidence and competence reducing to no shorter than 15 minutes.

There is no video for submission. Trainers are expected to facilitate Work Based Assessment. Each F2 will need to do one TAB Feedback, and two Mini CEX / DOPS / Case based discussion. The video could be a way of assessing Min CEX. The video is a powerful developmental tool in learning, but it should not dominate the attachment.

F2 should be expected to arrive and present evidence of up to date and valid Medical Protection (organised through their Trust) & GMC registration. This should be part of induction for all Doctors entering GP.

Yes, acute clinics are a powerful learning opportunity. These F2 doctors will often end up in secondary care careers – it is vital they know what goes on in the real world of general practice. They should be given the opportunity to see everything – but supervised closely.

Yes, again this could be a great learning opportunity to work with the Practice Nurses.

Similar to what we give the ST3’s. It’s the same training grant, but more supervision will be required during surgery sessions and the service delivery by F2’s may be less. It’s very important to use trainer time efficiently – trainers could work in groups to deliver teaching.

This reduces workload but improves the quality of teaching through small group work and varying instructional methods and each trainer will have different skills.

About seven each week – some of these will need to be cancelled for core days. With European Working Directives junior doctors are missing out on experience so it is vital to maximise exposure to real learning situations – balanced with protected learning.

There is an induction package on the NIMDTA website. A list of tasks and competencies that is standardised, comprehensive and realistic could be covered within the first week. Consulting could start as early as the second week – because learning is easiest if relevant to daily practice.

Absolutely – to be encouraged; there are many advantages to all concerned in this style of learning.

Same as for ST2 and ST3’s; these would be practice expenses. They should provide their own doctors bag, stethoscope, ophthalmoscope & auroscope.

By their Trust that they are aligned to during that time.

Yes, use this form:

Trainee Expenses Form

No, DOPS could include spirometry, vaccinations, cervical smears, dressings, rectal, PR and genital examinations.

In total the same as with a ST2 or ST3.But there may be more supervision required during surgery sessions, which could reduce the amount of time left for one-on-one contact teaching. F2 could also have one session of self-directed learning each week.

Two DOPS / CEX / CBD – that less than with the ST2 or ST3 – No Trainers report or OOH workbook. The F2 is responsible to ensure timely completion.

One third of their annual allowance – eight days – unless special circumstances are applied for in writing to NIMDTA.

Programme Director – Dr Fergus Donaghy will organise 2 half days each four-month rotation – Induction and Audit.

All F2 trainees should be given the opportunity to undertake HV.

HV should be a mix of acute and chronic care

Chronic HV – Care in the community – Reviews of Diabetes/Dementia/COPD/Learning Disability

Palliative care HV are a wonderful learning opportunity that captures the ethos of GP

Aim for an average of 3 HV per week

All HV should be discussed with Training Supervisor before undertaken and debriefed on return to practice. Visits to any mentally ill or potentially violent patients must be accompanied with Trainee

  • Up to seven booked surgeries per week; expect to consult with about 60 patients per week on average
  • 30 minutes appointment slots initially, reducing to 15 minutes later
  • One session of protected self directed learning each week to work on Audit
  • Debriefing to cover the cases seen during each surgery session at least thrice weekly
  • Group tutorials on Friday afternoon 2.00 pm to 4.00pm – rotating about the local trainers premises – see NIMDTA website for details
  • Attend Deanery dates for Generic skills as they arise to cover the 10 modules
  • As soon as you arrive in GP tell your trainer of any Deanery days that you are due to attend in the following 4 months
  • 8 days of annual leave allowance during the 4 mths GP attachment
  • All study leave must be approved in advance in writing by NIMDTA – it is not possible to take study leave for higher professional examinations – the foundation programme is to develop generic skills
  • There are 14 half days organised by Dr Donaghy and some in house SDL- this will equate to 10 days of your study leave allocation
  • You are permitted reasonable time out of practice to attend Deanery Interviews for ST & Core training – subject to the approval of Trainer

F2 must inform their motor car insurance companies they intend to work in GP – this involves carrying drugs in their car and undertaking home visits.