Structure of the VTS Programme

The GP VTS is split into three years: ST1, ST2 and ST3. During the ST1/2 years you will be in 6 month hospital posts for 18 months and a 6 month GP post. The ST3 year is spent exclusively in GP, and still tends to be called ‘the registrar year’

ST1/2 monthly study half days

Portsmouth and Isle of Wight ST1s and ST2s (sometimes joined by military GP trainees who are always welcome) meet on the third Wednesday of the month for protected GP orientated education sessions. They cover a wide variety of clinical, communication, management and career development topics and are organised by our ST1/2 Programme Directors, Lois Bowd, Bryony Sales, Kate McNicol and Simon Giles.

The Portsmouth trainees meet at The Goddard Education Centre at St James’s hospital which has very up to date presentation gadgetry, plenty of space, breakout rooms and a large comfortable teaching room. We also offer specific support to individual trainees for career guidance/mentorship and to hear feedback. The Isle of Wight trainees meet at St Marys Hospital. 

Twice a year we have a training day combined with the ST3s, one of which is the ‘buckets and spades’ day on the Isle of Wight in the summer.

See upcoming events for ST1/2.

ST1/2 Hospital Posts in Portsmouth

We offer a variety of posts in the following specialties: paeds, O&G, Elderly Care, MAU, Older persons Mental Health, Adult Psychiatry, ENT, Palliative Care, Ophthalmology and A&E. Our posts are hosted within three trusts (QA Hospital, Southern Health, and Solent Health) and at The Rowans Hospice. 

We recommend you review the learning objectives set for GP trainees for each hospital post. Further information on the Guidance for GP Curriculum in Hospital Specialty Posts can be found via the Health Education Kent Surrey and Sussex website.  

How we allocate hospital posts in Portsmouth

The process of allocating hospital posts when you join a VTS can cause trainees a lot of anxiety. We try to make the process as fair and open as possible.

After you have accepted a post on the Portsmouth VTS we will ask you to rank all of our hospital posts and we allocate them according to your rank in the admissions process and your previous experience.

If you have been a registrar or consultant in a speciality we do our very best to avoid you having to repeat that speciality in GP training. If you’ve been an SHO or ST1/2 in a speciality we can’t guarantee that you won’t have to repeat that speciality (for example many applicants have done core medical training prior to applying for GP and most of our rotations will include some medicine).

Paediatrics and O&G are especially popular posts and we generally can’t offer rotations which include both of these posts.

Most trainees who apply to our VTS have very similar experience at F1/F2 level and many will have to repeat specialities which they did as an F1/F2.

We try very hard to offer every trainee a broad variety of hospital posts, and take into account your own preferences. Reassuringly we’re usually able to offer almost all our trainees their top choice of post at some point in their rotation.

GP Training Practices

All ST1s are allocated to a Training Practice and GP Trainer at the start of their GP training. Their GP trainer will also be their Educational Supervisor (different from the Clinical Supervisor) throughout their GP training. Trainees are required to meet up with their Trainer on a regular basis to review the progress of their training. Trainers also review the online e-portfolio of their trainees so that they can ensure all the necessary assessments are completed each year and so that they can help the trainee get the most out of their ST1/2 posts. Most ST1/2 trainees will spend their 6 month GP post during their ST1/2 years in their ST3 training practice.

ST2 GP Learning Set

For ST2s in Portsmouth and SE Hants, we offer a twice monthly afternoon ‘learning set’ which is a facilitated learning group, and it has been extremely popular. Some trainees find this part of their training professionally isolating as the weekly day release course doesn’t start until ST3 – this group gives them the opportunity to share experiences, learn from each other and network.

See upcoming events for the ST2 GP Learning Set.

ST3 Training Programme

During the GP registrar year most Wednesdays are dedicated to the ‘half day release course’. These are learning sessions, usually at The Goddard Centre, organised by our ST3 Programme Directors Helen Lees, Emma Bowley, Ben Allured and Alex Macdonald. The Education programme includes residential courses as well as two joint sessions with the ST1s and ST2s. We aim to cover a wide range of curriculum topics using a variety of teaching styles in large and small groups.

The half day release course begin at 9am and finishes at 1pm apart from the third Wednesday of each month when the course is run in the afternoon from 1.30- 5.30pm (ST1/2 trainees meet in the morning).

During the year there are 3 month interviews for mutual feedback.

See our upcoming events on the day release course.