Less than full time training
Many doctors now consider part-time (Less than Full Time) training arrangements in order to achieve a better work/life balance. Less than Full Time training is becoming more acceptable but difficulties remain in making these arrangements work.
Less than Full Time training is available to trainees who meet the eligibility criteria set out under European legislation. Doctors who are unable to train on a full-time basis will go through an eligibility process and placed into the following categories
- Disability or ill-health (this may include those on IVF programmes).
- Carers' responsibility (men and women) for children.
- Caring for an ill/disabled partner, relative, or other dependent.
- These result in the individual doctor or dentist being professionally disadvantaged by circumstances, and less able to fulfil their potential on a full-time than on a LTFT basis.
- Unique opportunities for personal/professional development.
- Service to the wider NHS.
‘Flexible’ training has been the term used to describe the training of those trainees working less than full time. However, this does not adequately describe all training arrangements. Mersey Deanery now use the term ‘ Less than Full Time’ or ‘LTFT’, both commonly used terms in postgraduate medical education.
Types of Less than Full Time Training
There are three ways of working Less than Full Time. We try to place most LTFT trainees into a slot-share post, where two trainees share one post. Each doctor would work 60% of their full time hours each (total of 48 hours). The additional 10% allows for effective handover and for both trainees to benefit from formal teaching.
Trainees are also able to work reduced hours in a full-time post, these arrangements are negotiated between the Lead Employer, Host Trust, Training Programme Director and the trainee.
Supernumerary funding is sometimes available in extremely extenuating circumstances and only for a short period of time until the trainee can be slotted into the main rotation.