GP trainers in Wales

Dr Andrew Proctor is a GP Trainer at Roath House Surgery in Wales.

We are a GP training practice with approximately 12,500 patients. We have five partners (two GP trainers), two salaried GPs and one to two GP trainees.  We also participate in training foundation year two doctors and third year medical students.

In addition this year we have been involved in the Further Trainers Practice Network, a network of GP training practices in Wales that has specific training and experience in providing refresher training placements for qualified GPs from the UK or overseas who have either never worked in UK general practice or have not worked in it for two or more years. The placements provide an opportunity for familiarisation or refamiliarisation with UK general practice under the supervision of a trainer.

The practice is grateful for the opportunity to be involved in training GP registrars. We find the registrars bring enthusiasm to the practice and experience from other backgrounds (both inside and outside of medicine). The process of learning keeps us as trainers up-to-date and sometimes challenges the way we do things. In addition the trainees bring different personalities and ideas to the practice.

We pride ourselves on being a friendly practice and try to make sure that we apply a whole practice approach to training whereby all of the team are involved in the education process. We hope that trainees feel valued and very much part of the team. As well as regular 'hot reviews' we encourage informal discussions after surgery amongst the clinical team.

The main challenges we face in delivering training include the ever increasing workload and having to adapt the way we work to meet demands, such as the increased use of use of triage and working with allied healthcare professionals.

With less and less time in the working day it is becoming more difficult to prioritise training. By using a whole practice approach to training it remains a priority in the working day. On discussing the positive aspects of training as a team it was noted that a debrief with the registrars after surgery was often a mutually beneficial experience, both in terms of learning and dealing with stressful or difficult surgeries.

Despite the challenges outlined above it is encouraging that GP trainees are reporting high levels of satisfaction in the GMC's national training surveys. It is important that the emphasis on training is not lost within the growing workload in primary care.