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Locums need ‘basic supervisory skills’ to look after trainees, says COGPED

Locums wishing to supervise GP trainees should possess ‘basic supervisory skills’ and must not assume ongoing responsibility for trainee supervision, say education chiefs.

A statement from the Committee of General Practice Education Directors (COGPED) to the GPC’s sessional GPs subcommittee says locums are not ‘obliged’ to supervise trainees and should be given adequate time to provide this support.

The statement says: ‘There should be a clear and well-defined handover procedure which has been arranged with the trainee’s formal clinical or educational supervisor.

‘Locums who have agreed to supervise trainees should be afforded specific time in their session to provide this support. GP locums should be aware that they are not obliged to provide supervision on behalf of a GP trainer.

‘A locum wishing to supervise should possess basic supervisory skills for single sessions and they must not assume ongoing responsibility for trainee supervision.’

COGPED chairman Dr Barry Lewis said as GP trainers might need to go to a conference, trainer meeting, or might have to leave the practice for CCG work, it was appropriate that locums with the right skills could supervise GP trainees.

He said the need for locums to supervise GP trainees ‘does demonstrate how ‘thin on the ground’ GP trainers are’.

‘They usually have multiple responsibilities and cannot always be present for every session of trainee surgeries so try to arrange clinical supervision by a more senior doctor/locum – exactly the position in hospital training for individual sessions of work’ he added.

Dr Krishna Kasaraneni, chair of the BMA GP Trainee subcommittee said as long as appropriate feedback is given, it does not matter which type of contractual GP gives the advice.

He said: ‘From a trainees point of view, it does not really matter what kind of GP (partner/sessional/freelance/OOH) provides the supervision as long as they are suitably trained to do so. As long as there is a mechanism in place to feedback appropriately and is constructive then it doesn’t really matter what the contractual status of the GP is.