The intention of Less Than Full Time (LTFT) training is to keep doctors in the NHS who might otherwise leave because they are unable to make a full-time commitment. This is in line with European law. EC Directive EC 93/16/EEC says that although member states are not obliged to provide part-time opportunities if they do so they must comply with the Directive. The Directive requires that:
- Part-time training shall meet the same requirements as full-time training, from which it will differ only in the possibility of limiting participation in medical activities to a period of at least half of that provided for full-timers.
- The competent authorities shall ensure that the total duration and quality of part-time training of specialists are not less than those of full-time trainees.
LTFT training is open to all training grades, ie those in the Foundation Programme, SHOs and Specialist Registrars.
The key aims of LTFT training are:
- To retain within the medical workforce doctors who are unable to continue their training on a full-time basis
- To promote career development and work / life balance for doctors training within the NHS
- To ensure continued training in programmes on a time-equivalence (pro-rata) basis
- To maintain a balance between less than full time arrangements, educational requirements and service needs
LTFT training is available for doctors in the training grades for whom full-time training is not practical for “well-founded individual reasons”. However the funding for LTFT training is a finite resource and it may be necessary to place applicants in an order of priority. The following eligibility criteria will guide priority:
Those doctors in training with:
- Disability or ill heath (this may include those on in vitro fertility programmes)
- Responsibility for caring (men and women) for children
- Responsibility for caring for 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 rather than on a part- time basis.
Those doctors in training with:
- Unique opportunities for their own personal / professional development, eg training for national / international sporting events, or short-term extra-ordinary responsibility eg a national committee
- Religious commitment- involving training for a particular religious role which requires a specific amount of time commitment
- Non-medical professional development such as management courses, law courses, fine arts courses or diploma in complementary therapies.
Other well founded reasons may be considered but it would be dependent on the particular situation in which the individual was training.
Category 1 applicants will have priority and will, in general, be supported.
Access to category 2 is dependent on individual circumstances and the availability of funding.
Research should be accommodated within the ordinary training programme. By working with the programme directors, nearly all doctors and dentists can be allowed to pursue research as part of their normal training. This applies to both full-time and trainees working LTFT. It is not the intention of LTFT training to subsidise doctors and dentists doing research.
A LTFT trainee will normally be required to undertake at least 50% and normally 60% of a normal working week. Day time working, on-call and out-of-hours duties should be undertaken on a basis pro rata to that worked by full time trainees in the same grade and speciality, unless the circumstances which justify LTFT training make this impossible, provided that legal and educational requirements are met.
Most trainees will work a total of 24-28 hours per week (F6 in the new contract)
A LTFT trainee’s programme should contain the same elements as that of a full-time trainee including departmental meetings, audit, research, teaching etc.
- The duration of training (eg until Certificate of Completion of Training - CCT) will be extended according to the number of hours worked.
If you are considering LTFT training because of a young family it is vital that you arrange comprehensive child care. This may not be cheap but it is an essential component of a stress free professional life (as stress free as possible!). Other LTFT trainees will be able to give you practical advice on obtaining child care.
Applying for LTFT Training
All trainees who wish to be considered for LTFT training in Severn should print off the Application Form on this website in the first instance and return it to the LTFT Foundation, Recruitment or GP team in Severn.
Once your eligibility for LTFT training has been assessed you will be given further information about how to progress a LTFT training post. You are encouraged to apply as long as possible in advance of wishing to undertake LTFT training and up to 6-12 months in advance if possible.
Please read the all the information about the new arrangements for LTFT training on this website.
If you have not applied for LTFT training in advance of application to a Training Programme you may find that funding will not be available for you immediately.
In this event you have the options of:
- Awaiting funding availability while not working, or
- Taking the whole time post in the interim
Dr Geoffrey Wright
Associate Dean for Less Than Full Time (LTFT) Training
The Health Education England (HEE) will fund the basic salary costs of LTFT trainees normally at Band F6.
Trusts are responsible for the out of hours intensity payments.
Guidelines for slot sharing
The substantive whole-time post of 40 standard hours (plus out of hours) will be split and, in addition, each slot sharer may be funded some additional hours (from the HEE LTFT training budget). Each slot-sharer will normally work for a total average of 24 -28 hours (F6). This arrangement will allow proper handover of clinical responsibilities and the opportunity for each of the slot sharers to attend key educational sessions in the week. The individual programme of each slot sharer must receive educational approval from the relevant College (often via the Regional Adviser).
The practice of placing two LTFT trainees into a currently funded full time slot is an administrative process for the Severn / HEE. It is not about job sharing. Please speak to your Specialty Manager if you have any concerns on this.
Severn appreciates that there may be concern that if one half of a slot share should leave, the Trust may be left with a problem in meeting the gap in the service commitment. If this problem should occur, another LTFT trainee may be able to move into the slot share position, or alternatively, the remaining slot sharer could move into a LTFT supernumerary post, funded by the HEE. The full-time post will then be able to be filled.
Applications by couples
When both partners (eg husband and wife) request LTFT training this should be made clear on the application form. A case for funding both partners would need to be made on the application form.
Eligibility would be determined by national criteria.
Locum Training posts are expected to be short term posts to replace a doctor away for a defined period eg research, time abroad, or maternity leave. Sometimes these posts are filled by current or future LTFT trainees.
LTFT LATs will only be supported in exceptional circumstances.
An appeal is an opportunity to question a decision, or complain about treatment which a trainee considers to be unfair. An appeal will allow all parties to have the case heard before an independent panel, and a decision to be reached on the facts that have been presented
Further Guidelines For Trusts
Trust Chief Executives and Medical Directors might note that the very factors which make trainees eligible for LTFT training, may still be in place when they reach the stage of being appointed to Consultant grade. They could therefore consider the creation of job sharing opportunities at Consultant grade or part-time Consultant posts.