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Guidance on flexible training champions

NHS Employers have published new guidance on flexible training champions developed in consultation with the BMA. This will be an important tool for the new champions in standing up for LTFT (less than full time trainee) doctors in the workplace.

Read the NHS Employers guidance

The champion for flexible training doctors arose from the 2016 Acas talks accompanying the junior doctors’ contract negotiations. The BMA was integral to the creation of this role and has been consulted in the development of the guidance.

The BMA has established an LTFT (less than full time training) forum, which provides a dedicated representative structure to reflect the voice of LTFT doctors in BMA policy and decision-making. The forum has provided extensive feedback, leading to the inclusion of key mechanisms in the guidance, which will improve support for LTFTs:

  • We have ensured that LTFT trainees will be involved in the appointment and appraisal of the champions. This provides a critical feedback mechanism, for LTFTs to highlight any concerns, as well as what is working well.
  • We have successfully argued for vital competencies in the role profile that will strengthen the champion’s position: the ability to advocate effectively for LTFTs and influence senior management, a thorough understanding of the unique challenges of training LTFT and a detailed knowledge of junior doctor rostering and rotas.
  • We have highlighted what a good champion appointment looks like. In Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust the appointment of an associate director of medical education was identified as the right fit, as the trust considered the DME would carry the necessary gravitas and stood a better chance of success in representation and mediation on behalf of LTFTs.

The BMA is clear that to meet the competencies contained in the guidance and perform the role requires a doctor to be appointed to the champion role.

In a new blog, Rifca Le Dieu the new champion of flexible working at Barts explains why she applied for the role, and what she brings to the position as a consultant in haemato-oncology.