Day Release

ST1 and ST2

ST1s and ST2s are taught together on Tuesday afternoons.  You need to attend roughly half of the sessions during your ST1 year and the remainder during your ST2 year.  The same teaching plan will run every year.  Each session will constitute 3.5 hours of  ‘educational time’ and should average out at 7 hours per month.

On some occasions the topic taught will entail a full day in which case there will be a lieu session back in practice/on the wards

Training will be in the postgraduate centre at the Royal Berkshire Hospital. This teaching is tailored to help you get the most out of your hospital jobs while keeping your focus on general practice. Topic based teaching is designed to help you in your preparation for the AKT and consultation skills teaching to help you become more a more effective doctor (and ultimately pass the CSA). We also run regular eportfolio sessions and feedback sessions where you have a say in planning your teaching for the next 6 months. Please see the VTS Timetable for further details.

We figure that you get plenty of exposure to hospital medicine through your day jobs in ST1 and 2 and so most of this programme is delivered by GPs with special interests in the topic being discussed or your programme directors. Occasionally we may invite hospital consultants or other members of the multi discipinary team in to share their expertise with you.

On several occasions throughout the year you will have the opportunity to engage in Problem Based Learning with the rest of your group.

Teaching starts at 1.30pm. We understand that in certain hospital jobs it will not be possible for you to attend every session, however we ask that you aim to attend as often as possible.  Attendance records are kept and emailed to your Educational Supervisor.  It should be noted that your salary covers time spent in attendance at teaching, therefore if you are not in teaching you are expected to be at work, whether this is on the wards or in practice.


ST3s have a full day of training on Tuesdays.  On most Tuesdays this consists of formal teaching in the mornings and self-directed learning in the afternoons.  The teaching programme has been carefully compiled to address the whole RCGP curriculum using local specialist and GP expertise,  the aim of the self-directed learning sessions is to enable you to target your specific learning needs.

The calendar should always be viewed for up to date information.

During August- February there is an emphasis on consultation skills and preparation for the CSA.

From March- July you will spend more time in preparation for the “real world” as an independant GP.   Sessions include techniques for handling “difficult patients” not previously covered, financial, legal and employment matters, medical politics, clinical governance, CV and interview help as well as clinical topics of the groups choice which have not been previously covered in depth, for example, joint injections and  sports medicine.

We use a wide range of teaching methods for example small group work, formal lectures, debate, discussion, practical exercises and video recording of consultations for discussion. These are delivered by hospital doctors, local GPs, national specilists, members of the local multidisciplinary team, and your programme directors. Please see the VTS Timetable for further details. A variety of professionally delivered courses are incorporated into this year. Some of these are provided free of charge, others carry a cost which you can usually use your study leave budget for. Courses offered typically include:

  • GP update (roundup of latest evidence)
  • A mock CSA exam
  • Therapeutic Rapport
  • Substance Misuse
  • An St3 away day
  • Child and adult safeguarding

As in ST1 and 2, Problem Based Learning will be an integral part of your teaching.

Your  self-directed learning sessions in the afternoon are a highlight of our programme for many.   You can attend outpatient clinics, work in groups to practice for the CSA, undertake specific e-learning or courses.   If you want to attend a clinic or course on a day other than Tuesdays, you can use this afternoon to ‘pay back’ time into your practice.

On some Tuesdays, we join with the registrars from the Windsor and Slough scheme for courses which benefit from a bigger group.  The venue rotates around both districts and you will need to keep an eye on the timetable so that you are aware of the venue.

Trainees on the scheme usually gel well as a group and often organise regular social activities as well as study groups for the MRCGP.

Teaching is in the common room at the Trust Education Centre on the RBH site unless stated otherwise on the timetable.  Please arrive by 9.45am for housekeeping- the formal session will begin at 10.15 am. If you are unable to attend the day release course for whatever reason you must let the Team know by e-mailing

From your PDs for day release teaching

  • Regularly check website and be aware of scheduled events
  • Be prepared for the topics of the day
  • Arrive on time
  • Let us know of any absences or if you are going to be late
  • Play an active part in the group
  • Be respectful and supportive of each other
  • Prepare some sessions yourselves as appropriate
  • Spend some time presenting to the rest of the group
  • Reflect on every session and keep a record & keep a log of your experiences on the GP ST Training Programme
  • Build all this into your PDP
  • Give constructive feedback to the speakers, course organisers or registrar representative as required. There will be a feedback form to complete for each session
  • Obtain a copy of Good Medical Practice for General Practice and read it! This sets out the duties of a good GP and is also the format used for GP appraisals
  • Familiarise yourself with the contents of the Gold Guide
  • Enjoy your time as a registrar!