Out of Hours Sessions (OOH)

As of August 2013 you are required to do 36hrs hours of OOH shifts per 6 months in general practice.  This works out as 108 hours over the course of your 3 yr programme with VTS (6 months GP as and ST1 or 2 and 12 months GP as an ST3).

For each shift you need to:

  • fill in a  (please print it and take with you to the shift, scan it in to your eportfolio and attach to your log entry for that OOH session.
  • Keep a running total of the hours you have completed and scan this into your log prior to your ESR.  This will allow your educational supervisor to validate the session you have entered.
  • Remember that the deadline for completing your sessions is the the date of your ESR for that job NOT the end of your training.
Types of OOH session:

For ST1/2

See training guide under OOH resources

For ST3

·         All 72 hours must be within a standard OOH provider setting (Westcall or OxDocs)

Before you can undertake any out of hours work you will need to have attended an induction session, these will be arranged by the VTS during the first couple of months of each academic year.   Make sure you go to the right one for the service you will be working in*!    At Westcall and OxDocs sessions must be done under the supervision of a trained OOH educational supervisor and can therefore be limited in numbers.  We recommend you make contact as soon as possible with your OOH provider as it can be difficult to fit in all our your sessions if you arrange them late.

  • Contact email for booking shifts with South Central Ambulance Service:   Scheduling.Department@scas.nhs.uk
  • Contact email for booking  Oxfordshire out of hours shifts: ooh.st3oxford@gmail.com
  • Contact email for Oxfordshire out of hours Karen Haycroft: karen.haycroft@oxfordhealth.nhs.uk
  • Contact email  for booking Westcall out of hours shifts (Berkshire): admin.westcall@nhs.net

*Oxfordshire practices (Goring, Wallingford, Henley or Sonning Common) are based with OxDocs, all of the other scheme practices are covered by Westcall.

Traffic Light Ratings:

You will be graded as red, amber or green for the purposes of OOH work by your educational supervisor.  Normally we would expect you to start as red, progress through amber to reach green part way through your ST3 year.  Red trainees will see patients in the same room as the supervisor, green trainees can see patients alone but there must always be a supervisor around for advice and supervision.  The definition of all these colours is found on the OOH paperwork document, link at the foot of this page.

You will need make sure that your OOH work maintains compliance with the EWTD.  As such you may need to do a shorter surgery the day before and/or after your shift.  As you are paid an uplift to your salary for doing OOH you will need to “pay back” these hours to the practice at another time. To assist the practice make sure you inform them (trainer and practice manager) ASAP to allow this time off to be arranged.  EWTD stipulates that you have:

a minimum of 11-hours’ continuous rest in every 24-hour period

a minimum rest break of 20 minutes after every six hours worked

a minimum period of 24 hours’ continuous rest in each seven day period (or 48 hours in a 14 day period)


Trainee/ supervisor responsibilities with respect to safe OOH working:

COGPED has issued the following guidance regarding your responsibilities when undertaking OOH shifts:

‘GP registrars must be aware at all times of their level of clinical competence, and have professional responsibility for seeking advice and clinical supervision when required. It is the responsibility of the GP Registrar to seek appropriate help with the management of any case which has caused concern, and the GP Registrar should only proceed to take clinical responsibility having received satisfactory advice to cover all areas of concern. Should the GP Registrar not feel competent to take clinical responsibility, it is the responsibility of the OOH organisation and the clinical supervisor to make alternative arrangements for management of that particular patient.’ 

‘GP Registrars must be insured with a Medical Defence Organisation (a condition of training as a GP Registrar), which will provide indemnity in the event of a clinical error during the management of a patient.  The GP Registrar must liaise with the clinical supervisor at the start of each shift and is responsible for ascertaining how the working and supervisory arrangements of the shift will occur, and when and how the feedback will be arranged.’

The recording sheet for OOH shifts and traffic light system which needs to be signed by the supervising clinician covering you and scanned onto your eportfolio can be found through the link below:

OOH Resources:

Oxfordshire OOH induction information for registrars

Reading and Newbury VTS OOH Record Sheet 1

Reading and Newbury VTS traffic light definitions

guidance on transition through traffic light system

HETV GP OOH Training Guide V1.2 – FINAL

Further information, including EWTD and OOHS, is available here

Hee resources on OOH: https://heeoe.hee.nhs.uk/gp_out_of_hours