What does the SuppoRTT Team offer trainees and trainers?

We offer trainees:

  • Funding for RTT Coaching for returning trainees should they need it from one of our specialist external providers.
  • Funding and access to other specialist forms of support such as Counselling, Study Skills and Exam Coaching from specialist external providers dependent on need (NB – you may need a referral to the Professional Support Unit to access this)
  • Funding for external update courses not already available in the region, e.g. GP Update; GAS Again (Anaesthetics) – fees only are refunded
  • Funding for KIT (Keeping in Touch) Day expenses such as:
    • Travel costs for KIT Days
    • Childcare costs for KIT Days (NB - we do not pay for your KIT Days; these are paid for by your employer)
  • Support and advice for trainees out of training to help them keep in touch with their training Programme and updated with clinical skills
  • Evidence-based courses which support the return of the trainee such as:
    • Well-Being & Personal Management Workshop
    • Supporting Working Parents Workshop
    • Confidence Training Workshop
    • The Challenge of Change Workshop
  • Evidence-based courses that support trainees on OOPR (Out of Programme on Research)
    • Productivity Retreat for OOPR Trainees
  • Signpost SuppoRTT information on our website at https://eastmidlandsdeanery.nhs.uk/trainee/supportt
  • Signpost available support from the National SuppoRTT Team such as:
  • National SuppoRTT website at https://mysupportt.com/ and any relevant upcoming courses in other regions

We offer to Educators and Supervisors:

  • Signpost support and advice so that Educators feel they can provide the best help to their trainees who are returning to training
  • Refer trainees to the Professional Support Unit upon Educator request where there is Trainee need for additional support
  • Provide courses such as the “Upskilling the Educator” Workshop which focuses on helping Educators to understand the issues faced by Trainees and how to provide the support they might need
  • Signpost Support Available from the Trust Champions and School Champions – Champions are experienced Consultants who can provide practical support and advice to Educators about aspects of SuppoRTT.  We are in the process of assigning a Champion for every Trust and School in the East Midlands. 
Who is eligible to access SuppoRTT help?

Access to SuppoRTT is available in the East Midlands Region to trainees who are thinking about, or are already taking an approved time out of training for the following reasons:

- Out of Programme - OOPE/OOPR/OOPC/OOPE/OOPP for more than 3 months

- Planned parental leave of 3 months or more

- Sick leave of 3 months or more

To be eligible to access support through the SuppoRTT Scheme, trainees must either have a national training number (NTN) or be a trainee on a recognised training scheme (such as Foundation Trainees)

We are also currently unable to offer support to Trust Grade Doctors, Public Health and Dental Trainees.however the principles of SuppoRTT are being widely followed across Trusts in the East Midlands so you may be able to access some benefits of the scheme in your Trust even if HEE-EM are unable to provide actual support.

When should I begin planning time away from training?

As soon as you know you want to take time out, make an urgent appointment with your Educational Supervisor (or TPD's for GP Trainees) to discuss the situation with them.  This should be no less than 3 months in advance (where appropriate). 

At this stage, Trainees (in conjunction with their Educational Supervisor or TPD) should start to complete Return to Training Form 1 - Planning Your Time Away from Training.  This form can be found in the document list below. 

What is the role of the Supervisor in SuppoRTT?

An appropriate Supervisor (ES (Educational Supervisor), TPD (Training Programme Director) or College Tutor) is required to meet with the trainee to discuss and complete the SuppoRTT forms prior to the trainee absence (where possible), prior to their return and 2 weeks after their return to training, to review their plan and decide if any additional/further support is necessary.  At HEE we are reliant on the knowledge and extensive experience of Educators to partake in and approve each bespoke plan and discuss with trainees what is best to support their return.

Who should conduct my Return to Training planning meetings?

The planning meeting should normally be conducted between the trainees and the Educational Supervisor.  However complex cases, such as ill-health or other issues impacting on the trainee's ability to complete the training programme, may require the involvement of the TPD, Head of School, APD and HR of the employing Trust if necessary. 

The trainee should make the initial contact via an email or telephone call to arrange a face-to-face pre-return to training planning meeting.

What is a SuppoRTT Plan?

Trainees create an individualised SuppoRTT Plan and participate in structured planning and review meetings when leaving and returning to training with their TPD/Educational Supervisor (or Practice Manager for GP's).  This will enable trainees to document any plans to stay in touch with training while away from practice and also identify any support required upon their return.

There are 3 key components to creating an individualised SuppoRTT Plan:

  1. Planning Your Time Away from Training (use Form 1)
  2. Planning Your Return to Training (use Form 2)
  3. Reviewing your Return to Training (use Form 3)

The forms are designed to lead you through the return to work process and act as a prompt regarding issues you might wish to consider along with your Supervisor. 

What should I expect when I return to training?

Where possible, Form 2 - Planning Your Return to Training, should be completed prior to the return to work date.  Information logged may include:

  • An up-to-date health assessment (if required)
  • An agreement on the anticipated period of any phased return and/or enhanced supervision
  • Confirmation of LTFT or FT status planned on RTT
  • List of mandatory requirements e.g. resuscitation and safeguarding
  • The clinical activities of the enhanced supervision period (e.g.ward work, surgery/outpatient work, home visits, emergency work, out of hours work etc)
  • The assessment methods for the enhanced supervision period (e.g. SLEs, direct observations, simulation scenarios, senior team feedback, peer feedback etc)

The TPD, Educational Supervisor, Service Lead, Rota Coordinator and HR dept must be aware of the return date and must plan an initial induction session for the Trainee.  This should include active consideration of:

  • A welcome back meeting
  • Essential Employer induction (security, ID badges, Parking etc)
  • A plan of activities for the first week
  • Awareness of key policy or procedural changes
  • Awareness of new personnel
  • Awareness of key new equipment


What's the difference between a period of enhanced supervision and a supernumerary period?

For all trainees who are out-of-training for longer than 3 months, it is recommended they have a period of enhanced supervision on their return. In the East Midlands this can be for up to 80 hours (two weeks). A full range of duties can be undertaken (the trainee is not supernumerary) but an increased level of supervision will be provided.  Activities and competencies within work can be assessed using workplace-based assessments.  This period needs to be agreed between the rota co-ordinator, educational supervisor and trainee at least 3 months prior to the trainee's return. 

There may be rare occasions when a trainee or supervisor feel a full Supernumerary period is required on return, for example when a trainee has been off sick for a prolonged period of time. Supernumerary is a period where the trainee is an additional member of staff, not required for service provision, can shadow other members of staff but is not restricted in their practice (e.g. they can still perform procedures etc.). This will generally be held at the training site you will continue to work at on completion of this period. Due to the workforce issues, a supernumerary period needs to be discussed and agreed with your Supervisor, TPD and rota co-ordinator at least 3 months in advance and should not be organised at the last minute.  You will be paid as normal by the trust and HEE will refund the trust the cost of your basic salary.

Can I take external training courses during my time out of programme?

Attending pre-existing regional courses is the preferred method for re-developing confidence and competence.  If there are no suitable regional courses available, there may be a small amount of funding available for trainees to attend external courses.  Please fill in a SuppoRTT Funding Request Form and forward to the SuppoRTT Officer at SuppoRTT.em@hee.nhs.uk with details of the course and why it is important to your return to training.  

Funding for external courses is at the discretion of the SuppoRTT team therefore it is recommended that you check with the SuppoRTT team before paying for courses.  Please note that, if confirmed, you will need to pay for the course yourself and claim back your fees through the Study Leave system at https://www.intrepidv10.co.uk/HEE/

External courses should be taken in the three months prior to or in the three months post your return.  The course must be directly related to your return to training. 

The SuppoRTT Team does not refund professional fees - these are the responsibility of the trainee.

What are KIT/SPLIT Days?

For trainees taking maternity leave, Keeping in Touch (KIT) days should be used to access anything that will help them get back up to speed when returning to training. This could include shadowing in clinic or theatre, attending any relevant training courses, regional teaching, departmental meetings, accessing mandatory training or anything that will support trainees returning and keep them 'in touch' with the training programme.

The HEE SuppoRTT team does not organise nor pay for KIT days.  These should be discussed with your Supervisor and confirmed with your HR team (or Lead Employer for GP Trainees).  Your HR team will also be able to advise you on pay for your KIT days.  We do not have any further KIT days information - please speak to your local HR team (or Lead Employer for GP's).

Similarly for trainees taking shared parental leave, Shared Parental Leave in Touch (SPLIT) days may be utilised in the same way.

Further information is available via employing Trusts and here: https://www.gov.uk/employee-rights-when-on-leave


How do I get reimbursed for external courses and KIT Day expenses/childcare

Funding may be available to reimburse reasonable childcare/travel costs incurred while attending KIT Days or for external courses you have taken related to your return to training (and not available free or locally). 

Once confirmed, you will need to pay the costs yourself and claim this back.  There are three stages to claiming back costs:

1) Complete the SuppoRTT Funding Request form prospectively with as much information as you can and forward to the SuppoRTT Team.  We will confirm whether you can go ahead and claim expenses.

2) Apply prospectively for Study Leave funding in the usual way via your Intrepid Leave Manager account letting your Employer know this is a SuppoRTT expenses claim (important!)

3) Claim using your Trust's (or Lead Employer's) usual expenses claims procedure.  You will need all your travel receipts and invoices for childcare as evidence.

4) Your Employer will refund your expenses in your monthly pay in the usual way

Further details of the claims procedure can be found in the SuppoRTT Claims Trainee Guidance document below.

Please note that we do not pay for nor organise KIT/SPLIT days - this needs to be arranged by you in conjunction with your local HR team (or Lead Employer for GP Trainees).  If you are on maternity leave, the employer who is paying your maternity leave pay will pay for your KIT days, even if you are moving Trust to a new placement.

What if I am a trainee/trainer needing support with careers?

If you are trainee who feels they need careers advice or trainer who would like support for a trainee, follow this link for further advice https://www.eastmidlandsdeanery.nhs.uk/trainee/careers  The SuppoRTT Team is unable to provide careers advice.

I am planning to take time out of Programme (OOP). What is the process for applying?

You will need to follow the East Midlands process for applying to take time out of programme.  Please use this link for further information https://www.eastmidlandsdeanery.nhs.uk/policies/oop 

Please speak to your TPD as soon as you become aware your would like to take time out of programme as the application process can be lengthy.  The earlier your TPD knows about your plans, the sooner the planning process can begin. 

The SuppoRTT Programme is separate to the OOP Process and the two should not be confused.

Who is eligible to attend EM Return to Training courses?

Places on these our free SuppoRTT workshops are available to trainees who have recently returned or are due to return to training shortly.  Workshops should be booked via Intrepid Course Manager https://secure.intrepidonline.co.uk/CourseManager/EMD/.  Please note the following important information:

  • You can book on as few or as many workshops as you feel are useful however, once booked, we would be grateful if you could make every effort to attend so that places are not wasted. 
  • Places on these free workshops are very limited so it is recommended that, if you are interested, you book a place as soon as possible.
  • Once booked/attended, please could you ensure that your TPD/Educational Supervisor is made aware that you have a place on the workshop at your Return to Work meeting and that you add this information to your Return to Work form.  Remember that your Return to Work form should be uploaded to your e-Portfolio and emailed to the SuppoRTT team. 
  • You are welcome to use the days for KIT but please note that HEE-EM does not pay your KIT days – that is the responsibility of your Trust.  You should liaise with the relevant HR Team at your Trust (or Lead Employer for GP Trainees) to advise them that you would like to go on a course as part of your KIT days. It is up to individual Trusts and their policies as to whether they accept this. We are happy for you to use our courses as KIT days but you should always check with your employer as to whether they are happy with this.  We have no control over this part of the process.
Other Links?

Useful Links:

East Midlands Supported Return to Training Team - supportt.em@hee.nhs.uk

Professional Support & Wellbeing Service (PSW) - psw.em@hee.nhs.uk

East Midlands Careers Service (HEE) careers.em@hee.nhs.uk

HEE National Supported Return to Training document https://hee.nhs.uk/sites/default/files/documents/Supported%20Return%20to%20Training.pdf

HEE Enhancing Working Lives https://www.hee.nhs.uk/our-work/doctors-training/enhancing-working-lives 

The Gold Guide 7th Edition https://www.copmed.org.uk/gold-guide-7th-edition/