The Spark Programme

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What is the Spark Programme?:

This is part of the NHSE New To Practice programme aiming to provide ongoing CPD and post-CCT support to GPs who are within their first 12 months of CCT.

Who is eligible to apply?

Any newly-qualified GP working in primary care in Gloucestershire who has attained CCT within the 12 months before the start of the programme, or within 3 months after it (for the 2022/2023 programme this will be for those who have attained CCT between August 2021 and November 2022)

When will it start?

The 2021/2022 programme has already recruited and has started in August 2021.

The 2022/2023 programme will be recruiting in Summer 2022 to start in August 2022.

What does it involve?.

The Spark programme offer comprises:

  • A series of evening or afternoon educational events (currently virtual), roughly one a month (20 in total over 2 years), with both local and external speakers. These are on non-clinical topics, encompassing leadership skills, emotional wellbeing at work, conflict resolution, portfolio careers, QI, change management, sharing and receiving feedback, working in networks, and influencing & negotiating skills. Some of these are delivered by the Spark programme, and some by the South West Primary Care Academy, with participants from the New To Practice programmes elsewhere in the South West.
  • The option of accessing free mentoring, from a local senior GP who has undertaken mentorship training – the initial offer is for 4 x 1hr sessions across a 12 month period. We try to match you with a mentor who is well placed to help you with any specific circumstances or decisions that you may require guidance on.
  • The option of joining a Peer Support Group with other GPs on the Spark Programme. The group would meet once every 2 months, for an hour on a weekday eveningThese sessions will initially be facilitated by a GP from the Training Hub, and then the group would be self sufficient going forward.
  • The opportunity to apply for a funded CPD project. We have a limited number of spaces for GPs on the Spark programme to be funded for up to 26 sessions (104 hours) for a CPD project of some kind. In the NHSE plan for these projects there is an explicit focus on working within PCNs, as well as considering projects that can help you develop a portfolio career. Funding will be at the GP00 educator rate (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/gp-and-dental-clinical-educator-pay-scales-2020-to-2021/gp-educator-pay-scale-2020-to-2021)

If you are interested in the Spark GP programme and would be eligible to apply for the 2022/2023 programme, then during Summer 2022 please check back to the Training Hub website for details of how to apply – we will also be advertising via the Gloucester LMC newsletter, Gloucestershire CCG bulletin and we will aim to deliver a teaching session outlining the programme to local ST3s on the VTS programme. If you have any further questions in the meantime, you can contact the Spark team by emailing glccg.sparkgp@nhs.net


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