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New to Practice Fellowship: Mentoring

The New to Practice Fellowship aims to support and encourage newly qualified GPs with their personal and professional development as they make the transition into independent practice. We see our mentoring service as an integral part of this offer.

All fellows are offered up to one hour per month of mentoring and coaching with local experienced GPs who have undertaken specialist training in these skills. Our mentoring scheme follows national guidance set out by NHSE.

The mentoring offered will be flexible to the needs of the fellow and the timing of sessions should be mutually convenient for both mentor and mentee.

We are delighted that the feedback from fellows regarding the mentoring sessions has been excellent and demonstrates how much this service is valued by early career GPs.

Further information for Fellows/Mentees

How will the scheme work?

As you join the New to Practice Fellowship you will be allocated a mentor who will contact you within three weeks. You will arrange a mutually convenient time for your first meeting. Currently this is likely to be in a virtual setting or by telephone. You will be entitled to approximately one hour of mentoring per month, although this is flexible and we envisage that some months you may need more or less time. The mentoring scheme will run for the whole duration of the two-year fellowship.

What sorts of issues would be appropriate to discuss during mentoring?

You can discuss any issues that you feel are useful for you and the idea is that you should find the experience beneficial. For example, it may be helpful to reflect on any recent challenges and/or celebrate your achievements in starting a new role and leaving the training scheme. You might have an issue with a patient or colleague that occurs within your practice and it could be helpful to discuss this with an experienced colleague who is removed from the situation.

We anticipate that some sessions will focus on career discussions including short-term and long-term goals. During your two year fellowship you will have funded and protected time to develop your career and your mentor can assist you by exploring your interests and potentially facilitating connections for you with the support of the Phoenix Programme team.

Is mentoring only for someone who is having difficulties?

No! This is definitely not the case. The New to Practice Fellowship national guidance recommends that all newly qualified GPs are offered mentoring. We firmly believe that mentoring should enhance personal development and wellbeing and therefore not be offered only when someone is struggling.

Is there anything that shouldn’t be discussed?

You should not feel restricted in any issues you wish to raise, however this is not intended to be a similar relationship to that of a GP trainer. It would not be appropriate to discuss a specific patient and ask for acute medical advice for example. However there are many conversations about patients that might be useful and appropriate such as frequent attenders, a complaint or a delayed diagnosis, especially in terms of the broader issues involved.

Who will be my mentor?

We are fortunate to have an enthusiastic and experienced group of mentors who are local GP colleagues from across Nottinghamshire. Our mentors have a broad range of personal experience and career paths and all mentors have undertaken appropriate training for this role.

Can I change my mentor?

We will endeavour to match you to a mentor would will be best placed to support you, however there may be circumstances where you feel that you may wish to change your mentor. You are able to contact the phoenix team by email to discuss this further and any such requests will be dealt with sensitively.

How does this differ to GP-S?

We are lucky in Nottingham to have GP-S, which is an excellent existing coaching and mentoring service, and we are not trying to replace it! Indeed we liaised closely with GP-S when setting up our offer. You are still entitled to the coaching available through GP-S and taking part in our sessions will not alter this. Occasionally we might feel that GP-S or other partner organisations would be better placed to help you. Your mentor would guide you in this as needed and any signposting onwards would be with your consent.

Mentors

Our New to Practice GP mentors are a group of experienced clinicians working across Nottinghamshire. All mentors have undergone training specific to this role. We are not currently recruiting new mentors, however if you might be interested in this role in the future please email us as we can add you to a waiting list and there may be similar opportunities that we can signpost you to.

End of NTP Mentoring: Signposting/Resources for Mentors

  • Early careers GP Facebook group
  • Resilient GP FB group
  • End of N2P peer group WhatsApp?
  • GP-S mentoring/coaching: Free confidential mentoring and signposting service for GPs
  • BMA wellbeing/support – need to be a member.
  • BMA Career: Career progression
  • RCGP mentoring – need to be a member.
  • Looking after you too: NHS England » Looking after you too: Individual free coaching is available with a skilled and experienced coach who will work with you to discuss any area of your wellbeing that you would like to address. Register/book online.
  • Looking after your career: NHS England » Looking after your career: Individual free coaching is available with a skilled and experienced career coach. The aim of the service is to provide an easy to access, individually tailored coaching service that focuses on supporting you with your career choices.
  • Useful links for Performers (from Midlands Appraisal team – several useful links on multiple things).

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