East Cumbria GPR Buddy Scheme
We recognise that starting GP training may present new GPStRs with several challenges, for example: moving to a new area, working in a different environment and taking on a different role. A Buddy Scheme was set up to offer all new GPStRs joining the programme the opportunity for some peer support.
How the scheme works:
- Members of the ST2 and ST3 groups volunteer to be buddies.
- Each member of the new ST1 intake is allocated a buddy.
This is done randomly by the person organising the programme.
- An email containing contact details is sent to each ST1 and their buddy before the start.
- Everyone is asked to confirm receipt of the email and check that their contact details are correct.
To make sure that the email has got to you and the contact details are correct.
- Either party can make first contact but the onus is on buddy to make contact within the first month.
- The first meeting (and any subsequent meetings) is arranged between the ST1 and their buddy (preferably somewhere quiet and free of interruptions, where both parties feel comfortable).
Principles of the Buddy Scheme:
The scheme is voluntary.
Those in ST2 and ST3 are given the opportunity to volunteer to be buddies. There is no pressure to become a buddy.
New GPStRs are not obliged to take part in the buddy scheme. Each GPStR is assigned a buddy in order to give them the opportunity to take part in the scheme, however, there is no requirement to meet or take part.
The scheme is confidential.
Other than allocating buddies to ST1s, there is no central organisation. Meetings are arranged privately between the buddy and ST1. There is no requirement for either party to give feedback on the sessions to any other party.
The programme asks that both parties discuss confidentiality at the first meeting.
Things you may want to discuss at the first meeting:
- expectations (what the buddy scheme is and what it is not)
- ethical issues
- housekeeping (when, where, how often etc for any future meetings)
- any issues that the ST1 may have
How often to meet?
This is very much up to you to decide between you. The feedback from previous years has shown that some people don’t feel they want or need to meet their buddy at all, whilst others arranged to meet between 1 and 3 times over the first 6 months.
We hope that the Buddy Scheme works really well for you and that you don’t have any problems with it. However, we realise that there are circumstances where things don’t always go to plan. If you are finding that you are having problems with the Buddy Scheme and would like to discuss them in confidence, please any of the Training Programme Directors.
We are keen to evaluate it to see what is working well and what we could improve. We will invite you to give us feedback about the scheme after 6 months.