Brief Guide to Less Than Full Time (LTFT) training and returning to work for Psychiatry Trainees


This brief guide is aimed predominantly at those considering going Less Than Full Time (LTFT) and contains some information for those returning to work following parental leave (P/L), an Out Of Programme (OOP) experience or sick leave.


Some of this information has been gained by attending UHB's Less Than Full Time (LTFT)/ Return To Work (RTW) Conference. If you are interested in attending potential future boot camps, try emailing:


Please note that we are currently awaiting the development of an App that shall contain national and local information for those returning to training. The company creating the app for UHB are currently keen to hear from anyone who has returned to medicine following an absence:


In the interim, we have written this brief updated local guide and created a workplace group (Severn Deanery- LTFT Psychiatry Trainees) to share ideas, queries and notify trainees of our LTFT events and networking days. Please contact a LTFT rep to be added to the workplace group or if you want to ask a question more directly.




Pre OOP or Leave:


  • Contact your Training Programme Director (TPD) e.g. Linda Heaney for core trainee.
  • Contact the SuppoRTT Champion for your trust (Consultant psychiatrists, appointed to formally support trainees returning from work).


Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust 

Dr Charlotte Boyer-Millar, SuppoRTT Champion for AWP


2gether NHS Foundation Trust 

Dr Sarah Greef, SuppoRTT Champion for 2gether

or Sarah Greef


Somerset Partnership / Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust

Dr Stephen Harris , SuppoRTT Champion for Somerset 


  • When LTFT training is approved through the usual processes, it will be agreed at 60% of full time (FT) hours. What this means is that trainees will expect to work 3 days a week, although within some programmes it is possible to arrange to spread the hours over more days. This can be negotiated with individual educational supervisors who will know what working patterns will help the trainee to get the most out of their training time. Out of hours commitments should be pro-rata. ‘Slot-shares’ between two LFT trainees working at 60% can sometimes be negotiated through your TPD. LTFT training at 80% can at times be negotiated with the TPD, however it is dependent on vacancies, subject to review and can be reverted back to 60% with notice.





  • Contact medical indemnity/BMA/ Royal College of psychiatry, you may be entitled to reductions or to ‘pause’ membership whilst on leave.



If pregnant;

  • You shall need to meet with your clinical supervisor to carry out a risk assessment and adjust your duties and safeguards accordingly (this often includes accommodations such as, avoiding lone working, removing you from the on call rota, +/- appropriate replacement duties, whilst remaining on the same pay).
  • You will need to provide HR with a MatB1 form from your midwife, you shall need to give an estimated date of starting your parental leave. You need to be aware of maternity policies re leave and pay e.g. that if you go on sick leave after 36 weeks of pregnancy, your maternity leave automatically starts. AWP’s can be found on Ourspace.     http://ourspace/staffservices/HR/Maternity/Pages/Home.aspx



During OOP or Leave:


  • Liaise with your TPD/deanery/HR re returning to work.
  • Ensure you arrange any keeping in touch (KIT) days to happen before using your accrued annual leave (you are usually entitled to 10 paid days in agreement with your supervisor.) You can use these for meetings, shadowing and training days for example. If you do clinical days, you need to consider if you need to get one off cover for KIT days from the Medical Defence Union (MDU) for example.
  • Ensure that you confirm with HR and TPD, using your accrued annual leave/accrued study leave and accrued study budget whilst on leave.
  • Discuss with HR and TPD (and if known, with your clinical supervisor) the possibility of a gradual return to work (possibly using annual leave) and gradual resumption of duties, for example whether you can delay returning to the on call rota or period of time you shall practice under direct supervision.
  • Ensure the rota co-ordinator is aware that you are LTFT and ask to receive the rota and adjust to the appropriate percentage (HR can give you a breakdown of the appropriate number of on calls for your percentage LTFT).
  • You should be given notification of your post 12 weeks prior to returning.
  • You should be given an on call rota 6 weeks prior to returning.
  • If applicable, explore childcare options, how graduated it should be and financial impact, there have been different child care schemes at present to choose from (CCV/Child Care Vouchers was done before tax and was closed to new applicants in October 2018 and is now replaced by the new government scheme).


Further information can be found at;



After OOP or Leave:


  • Complete a risk assessment and send to HR.
  • Continue to communicate with your supervisor how returning to work is going.
  • Consider ‘Imposter Syndrome’ and whether it reflects how you are feeling or if you may need support around it.
  •  Inform HR and your medical indemnity when you change training grade.
  •  Consider making contact with other LTFT trainees via your rep if preferred.
  • Study leave, annual leave and bank holidays are usually done on a pro rata basis.
  • Although ARCPs remain annual, the amount of competencies and WPBAs expected during that year, are less than that for full time (pro rata). For example psychotherapy, academic meetings, research and audit, teaching could be done in blocks, so that you would not be expected to do all 3 continually throughout the year but meet different competencies in different posts. It would be likely that approximately 2/3 of your work time would be spent doing your ‘day job’ and the other third, meeting other competencies e.g. psychotherapy.
  • Posts’ duration can on occasion be extended to fit better with your return to work date or in order to gain adequate experience (liaise with your TPD).
  • Remember the percentage you work can sometimes be adjusted in liaison with your TPD to meet your needs, if practicable.
  • Be aware of parental leave and for what purpose it can be taken.



Written by Juliet Cartwright (Core Trainee LTFT Rep)


Please let me know if there is anything you feel would be helpful to add or amend.