Less Than Full Time (LTFT) working
It is possible to work less than full time from any point from the start of your foundation program on-wards throughout the rest of your training and career. When training, you will have to complete the ‘full time equivalent’ of the minimum training term. So for foundation program, you are required to work for 2 years full time equivalent. So at full time, this takes 2 years. Working at 50% full time hours, this would take 4 years
If working LTFT is necessary because of your condition then seeking occupational health’s support of this and getting this documented in a letter that you keep a copy of is very helpful in supporting your application.
If undertaking on calls and/or night shifts becomes too difficult/dangerous due to your condition or disability then it is possible to apply for supernumerary funding. This means that you would be supernumerary to the usual core clinical team so would not be relied upon as part of rotared on calls or night shift working
Supernumerary funding can be difficult to be awarded because the money for this is very limited. However, each deanery does have a fund for this and, if you fulfill criteria for needing this award, you should make sure that you are allocated it. Again, seeking occupational health support in this matter can only strengthen your application
The only other consideration when supernumerary working is needed is whether or not you are able to complete all of the required competencies as a supernumerary doctor. This very much depends upon the stage of your training and consequently what competencies are required of you. It may be possible to overcome this by working supernumerary for the majority of your post but making specific arrangements to accompany a colleague on a small number of on calls or night shifts. This may not be ideal but may be a compromise that allows you to work safely within your limitations during the majority of the post but complete those competencies which can only be completed out of hours or by undertaking acute on call duties. However, if you are not solely relied upon during those times by accompanying a colleague then if you need to rest, take a break or opt out of a specific task/procedure/clinical area this can still be done safely to safeguard you without impacting upon patient care and safety
If a ‘job share’ is offered as an alternative then be aware this is NOT the same as being supernumerary. A job share when you and a colleague share a full time post between you, each taking an agreed percentage of a full time post but usually 50/50, means that you will still be required to undertake all responsibilities of a full time job including on calls and nights but that you only have to fulfill your percentage of them
It may be helpful to refer to Chapter 5, page 87 of Welcomed & Valued: Less than full time training