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May we take this opportunity to welcome you to the Durham & Tees Valley GP Training Programme, known locally as the BFP (Big Friendly Programme).

Programme Background

We pride ourselves on the fact that our programmes give general practice experience in the first year. Our registrars have found that early exposure to general practice improved the learning experience by focussing on the specific skills and knowledge that transfer into general practice from their hospital posts.

Our standard programme comprises:

  • First year - 6 months GP followed by 6 months hospital post
    (half of the programmes are the mirror image of this)
  • Second year is spent in hospital posts
  • Final year 12 months general practice

The final 12 months in general practice allows ample time to prepare for mandatory assessments, in particular the Consulting Skills Assessment (CSA) and allows for seamless transition into your professional working life.

The half day release teaching (HDR) sessions programme is mapped to the curriculum and is provided throughout the three years. This allows weekly networking and support from your peers, in addition to the taught programme. The registrars particularly value this continuity ?the ability to share and discuss with their colleagues, especially during their hospital posts.

We have developed a system which aims to pick up registrars facing challenges in their progress through the programme allowing supportive intervention at the earliest opportunity.

We have an enthusiastic group of trainers, the majority of which were former registrars on this programme themselves and most of which teach on the half day release programme. Most practices in the area approach the programme direct when looking to fill practice vacancies.

Topics in the half day release are timed to best suit your needs, e.g. early in your final year focus on preparation for the CSA exam; in the final six months topics preparing you for transition into GP land, such as:

  • GP appraisal
  • Interview techniques
  • Negotiating

We have an established active registrar forum which allows your input and ideas into the programme. A social night is held monthly by the registrars.

Our Programme boundary reaches just over the top of Durham in the North, across to Darlington in the West, down to Loftus and Saltburn (North York Moors) in the South, with the North Sea limiting our expansion eastwards. Due to the excellent road network the travelling distances are often shorter than perceived, in particular with regard to the northern aspect of our patch.

The Durham & Tees Valley Programme is based in a purpose built wing of the Wolfson Building at Durham University's Queen’s Campus, which provides state of the art teaching facilities for the GP Training Programme.

This will allow us to develop further our academic working relationship and add to our existing academic posts.

Page last updated: 10 December, 2015