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Navigating Medical Job Planning in the NHS - 10 Top Questions Answered!

If you’ve stumbled upon this post, you’re probably curious about Medical Job Planning in the NHS. Perhaps you’ve heard the term thrown around and are wondering what the fuss is all about? Let’s dive into it, shall we?

1 - What is a Job Plan in the NHS?

First things first. A Job Plan is like your personal treasure map to a smooth sailing career within the NHS. It’s an agreement that outlines a doctor’s duties, responsibilities, and objectives for the coming year. And, guess what? It also spells out the support you’ll be getting from your employer. So, it’s not just a timetable; it’s the blueprint of how you’ll make a difference in patient care.

2 - Who needs to have a Job Plan in place?

If you’re a consultant or specialty doctor in the NHS, a job plan is your superhero cape. It’s essential whether you’re full-time, part-time, or a locum staff member. The job plan is a part of your contract and it gets reviewed annually - so you can tweak it as needed.

3 - Who else is involved in the Job Planning process?

It’s not just you, dear doctor. Your manager gets to have a say too. Depending on your organisation, you might also see clinical directors or lead clinicians jumping into the mix.

4 - So, what is included in a Job Planning template?

A Job Planning template is like your favourite recipe card. It has a structured format for jotting down your roles, responsibilities, and objectives. And it helps you allocate your precious time for each task. Super handy!

5 - What are DCC and SPA, and how many do I need?

DCC stands for Direct Clinical Care, which includes all the time you spend face-to-face with patients. SPA (Supporting Professional Activities) includes behind-the-scenes work like teaching or management. A typical full-timer will have 7.5 Programmed Activities (PAs) of DCC and 2.5 PAs of SPA. But, like a custom-tailored suit, this might vary based on your unique style such as service needs and responsibilities.

6 - Speaking of Programmed Activities (PAs), how do you calculate those?

Think of Programmed Activities as currency. One PA is equal to four hours of activity (from Monday to Friday, between 7am and 7pm). Outside of these hours, it’s three hours of activity. To calculate your PAs for the year, just multiply your weekly PAs by the number of weeks in the year. Don’t forget to adjust for holidays and leaves!

7 - Team Job Planning vs. Individual Medical Job Planning.. what's the difference?

Team Job Planning is like organising a family buffet – everyone is bringing something to the table. It’s about the whole team’s responsibilities and ensuring that the service needs are met. Individual Medical Job Planning is more like making your own sandwich - it’s just about your roles and responsibilities. We have lots more information available about Team Job Planning or search our blog posts using the term ‘workforce’ for more.

8 - What are hot weeks? Do they involve sunscreen?

Not quite! A hot week is when you’re on-call. This means you’ve got to be ready to swoop in for emergencies and unexpected patient care needs. Keep your cape…err… phone handy!

9 - How do you annualise events?

Annualising is spreading out the workload of activities over the year. It’s like stretching out pizza dough – the goal is to make it even. For example, if you do ten clinics in a month, you’d annualise it by multiplying by 12, and then spreading that over your yearly job plan.

10 - What if your Job Plan needs a makeover?

Job plans can be reviewed and renegotiated. If your job plan isn’t fitting like that comfy pair of scrubs, talk to your manager. The goal is for your job plan to be a living document that evolves with your needs and the needs of the NHS.

So, there you have it – a crash course in NHS Medical Job Planning. Now go forth and plan like a pro or get in touch for more info!