Court Thorn Surgery

Low Hesket, Carlisle, Cumbria, CA4 0HP
Tel: 016974 73548 | Fax: 016974 73781
Dispensary: 016974 73553

Training Practice!

Training Practice ….. What does this mean?

We are a training practice, with Dr Iain Grainger and Dr Maria O’Hare being the approved trainers. As a practice we are involved in training future GP’s (GP Registrars), Foundation Year 2’s (trainee hospital doctors) and medical students.

GP Registrars

Train for a period of 3 years, with 2 years in various hospital posts and 1 year split into 6 month blocks in general practice, usually at the start and end of their 3 year training period. Whilst they are at Court Thorn Surgery they are fully supervised by their assigned GP trainer and are able to see our patients for consultations.

Patients should be aware that as part of the training programme it is necessary that GP registrars discuss patients with their trainer. So this will involve viewing patients medical records held by Court Thorn Surgery.

As part of their training GP registrars also have to record some of their consultations. However patients will be asked for permission in advance if they are happy to take part, at any time patients are able to say “no”, and this will not prejudice the way the consultation is viewed or handled in any way. If you are happy to be recorded the receptionist will ask you to read and sign a consent form, and you will be also asked to sign the same form at the end of your consultation, this will then be scanned into your electronic medical record. At the end of your consultation if you do not wish for the recording to be used, you can state this and the recording will be deleted.


Foundation Year 2

Foundation doctors are trainee hospital doctors (in their second year qualified as a doctor) and are usually with Court Thorn Surgery on a 4 month rotation. Many use this placement as an opportunity to decide whether General Practice is a Specialty that interests them and whether they would consider pursuing further training to become a GP.

It is a very different environment to hospital medicine and requires a number of skills which may not have been developed in a hospital setting. There are also challenges around using different computer systems, requesting test and referrals for further care and having an awareness of local resources which is information you would not come across in secondary care. This is likely to be the first job where they are given the opportunity to consult patients as an independent practitioner and are challenged to make decisions about management and patient care which would usually be expected of Doctors who are further along in their training within a hospital setting. With this in mind it is expected that they will discuss cases with the senior GP who is supervising them either at the time of the consultation or after clinic has finished.

FY2s who are considering undertaking GP Training may also ask to video record patient consultations to use as an educational tool in the setting of a tutorial with Clinical Supervisor (Dr O’Hare) in order to improve consultation skills and learn more advanced consulting techniques which can be used to structure patient encounters and ensure patient safety. The same process for consent will apply as per GP Registrars.

Sometimes the clinical supervisor will ‘sit in’ on consultations to observe first hand a patient encounter in order to give feedback.

Medical Students

Medical students are usually here for a period of 12 weeks. During this time they sit in with a GP to gain an understanding of the GP’s role, disease processes and most importantly how to communicate effectively with patients. As part of their learning the GP may ask them to examine or take a medical history from the patient. At all times the GP will ensure that they are supervised.

At any time if you do not with to have a trainee GP or medical student observing your consultation please feel free to bring this to the attention of the GP or the receptionist. At no time will this decision prejudice your care with us.

5th year students

At the end of each placement, a 5th year student who has been working in another local GP Practice will attend our Practice for an end of placement exam. We will be looking for volunteers who would be happy to be ‘our star patient’ and take part in these assessments. Interesting clinical signs or long term medical conditions would be appropriate. You will be briefed nearer the time but basically this would involve attending the practice and taking part in a consultation where the 5th year student is watched by the Supervisor consulting you. This will form part of their mark for Medical School Final Exams.

This is the first year that Newcastle University Medical School Exams are taking part in Carlisle. Dr O’Hare has trained to assess clinical exams which will be held over 2 days in June. The University are looking to recruit volunteer patients with interesting clinical signs or long term conditions where a good history and appropriate examination could be carried out. Unfortunately they are unable to offer any financial compensation for your time however reasonable travel expenses and refreshments throughout the day will be provided along with the satisfaction that you are contributing to the assessment of Doctors of the Future and helping to determine whether they are safe to become Junior Doctors working in the Hospital or Community.

For the exams, we are looking for any patients with good signs or good histories who would be prepared to attend the Cumberland Infirmary on 4th or 5th June. If you are willing to help out then please pass your names to Dr O’Hare who will contact the University to express your interest. If deemed suitable, you will then be contacted and told everything you need to know, and ascertain whether they remain happy to act as patients in the Finals.

Work Experience

Sixth Form Students, Nursing Students, University Students and Post-Graduate Students may also spend time with the Clinical Team purely in an observation role to learn more about working in General Practice and access to Careers in Medicine and associated disciplines. They are all bound by the same confidentiality rules as all of the staff within the surgery.