Welcome to the Barnsley VTS website!  Although primarily intended for GP trainees on the Barnsley GP Training Scheme we are more than happy for you to have a look round.


STUDY LEAVE – please note that as of August 2018 all study leave requests are now processed and managed by Barnsley Hospital.  Study leave forms can be found under the “practical links” section on the right hand side of this page..


SUPPORT FOR TRAINEES – We would strongly encourage any trainees experiencing difficulties to talk to your Clinical Supervisor, Educational Supervisor or one of the Programme Directors.  The deanery has also recently launched a Life Coaching scheme which is open to all trainees within the deanery.  Further information about what support services are available came be found here.



We (the TPDs) attended a meeting hosted by the Deanery regarding the topic of leadership as part of the GP training.  A number of questions were raised: what is leadership, why should we be looking at leadership and how are we/could we incorporate leadership into our training programmes?  The deanery has been looking at leadership in detail over recent months and now have webpage with useful tips and links.  There was a general concensus that we do not always recognise that what we are teaching on the half day release is indeed related to leadership.  It was also apparent, after listening to the First5 GPs who spoke at the meeting, that very few of us think that we are “leaders” – even though as part of our day to day job as GPs we need numerous leadership skills in order to function effectively.


There is no way of doing justice to the topic of leadership in such a short post, however, if you are interested and wanted to find out more there a number of websites which are worth checking out such as the NHS Leadership Academy, the RCGP and the London Leadership Academy toolkit.



Prescription and Over the Counter Medication Addiction

Addiction to prescription medication and over the counter medicines has a significant effect on patients’ lives and can present a challenging clinical scenario for GPs.  Although it is not always as obvious as other forms of addiction, for example, to illegal drugs such as heroin or cocaine, it probably affects much larger numbers of patients.  There are two links to Radio 4 programmes which are both very interesting.


The first programme focuses on the role of the GP – I will leave it to you decide whether or not it accurately reflects what we as GPs are really thinking and doing.  The second programme looks at how over the counter medications can lead to very severe addiction problems.  If you are looking for practical, hands-on clinical advice the RCGP have a section on their website dedicated to the above problems – see the factsheets at the bottom of the page.



Le Tour Legacy

wp_20140903_005A big thank you to everyone who turned up today for the team building on the Pennine Trail.  It was definetely a good way to get to know some of you new (and older) trainees better and it definetely beat being on the wards or stuck in Surgery.  The photos have been uploaded to the gallery – that shade of pink really suits you Chris!  Finally, thank you very much Helen for arranging and organising the afternoon.





NICE have just released their updated guidelines on lipid modification for both primary and secondary care.  These have led to a lot of debate about the pros and cons of reducing the threshold for starting statins in patients with a cardiovascular risk of 20% to 10%.  It may also have ramifications in terms of workload for general practice in terms of monitoring statin use.


Health Education England have also just released their report on how to shore up the falling numbers of GPs.  The report focuses on the shift of hospital training jobs to general practice, although how this work when current GP training vacancies are underfilled is yet to be seen.


Finally, there was an excellent Radio 4 programme on assisted dying. There is currently a bill going through the House of Lords and the debate on Radio 4 is very thought provoking, especially as caring for dying patients forms such an important part of a GP’s daily work.