Supported Return to Training (SuppoRTT)

Below is guidance directed at anaesthetists in training returning to work after a career break.


Supported Return to Training (SuppoRTT)


HEE has developed SuppoRTT (supported return to training) to improve the return-to-work experience of post-graduate doctors. Access to SuppoRTT is available to all trainees in the West Midlands who are planning to take, or are already on, an approved period out of training, usually for a minimum of 3 months' duration. In some circumstances, trainees with an absence of less than 3 months' duration may benefit from accessing SuppoRTT and these should be looked at on a case-by-case basis.

SuppoRTT Process


Trainees are encouraged to complete these forms when planning time away from training and prior to return. The aim is for a trainee to identify any support that may be required. The forms should now be completed electronically:

  1. Complete 'Planning Your Leave Form'
    This should be completed with the TPD (Zoe Huish) approximately 3 months prior to your anticipated planned leave date. If the absence is unplanned you should aim to complete it at the earliest opportunity following the start of your leave period.
  2. Complete 'Planning Your Return Form'
    This should be completed approximately 3 months prior to your anticipated return date. If this is not possible, you should aim to complete it at the earliest opportunity
  3. Complete the 'Reviewing Your Return Form'
    It is advised that this is completed approximately 2 weeks after your return. All steps in this process should be completed collaboratively between the trainee and their ES/College Tutor


SuppoRTT Activities to consider:


KiT/SPLIT days:

Return to work courses can be extremely helpful for refreshing clinical skills and boosting confidence. You are entitled to 10 KiT/SPLIT days during parental leave and can claim pay for these days. Dr Nicky Osborn (RCoA regional advisor) runs a return-to-work course 3 times a year. The course is free and always gets excellent feedback. 


Please contact Dr Osborn to find out when the next one is and to book your place - 


There are also courses run by the RCOA. More information on this page:


Trainees must follow their employer's expense process in order to claim reimbursement for SuppoRTT activities; a copy of the 'course approval request form' below must be submitted with the claim. Only activities that have been prospectively approved by the ES/TPD/College Tutor are eligible for reimbursement and these should all be documented on the 'Planning Your Return Form'. 

Through SuppoRTT employers can claim reimbursement. Employers must complete the SuppoRTT Reimbursement Form below and email it to on a quarterly basis for reimbursement which will be made through the Learning and Development Agreement (LDA) on a quarterly basis.


Enhanced Supervision:

You are entitled to a period of enhanced supervision of 10 NWDs (or 20 sessions) upon returning to work. This should take place in different clinical environments to ensure you get a varied experience. Speak to your ES or CT prior to your return to plan your supernumerary period.


You should not be asked to work unsupervised or cover on-calls solo during this period (unless you wish to). Trainees are encouraged to contact their TPD if they are not being offered this minimum period of enhanced supervision.


During the ‘reviewing your return meeting’ you should discuss with you supervisor whether you feel ready to restart on-calls. Every trainee’s needs will be different depending on the length of their absence and their stage of training etc.


Additional Support:

Returning to work after a prolonged absence is a stressful time. Formal mentoring is available through the BSA. There is also the option of requesting a buddy at any time once you know you will be undertaking a period of leave – you will be paired with someone who has already gone through the return-to-work process and if possible, placed in the same hospital as you. They can act as a link to work/training while you are off as well as guiding you through your return to work.


Here is the link to request a buddy


SuppoRTT Representatives:

You can also seek advice from our SuppoRTT reps – Beth Lewis and Sarah Dunn at




SuppoRRT Guidance Document
Supported Return to Training - West Midlands Guidance
SuppoRTT Guidance.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [150.9 KB]
Course Approval Request Form
Course Approval Request Form.docx
Microsoft Word document [401.8 KB]
SuppoRRT Reimbursement Template
Employers must complete this SuppoRTT Reimbursement Form and email it to on a quarterly basis for reimbursement
SuppoRRT Reimbursement Template.xlsx
Microsoft Excel sheet [45.1 KB]

RCOA Information

The RCOA have also published information and guidance for anaesthetists who have had a career break (for whatever reason).



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