The HSST programme was established as a full-time programme. Entry to the programme on a part-time basis is strongly discouraged due to the timelines for completion. However there are circumstances recognised where there may be a perceived need for a move to part-time working or a period of extended leave from the programme. In all cases it is necessary for the trainee to be aware of their local Trust employment policies and to initiate discussions with their employer, the local commissioner and the HEI who are the final arbiters of such arrangements.
HSST trainees who are considering submitting an application for either part-time working or for extended leave are also required to inform the School of this matter at the earliest opportunity.
In the specific case of statutory maternity leave NHS employees are entitled to up to 52 weeks of leave. Employing Trusts will have their own specific policies however in general these are governed by the standard NHS terms and conditions as described by NHS Employers.
The timing of maternity leave with respect to annual performance review, academic examinations and formal completion of the programme complicate the issue. The School will adjust the deadlines for completion of workplace-based assessments to take account of this proportionately.
HSST trainees seeking an allowance for any extended leave, including maternity leave, or part-time working are required to contact the School as soon as possible to discuss and agree an appropriate time line for completion of the programme. Furthermore, any planned leave from the programme, including maternity leave, will require a written review plan, written by the trainer with the trainee and submitted to the NSHCS/HEE local office to be signed off with agreed timelines to ensure any mitigation of risks are identified.
In summary all such arrangements require that trainees:
- Seek agreement with their employer and HEE local office;
- Need to be aware of and follow local Trust policies and procedures;
- Contact the local HEE office to make arrangements for any changes (deferment) to the training allowance payments;
- Agree with MAHSE in respect of completion of the academic components of the programme.
Please note that similar guidelines would be enacted for other forms of statutory leave e.g. paternity leave.