From July this year, the national flexible training scheme will be extended and open to all trainees – excluding first year BST. There are currently 33 places on the national flexible training scheme and all the places have been taken up, according to the HSE. This includes 32 HSE-National Doctors Training & Planning (NDTP) funded supernumerary places, and this year there is also one GP Registrar funded by Primary Care.
Up until the July 2015 intake, the National Flexible Training Scheme was open to Higher Specialist Trainees and streamlined trainees in year 3 and above (HST/ST3 ‐ 8). The scheme comes under the National Doctors Training & Planning section of the HSE. As of July 2016, the number of whole time equivalent funded places available on the scheme increased from 12 to 16. As a result, the number of trainees engaged in the scheme at any given time increased from 24 to a maximum of 32. Flexible training posts will be assigned for the period July to July each year, in line with the training year. According to the ‘Flexible Training Policy 2017’, participation on the flexible training scheme will be restricted to a maximum of two years and will only be extended by NDTP in exceptional circumstances. This is to provide as many trainees as possible with the option to train flexibly. Funding is provided by NDTP directly to the employing authority for each flexible trainee on the Scheme. The funding provided cover, flexible trainee’s salary and associated employer’s PRSI.