About Primary Care Department

The Primary Care Department is an integral part of HEE Kent, Surrey and Sussex (KSS). The region is a densely populated part of the South East benefiting from close proximity to London, good rail links and several areas of natural beauty including a long and ever-changing coastline.

Although the main role of the Primary Care Department is to support the recruitment and retention of doctors in general practice, it also has an active and vigorous part to play in many of the processes that support primary care, particularly those of continuing professional development. To that end it has established strong links with local primary care organisations, and educational providers across KSS.

Structure of the GP School

HEE KSS GP School covers the geographical areas of Kent, Surrey and Sussex looking after a population of 4.2 million; served by 4,000 GPs, 20 Clinical Commissioning Groups, 11 Acute Hospital Trusts and four Mental Health Trusts.

There are 11 GP Specialty Training Programmes (formerly Vocational Training Schemes) in the GP School supported by over 50 GP Specialty Training Programme Directors. There are nearly 500 GP Trainers within the GP School, who at any one time are supporting about 800 GP Specialty trainees in both their hospital and GP placements. Each county is supported by two Patch Associate GP Deans.

Professor Graeme Dewhurst oversees the GP School as Postgraduate Dean for HEE KSS, he is directly supported by Professor Christopher Warwick, Primary Care Dean and Deputy Postgraduate Dean. Dr Liz Norris is Head of GP School and Deputy Primary Care Dean.

The GP Specialty Training Programmes are individual geographically based subsets of the GP School. In their configuration, some of these reflect the change in organisation of the local Acute Hospital Trusts and are thus larger than others, but many Programmes have increasingly close working relationships with their neighbours.

Support structure

GP Specialty trainees have the support of a Clinical Supervisor during their hospital attachments and also have an Educational Supervisor. The Clinical Supervisor will ensure that appropriate clinical experience is available for trainees, congruent with the developmental needs of the trainee with reference to the GP curriculum and patient safety. They will also be responsible for supervising workplace-based assessments and ensuring trainees are able to get these effectively organised. The Educational Supervisor will facilitate meetings with trainees for whom they are responsible and support their learning and development and assessments in line with the GP curriculum. Educational Supervisors are qualified GP Trainers.

GP placements are undertaken in practices approved for GP training purposes. In a similar way to hospital placements, trainees will be supported by both a Clinical Supervisor and an Educational Supervisor. However, if they are attached to a practice that has one or more GP Trainers, the Trainer will undertake both roles. If the attachment is in a practice that has GPs trained for the role of Clinical Supervisor, the Educational Supervisor can be a GP Trainer in a nearby practice.

Each GP Training Programme will be supported by a Local Faculty Group (LFG). LFGs are chaired by the Patch Associate GP Dean and has membership drawn from local GP Educational Supervisors, GP Training Programme Directors and trainee representatives.

Primary care team

Professor Warwick and Dr Norris lead a team of Associate Deans who are a group of working GPs with an interest and qualifications in primary care education and its management.

The departments structure is responsive to the needs of today’s general practice education and offers opportunities for all team members to work towards their aspirations and full potential.

To find out more about their roles please visit Our team webpage.

We would be pleased to hear your views on the primary care website and would also like to hear from you if you feel there are areas we should improve on or have missed. Please email the CPD team.