Teaching and learning

A teaching practice

What does being a GP teaching practice mean?

Health Education England approved Hiyos as a GP teaching (or often called GP training) practice in 2020. But what does that mean? It means that Hiyos practice can train up new GPs! Those are GPs who have done all of their academic training and have qualified, but need to spend time in a practice ‘on the ground’. Our GP trainers supervise and mentor them.

Why do we do it?

We do it because the NHS needs more GPs! That’s the obvious answer. But actually there are plenty more reasons. Firstly, there are more clinicians on hand to help with patients. Secondly, it helps the practice constantly examine its processes, keeping it relevant and ‘fresh’. Lastly, guiding and supporting people in their NHS careers is one of our top priorities as a practice. You can read our views on the importance of healthy employment on other parts of this site.

Who benefits?

When young keen clinicians who have just completed rigorous academic training mix with highly experienced doctors who have a different perspective on things, everyone wins. Patients receive the same high quality of care – GP registrars are heavily supervised by our GPs. There is also more availability of appointments, meaning that help is more accessible to all. GP registrars benefit by getting a diverse and stimulating start to their medical careers. We often offer them a full time job at the end of their training. Our GP trainers benefit by being able to flex their ‘teaching muscle’. It makes them more reflective about their own work, adds enjoyment and reduces the risk of ‘burnout’.

Everyone wins

Patients – high quality care, more availability

Trainees – career prospects and skill development

Trainers – career progression, enhancement of skills


Firstly, those clinicians who are learning… but not only GP registrars! (otherwise known as GP trainees). Although we have recently been designated as a training practice, which means we can train GP registrars, we’ve been training other disciplines, such as nurses, physician associates and clinical pharmacists for a while.

Take a look at what Rowena De La Rama, our in-house trained Physician Associate, has to say about her journey with us.

Secondly of course there are those GPs who are teaching! But of course, there are many more players involved in the teaching of fledgling clinicians. As they say, it takes a village…

Creating a learning environment

The practice collaborates with staff, patients and external stakeholders including Health Education England (HEE), Hounslow CCG, Imperial College, Brunel University, St George’s University of London, LMP Education and MDU External Training to develop knowledge, understanding and skills within the primary care setting.

And this learning environment is integral to the ongoing training and development of all current staff, not just those on designated training plans.


So what happens behind the scenes to support staff learning?

Training and development plans are devised for all staff annually and appraisals are undertaken quarterly whereby individual learning is monitored and supported.  Many of our staff are involved with training and development in a dual capacity assisting with mentoring and supervising other colleagues.  This lends itself to creating a nurturing environment whereby learning, teaching, collaborating and innovation are at the centre of the practice and create cohesion. 

Staff are also regularly invited and supported to undertake training to develop and progress their careers within the primary care setting.  We find that this approach facilitates greater cohesion and collaboration between staff.  Currently, one of Care Navigators who is also qualified as a Phlebotomist has been provided opportunities to train with our HCA and Phlebotomist. 

We recognise that success in providing patient centred care is founded on continued learning, development and innovation. 

Happily, our Physician Associates Rowena De La Rama, who undertook her clinical student placement with us and joined on qualification, working in teaching as Physician Associate Ambassador for HEE and now works for the Primary Care Network (PCN). This role will involve mentoring, training and supporting the career development of other Physician Associates. Success breeds success!

Training events

We hold frequent training events for staff at the practice hosted both by internal and external speakers. Just some of the wide range of topics we cover by those are:

  • Record Keeping
  • Dealing with difficult patients
  • Mindfulness
  • E consultations
  • Video consultations utilising AccuRx
  • How to deliver webinars
Away days

Additionally, we hold staff away days regularly to provide an opportunity for all staff to meet and collaboratively discuss challenges facing the practice and or patients with a view to finding new and innovative solutions.  We tailor these away days to provide bespoke training and they serve as a platform for our multi-disciplinary team to work across a broad range of topics and deliver patient-centred outcomes.

Staff are also provided with and involved with creating online training videos which provide step by step guide to every aspect of relevant routine process and procedures.


Patient Feedback



How do we learn?

Patient Feedback, Surveys and Complaints form the basis of learning and development and we share and discuss them. Below are samples of a few patient surveys and the outcomes: 

Survey success

Here are some snippets of surveys we have learned from in recent years…

  1. Telephone Service Survey – following feedback a new telephone system was implemented by the practice which has led to shorter waiting times, triaging appropriately where advice or request is dealt with in ‘real time in adherence to new and improved internal SLA’s.
  2. Community Pharmacist Survey– following the feedback from this survey we now have a clinical pharmacist
  3. Patient Communication Survey – in response to Covid-19 we carried out a survey to see the patient’s preferred method of reciprocal communication platform.  As a consequence patients can now reach us on all platforms, and we even have a chatbot.

Giving back

One thing we have learned over the years when doing surveys to see what patients think of different issues, is that it is SO important to give back to them.  That involves not only making changes in the practice to give patients what they have asked for, but also keeping them updated along the way. What’s the point of filling out a survey and not knowing the results? That you were part of the solution, that you have changed things yourself by communicating with us. So we always summarise the results of surveys and let patients know just how valuable their feedback is to us. Take a look at some examples.

(Ignore that we used to call ourselves Firstcare!)