Doctors who have had a period of time away form work may be advised to devise a back to work plan, to ensure that they are well-supported in the workplace. NCAS provide some useful guidance to doctors on this subject: NCAS Guidance on Return to Work Plans.
A structured back to work plan needs to be worked out with precision, with someone involved who can offer supervision on return to work, someone who knows the area of practice that the doctor will be working in, so that they can provide guidance and mentorship that is up to date and credible.
There need to be good clinical governance arrangements in place. For junior doctors this may be fairly straightforward, if they go into a supportive NHS or private environment. However, where the practitioner is a senior doctor, or works in isolation (such as a single-handed GP) there may be difficulties in organising such a plan.
NCAS has some guidance and template return to work plans on its webpages.
A doctor who devises a back to work plan will need to set clear objectives, milestones, and identify how set-goals will be met and evidenced to be signed off as completed. A doctor will need to evidence personal learning and achievements.
This might be connected with general competence, personal boundaries, probity, updating or forward planning of career. You need to personally evaluate progress and achievement and have a mentor/supervisor who can confirm that you have met your goals. They may also suggest further learning and identify weaknesses that can be added to the list.
Having support from a registered medical practitioner in the same speciality is really a minimum requirement if the back to work plan is to have any credence.
For further information or assistance in devising a Back to Work Plan or Return to Work Plan, contact Doctors Defence Service on 0800 10 88 739
GPs may find the following webpage to be helpful: NHS Return to Work Plans for GPs
[This webpage is in early development and will be added to in due course. June 2016.]