Phase 1 medicine placements supervisor information

This page gives all the information you need for year one and year two (or phase one) primary care placements.

In this phase the focus is on exposure to primary care and the multidisciplinary team. During the placements, students will expect some face-to-face teaching and shadowing opportunities.

These do not need to be delivered on every occasion by the named educator. To broaden the students' experience, we encourage other members of the primary care team to deliver these. For example, this could be the nurse practitioner or practice manager.

Introduction into practice

To orientate students to the practice team and practice areas. This includes student safety and clarifying learning outcomes for the placement.

Practicing phase 1 clinical skills during placement

Please see the table below.

Category A Can be practiced without direct supervision

Category B Can be practiced under direct supervision only

Category C Can be practiced under direct supervision only and only after the teaching session has been completed and the student has passed their Directly Observed Practical Skills (DOPS) assessment in the lab.

Frequently asked questions

The programme is designed to be a systems-based, basic science focussed a curriculum.

The students are taught communication skills based on the Calgary–Cambridge Framework. They are taught clinical skills, covering cardiovascular, respiratory and abdominal system examination.

The clinical skills areas covered are below. Please note there have been some changes so this is an updated list on previous academic years.

By the time of the placements, students should be able to:

  • Prove an understanding of the principles of infection control.
  • Show the skill of hand washing.
  • Show awareness of the correct procedure for the safe disposal of sharps.
  • Show awareness of the correct procedure to be taken in the event of a needle stick injury.
  • Measure and record the following:
    • Radial pulse rate
    • Blood pressure
    • Body temperatured. Height and weight and calculate BMI.
  • Perform and analyse the following investigations:
    • Urinalysis
    • ECG.

Portfolio ‘Pebble Pad’

All students have an e-portfolio using a software platform called Pebble Pad. This can be accessed via their tablets or on any PC with access to the web. Students go out on primary care placement, in the second semester of year one. At this point they are already conversant with the portfolio system and its contents.

Each student has a designated portfolio tutor for the year. The tutor will regularly read their entries and provides constructive feedback. The portfolio is part of the formal assessment of the course and is assessed both formatively at mid-year and summatively at year end.

Students are encouraged to share their portfolio with you as their GP Tutor, although this is not mandatory. GP Tutors do not have direct access into the portfolio system. If a student wishes to share theirs with you the best way is to sit down together and to show you round their portfolio.

There are several phase one portfolio inclusions relevant to the Primary Care elements of the course which are detailed below. It is not the responsibility of the GP Tutor to assess or provide feedback on portfolio pieces created during placements. But informal advice and constructive criticism is always welcomed.

Placement completion e-Form

You should fill out the e-form when the student has completed their placement to a satisfactory standard. For example, related to attendance, punctuality and engagement.

The student will complete a brief reflective element about their time on placement. They will, ideally, complete this on their pebble pad with you on their final day of placement. Or if this is not possible, send you the form to finalise.

You will get an email with a link:

  • Click on ‘Finalise’ (bottom right of the e-form).
  • ‘Complete’ (follow the prompts of the pop-up window).

Please make sure you complete this within 1-2 weeks. The student is unable to progress into the following year without it.

Overview of topics covered in phase one

Clinical skills

  • Consent and use of simulated spaces
  • Infection control including hand washing
  • Fundamental healthcare skills (vital signs, moving and handling, BMI, urinalysis)
  • Basic Life Support, First Aid
  • Examination of the cardiac, respiratory and gastrointestinal systems
  • Examination of the cranial and peripheral
  • Nervous systems
  • Examination of the neck
  • Imaging of the cardiorespiratory and GI systems (basic interpretation of x-rays mostly)

Communication skills

  • Introduction to clinical communication skills
  • Non-verbal communication
  • Gathering information techniques (open v closed questions, signposting and summarising
  • Cardiovascular, respiratory, GI and pain histories
  • Other elements of the medical history (e.g.PMH, PSH, social history, FH)
  • Closing the consultation

Portfolio requirements

Clinical cases learning logs

Students are encouraged to complete two clinical cases learning logs. This will be carried out during Year one May/June placement from patients they see during their time with you.

This is not mandatory, as it lies outside their assessment period. If they do, they will get feedback from their year two Portfolio Tutor later.

They have a template to prompt them to think about the medical/clinical learning they can derive from seeing patients. It would encourage them to use this as a learning tool if you asked about it or suggest suitable cases.

Reflective practice

Students complete one reflective piece in year one, this is on the theme of ‘Talking to a patient [simulated]’.


Prescribing workbook

The students have a mandatory prescribing workbook to completed whilst they are on placement.

The aim of this workbook is to help the student begin the journey of developing their role of a prescriber. Also to build on their pharmacology teaching from earlier in the year.

We hope that the challenges within the work book will bring the drugs they have studied ‘to life’.

This workbook does not need marking or assessing by the GP supervisor. A completed workbook will be given to the students to compare theirs to at the end of the placement period. It will also form basis of their supervisor review. They will need to show you that they have engaged with the process and we ask you tick the box on the placement e-form.

Example timetables

Scroll or swipe on small screens to see all table columns

  Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4
9am - 10:30am Welcome and induction Observe admin team Observe GP clinic Observe Practice Nurse clinic
10:30am - 12 noon Spend time in reception Observe HCA/Phlebotomy clinic Structured history taking with patient Spend time with practice management team
12 noon - 1pm Lunch Lunch Lunch Lunch
1pm - 2:30pm Home visits with visiting clinician Spend time with Clinical Pharmacist (or other allied health care professional) Spend time with prescription team and discuss recall system

Home visits with visiting clinician

2:30pm-5pm Observe GP clinic Observe Practice Nurse clinic and time to ask questions Spend time with other allied health care professional if available e.g. midwife/mental health Observe GP clinic and then time with GP Supervisor to complete end of placement form

These are examples of timetables. Each placement should develop their own timetable based on the make-up of their practice team.

Medicine placement FAQs

If a student is unable to attend, they are expected to:

  • Email their phase one or two officer
  • Email the Medicine Placements team
  • Telephone the practice before the start time of their scheduled activities

If your student doesn't turn up and and you have not been informed of their absence inform the Medicine Placements team as soon as possible so we can make sure that they are safe. 

If you have concerns about a student’s attendance, please issue a Professionalism Development Opportunity via completion of an Event Form. The Event Form system has options for Wellbeing and Safety, and Professionalism Lapses.

Choose whichever one you feel is most appropriate for the situation as you understand it. This will then be dealt with by the Professionalism, Wellbeing and Safety Tutor or Lead for Professionalism who will take appropriate action.

Please be assured that all students will have had a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check by the University prior to being allowed to attend placement. The student will have a copy of this, and we ask they have this available if you need to check.

The students also must complete the E-Learning for Health module for their year group. This includes safeguarding adults and children level 2 and resuscitation.

Please send out an email to the student introducing them to the practice and include a timetable if possible.  Set out the expectations for the first day including expected time of arrival and the practice address (this is especially important if the practice has more than one site). Perhaps include some travel hints if necessary.