Flexible Working

I Have Found Working Less Than Full Time Very Fulfilling

Dr Kristian Skinner

I am an ST7 Cardiology trainee subspecialising in Devices and Heart Failure. I am in the East of England Deanery and currently working in the Transplant team at Papworth Hospital. I have worked less than full time at 80% since shortly after the birth of my first daughter, for the last 2½ years. I am currently the less than full time representative for Cardiology for the East of England deanery.

Having worked full time for all my prior training, when I found out we were expecting, I decided to look at less than full time work. My wife is an academic trainee in Psychiatry and we have always tried to give each other equal opportunities in our careers, so we both applied for less than full time working to try and make childcare responsibilities more equal. With the improved shared parental leave provisions in the new contract, we’re taking shared parental leave with our second daughter. The deanery, particularly our training programme director, were very supportive, and though occasionally I have had colleagues raise an eyebrow at my being LTFT, I have mostly found the response to be very positive.

I have found working less than full time very fulfilling – it has allowed me to spend much more time with my children than I otherwise would have, and I’ve found I enjoy my work more as I have more energy to devote to it.

The application process was simple, but the initial period of working out a rota, ensuring that each aspect of my work was reduced equally, and working with medical staffing was more complicated, and has been repeated every time I have rotated around different hospitals. Working LTFT has meant that my colleagues are reaching consultancy a little before me, and I have occasionally felt that I have missed opportunities at work because lists, procedures or teaching has happened whilst I have been away. The reduction in pay has not been particularly noticeable. These disadvantages have been more than offset by the benefits I’ve had from less than full time work.

I’m pleased to see less than full time working becoming normalised; in my current team, 3 of the 5 consultants are LTFT.

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