Sonning Common Health Centre

39 Wood Lane, Reading, RG4 9SW

Telephone: 0118 972 2188

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Training Practice

Training for General Practice at Sonning Common Health Centre

Sonning Common is a semi-rural dispensing practice with more than 9,000 patients. It has been a training practice since 1972, one of the first in the Reading area. The current trainers are Dr Kim Emerson, Dr Alison McKinlay and Dr Nick Smith. This allows us to accommodate more than one trainee at a time which is good for the practice and trainees alike.

Other doctors in the practice, Ralph Drury (Diabetes lead) and Tess Harris (Professor in Primary Care at St George’s University of London) are also actively involved in teaching medical students, FY1s or specialist GP trainees.

We have a great district and practice nurse team and one of our district nurses is a district nurse tutor so there are good opportunities for joint teaching.

We are committed to the practice providing a good learning environment with all the primary care team involved in teaching and learning together. The induction period allows the trainees to get to know practice systems and to spend time with all members of the multidisciplinary team. The trainees have 3 education sessions, 7 clinical sessions per week which includes a half day of protected time each week for a tutorial, individual learning time and the day release. In addition they have joint surgeries once a month on average. There are also in-house weekly lunch-time meetings which contribute to the ongoing team education.

We are linked to the Reading Vocational Training Scheme for General Practice for which ST3s are released for a whole day each week and ST1s / 2s on alternate Tuesday afternoons. The training program can be found at


The trainees have their own room with a networked PC with full internet and intranet access. We use EMIS Web for our clinical system and we have multiple facilities for videoing.

The trainees have five weeks of annual leave and 5 days study leave in addition to the weekly education sessions and these are flexible to be suited to individual learning needs.

Out Of Hours (OOH) is commissioned by Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group and the Out Of Hours centre is based in Abingdon with a satellite centre in Henley. Our registrars arrange OOH training through Oxfordshire OOHs with an approved trainer in Abingdon, Witney or Henley. Some trainees who live further afield have also negotiated doing some OOH sessions closer to home.

If you would like to discuss GP training further, please contact Dr Kim Emerson or Dr Nick Smith.

Quotes from previous trainees

“A very friendly place to work, where you really feel supported and part of the team. The whole practice meets daily for coffee.”


“Having 2 registrars is great. We shared our highs, lows and it was useful for exam prep and shared tutorials too.”

Opening Times

  • Monday
    08:00am to 06:00pm
    8-8.30am and 6-6.30pm - Emergencies only
  • Tuesday
    08:00am to 06:00pm
    8-8.30am and 6-6.30pm - Emergencies only
  • Wednesday
    08:00am to 06:00pm
    8-8.30am and 6-6.30pm - Emergencies only
  • Thursday
    08:00am to 06:00pm
    8-8.30am and 6-6.30pm - Emergencies only
  • Friday
    08:00am to 06:00pm
    8-8.30am and 6-6.30pm - Emergencies only
  • Saturday
  • Sunday
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