Workforce and Training

17.07.19

HEE pledges greater support for doctors’ medical school transition

Health Education England (HEE) has outlined its commitment to supporting doctors in the transition from medical school into training and working as doctors within the NHS.

The commitments were made in its review of the Post Graduate Medical Foundation Programme in England, which was recently published.

The report looked in detail at the current programme in England and at what improvements could be made to offer the best possible training experience.

This included helping specialities and areas of the country that were in particular need of more doctors, and supporting doctors from a wider range of backgrounds.

While the vast majority of foundation doctors have a good learning experience during their foundation training, HEE found that more needs to be done to make sure doctors feel valued, are able to work safely and have access to support.

Outlining its response to the findings of the review, HEE pledged that it will:

  • Promote specialties and areas of the country where more doctors are needed, with incentives to encourage trainees to choose to train in them;
  • Distribute new foundation doctor training places in the geographical areas where they are needed most, in alignment with regional plans;
  • Create a common framework for early years career support to tie in with the NHS People Plan and better inform doctors in training’s expectations about the changing needs of the NHS in England;
  • Work with NHS Employers to develop a foundation doctor charter setting out how local education providers (LEPs) will support foundation training including best practice and minimum standards;
  • Support trainees, employing trusts and trainee supervisors to ensure that high quality supervision is being consistently delivered in the interests of patient safety and quality of care; and Launch a formal consultation to explore what can be done to best support doctors from a wider range of backgrounds once they join the foundation programme.

Professor Wendy Reid, medical director and executive director of education at HEE said: “This review forms a very key part of a significant programme of work we are leading with partners to reform medical education.

“We want to make sure that doctors are fully supported in the transition from medical school into training in a working clinical environment and from Foundation into specialty training. This includes making sure they have the best possible educational support and supervision.

“We can’t do this alone and this is why we are working with partners from across the NHS.

READ MORE: HEE launches 10-point investment plan to support trainee returners

READ MORE: HEE tries to bring back ex-medical professionals to bolster NHS workforce

These doctors are our future and we need to do everything we can to support them to provide the safest and highest quality care to patients and provide them with an outstanding training experience.”

Professor Carrie MacEwen, chair of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges said: “We very much welcome this review and hope the findings are implemented swiftly.”

An implementation plan for England is set to be released too, setting how each of the recommendations from HEE will be delivered effectively.

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