Broadening the Foundation Programme


07 / 4 / 2014 3.08pm

Health Education England have published their Broadening the Foundation Programme report, which recommends the Foundation Programme is reconfigured to include a minimum of one four month community or integrated placement during the two year programme.

The aim is to ensure doctors receive a wider experience of working in community settings. Employers will be impacted as Foundation Doctors are taken out of the acute setting to complete placements in community settings such as general practice, community psychiatry, community paediatrics, palliative care and public health.

This report is in response to the recommendations of Professor John Collins' Foundation for Excellence report, which encouraged the development of capabilities across a range of settings including the community. The recommendations touch on other areas also, and are as follows:

Recommendation 1

Educational supervisors should be assigned to foundation doctors for at least one year, so they can provide supervision for the whole of Foundation Stage 1 (F1), Foundation Stage 2 (F2), or both years.

Recommendation 2

Foundation doctors should not rotate through a placement in the same specialty or specialty grouping more than once, unless this is required to enable them to meet the outcomes set out in the Curriculum. Any placements repeated in F2 must include opportunities to learn outside the traditional hospital setting.

Recommendation 3

a) At least 80 per cent of foundation doctors should undertake a community placement or an integrated placement from August 2015.

b) All foundation doctors should undertake a community placement or an integrated placement from August 2017. It should be noted that both community and integrated placements are based in a community setting, and that an acute-based community-facing placement is not a substitute. 


HEE say the changes will mean doctors are better able to respond to future changes in the country’s health and social care system. They say implementing the report’s recommendations will be challenging however they have been working closely with LETBs, Royal Colleges, trusts and partners who all agree education and training must keep pace with changes in health and social care.

LETBs will be working to implement the recommendations within their areas. It is anticipated that posts will move from surgery to accommodate the community placement, and to a lesser extent from medicine. Trusts are encouraged to direct any queries to their Postgraduate Deans.

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