NHS Employers supports programme tackling doctor recruitment and retention

doctor at screen

NHS Employers is supporting the delivery of four recommendations in the foundation programme review, which seeks to tackle recruitment and retention issues in the NHS through enhancing the experience of doctors in training.

The review is led by Health Education England (HEE) in conjunction with the Royal Colleges, the Medical Schools Council, the General Medical Council (GMC), the British Medical Association (BMA) and trainees.

The four recommendations include:

  • Recommendation 1: The transition for, and preparation of, those entering foundation training must be improved to better prepare foundation doctors for the next stages of their development.
  • Recommendation 4: HEE will work with NHS Employers to develop a Foundation Doctor Charter defining how local education providers (LEPs) will support foundation training, including best practice and minimum standards.
  • Recommendation 12: LEPs must ensure that foundation supervisors are valued and have appropriate training and skills and specific time allocated for their roles.
  • Recommendation 14: HEE will engage with key stakeholders to assess how foundation doctors can be given time in the working week for professional self-development (known as ‘self-development’ time).

NHS Employers will support a pilot by HEE in NHS organisations in April 2020 looking at taking forward the recommendation that foundation doctors should have self-development time. Due to COVID-19 the self development time pilots will be delayed although the national roll-out date of August 2021 remains.

Self-development time allows foundation doctors to prepare for speciality application as well as develop skills in quality improvement, teaching and leadership. It is recommended that foundation year 1 doctors should have one hour per week of non-clinical professional self-development time in their work schedule, foundation year 2 doctors should have three hours per week of non-clinical professional self-development time. National roll-out is planned for August 2021.

There is still some availability for trusts to work with HEE as pilot sites, and we would recommend your organisation gets involved if you are able to. For more information and to register your interest, please contact your local, trust-based foundation training programme director or the regional foundation school director

Find out more on our foundation programme review web pages and on our self-development time web pages, which include FAQs on self-development time. Further details on NHS Employer's work on the other recommendations will be available in due course.

If you have any further questions or comments, please get in touch with the team via medicalworkforce@nhsemployers.org

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