Foundation programme review

Doctors in conversation

The foundation programme review 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.

It is one of the core threads of HEE’s programme to reform medical education and review the delivery of the UK Foundation Programme, which prepares graduates from medical school for specialty training. The recommendations within the report provide an important contribution to delivering the aspirations for medicine set out in the NHS Long Term Plan and subsequent Interim NHS People Plan.

Following completion of the foundation programme review, HEE published a report Supported from the start; ready for the future: The Postgraduate Medical Foundation Programme Review which made 16 recommendations designed to develop the programme in line with ongoing changes in medical practice and healthcare delivery.

NHS Employers has been asked by HEE to play a lead role in delivery of four of the recommendations:

  • 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 (‘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. Find out more about self-development time on our web pages.

Further details on NHS Employer's work on the other recommendations will be available in due course via these web pages.

More information can be found via HEE’s foundation programme review page.

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