Health Education England supports flexibility for doctors in postgraduate training

Support for doctors in postgraduate training has always been a priority for Health Education England as shown in a report published today.

The 2022 Enhancing Junior Doctors’ Working Lives report highlights the strides that HEE has made with expanding flexibility, improving recruitment, and resetting education and training to build on what we have learnt from the pandemic.

Safe, high quality patient care is best delivered by a highly motivated workforce that feels valued; engagement with doctors in postgraduate training is essential to HEE’s work and HEE continues to listen to doctors and respond to their feedback and concerns.

HEE continues to focus on providing flexibility in training and enabling a medical career to be more tailored to the individual. Less than full time training has traditionally only been available to those with caring or health needs or those with unique opportunities for personal development. Responding to valued trainee views, all doctors in postgraduate training can now apply to train on a less than full time basis for any reason, with close to 800 doctors having taken up this option so far. HEE also aims to support those doctors taking time to make career and training choices. The recognition of experience completed outside of training programmes enables a more efficient training pathway, a reduction in costs and enhances the rate of senior workforce provision.

The report highlights many other improvements in medical education and training:

  • Adaptation of recruitment processes following the pandemic has enabled HEE to optimise the use of technology, while the use of statistical analysis ensures equality, diversity and inclusion are fully considered.
  • 26 million pounds has been invested into the COVID-19 training recovery programme to support solutions and mitigate significant risks to training progression and wellbeing.
  • HEE has created the first NHS-wide patient safety syllabus which will result in NHS employees receiving enhanced patient safety training.

Professor Wendy Reid, Executive Medical Director and Director of Education and Training said:

“I am so proud of all of the incredible work that has been achieved as part of the Enhancing Junior Doctors’ Working Lives Programme, as highlighted in our sixth report.

“Health Education England has been working side by side with our postgraduate doctors in training and system partners to deliver a variety of initiatives, valuing and developing doctors to ensure the best quality patient care. As well as recognising that doctors want the opportunity to train flexibly, we have invested 26 million pounds into the COVID-19 training recovery programme to support solutions and mitigate significant risks to training progression and wellbeing. I would like to take this opportunity again to thank every doctor for their commitment during the pandemic and beyond where the professional and personal challenges have been significant for everyone.”

See the full report for further details