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Covid-19 Training Recovery Programme

Following the major disruption to postgraduate medical education during the last year of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have worked with our partners NHS England & NHS Improvement, NHS Employers, the Department of Health and Social Care, the General Medical Council, the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, and others to support training recovery as an urgent priority and mitigate the impact of the pandemic on doctors in training.

The Post Graduate Medical Education (PGME) Recovery Programme was established in April 2021 to reset, recover and reform PGME. The purpose of these three phases has been to minimise the initial impact of the pandemic on training and progression; to support trainees and educators with wellbeing and training recovery; and to lock in the innovations developed during the first two phases, to deliver long-term improvements in PGME, building future resilience into the medical education pipeline.

Picture of report coverInterim Progress Report

A Training Recovery Interim Progress Report has now been published and can be found at the bottom of this page. The report outlines the approach taken to define, manage and reduce risks to medical workforce wellbeing, numbers and future supply. It also sets out our joint commitments for continuing to build upon and embed the progress we have made to facilitate training recovery and secure future improvements to PGME.

As a result of HEE and partners’ interventions, extension rates are currently lower than original projections. However, the number of trainees with a training backlog has grown over the duration of the programme. These trainees carry a future extension risk and will require our continued support. We have therefore signed up to 18 joint commitments, that set out to:

> continue system engagement;

> increase opportunities for training recovery;

> ensure wellbeing for training recovery and future resilience;

> embed improvements to training; and 

> share best practice

These system-wide commitments will be essential to avoid further extension costs, and to support trainees who are managing ongoing curriculum gaps. We will continue to work with partners to support trainees, maximise training opportunities while supporting service recovery, and embed continuous improvements to training structures and delivery. 

We must now ensure we integrate service and training recovery - as pressures increase, embedding training recovery into service delivery remains crucial in order to supply the workforce needed to deliver COVID care and recovery, restore services and reduce waiting lists.

Training recovery updates

Updates on training recovery are provided fortnightly by Prof. Sheona MacLeod, Deputy Medical Director - Education Reform. 

Service and Winter Pressures

Letter to Trusts:  Maintaining Education and Training - 25 November 2021