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19 May 2021


Doctors currently in training will be supported with £30 million from the government to help address the impact of the pandemic and ensure the NHS has access to the skills it needs to help tackle the backlog.

The funding will be used to support a tailored approach, based on the individual needs of postgraduate trainees, many of whom put their training on hold to work on the frontline.  Trainees will benefit from one-to-one training conversations, with recovery plans based on their needs.

Health Education England has been working closely with the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, the General Medical Council, NHSE, NHS Employers and individual college leads to get training back on track.

  • Funding for training initiatives to support junior doctors who worked on the frontline during the pandemic
  • A tailored approach to help get training back on track
  • Record numbers of doctors working in the NHS to help build back better

Speaking in the House of Commons, Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said:

“In March we committed £7 billion of further funding for healthcare services—including £1 billion to address backlogs from the pandemic and that’s taken our additional funding for Covid-19 to £92 billion.

“We’re also helping the NHS recover medical training – and today I can confirm to the house an additional £30 million for postgraduate medical training. Mr Speaker, the formula for beating the backlog is this: looking closely at demand as we emerge from this pandemic, putting the right resources to meet this demand and putting in place an ambitious programme of improvement in the NHS.”

Professor Sheona MacLeod, Deputy Medical Director of Education Reform at Health Education England said:

We are aware of the personal impact the COVID -19 pandemic has had on doctors in training, and on their educators, and we have been working with partners to identify how best to enable effective training recovery. This funding will support trusts in the identification of  individualised training needs and in exploring  more tailored ways of enabling trainees to catch up on their competencies. It  will benefit current trainees affected by the pandemic and advance our aims for more flexible individualised training in the future.”

It comes after the government announced a £25 million boost for nurse training which will see nurses and other healthcare students benefit from expanded virtual training, and the launch of a new national critical care qualification for qualified nurses.

There are now record numbers of doctors (over 123,800) and nurses (over 303,000) working in the NHS in England, according to the latest figures up to February.