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Greater flexibility for doctors in training

19 June 2020

Health professional delivering care to patient

Health Education England has today announced plans to provide greater flexibility to trainees across the country by extending its out of programme pause programme (OOPP) to include all specialties. This allows trainees to take a break from training pressures and work in a service facing role.


 The aim is to support trainees’ wellbeing in a post COVID environment by providing break from training and allow them the opportunity to gain other competencies. This offer is available immediately and is open for applications for one year.


OOPP allows trainees to pause their training in order to work in the NHS or similar patient facing roles in the UK.  The experiences and competences which they gain will be considered on their return to their training programme.


Professor Sheona MacLeod, Acting Director of Education and Quality and Executive Medical Director, Health Education England said:


I am delighted that we are able to make this offer to the country’s doctors in training many of whom have supported the NHS during this very challenging period. We are committed to making sure that there are mechanisms in place to fully support trainees wellbeing and education.


 It is important that we can offer trainees as much flexibility as possible and this is an opportunity for them to step off the training ladder and gain new experiences and competencies.


HEE local offices are managing these opportunities – trainees should contact their local office to find out more.


This work forms parts of HEE’s Medical Education Reform Programme (MERP) which aims to modernise our approach to medical education to support safe, high quality patient care. We will provide more detail on COVID related changes in future reports.


For more information go to https://www.hee.nhs.uk/our-work/doctors-training/flexibility-medical-training-pathway