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Enhancing the working lives of doctors in training

We are involved in a wide range of initiatives to improve the experience of doctors in training

Doctors in training

We recognise that many doctors in training feel undervalued and morale can be low. We are keen to help recognise and respond to this challenge and are involved in a wide range of initiatives to improve the experience of doctors in training and improve their working lives.

It is, however, important that this work is inclusive and provides the whole system with advice about changing the culture of how we work together in the NHS.

We are undertaking various pieces of work, including delivering greater flexibility to and improving the working lives of doctors in training. You can read about this work via the tabs on the left, or listed below.

We have conducted a major, year-long review of appraisal and assessment, aiming to improve training for doctors. The review followed feedback from trainees that the process was stressful, burdensome and did not always provide them with the support or feedback they needed. It found that the process was applied inconsistently depending on geography or specialty. In addition to reviewing the process, it was also an opportunity to draw out where processes are working most effectively and to spread this good practice. 

We have updated our policy on cross cover by doctors in training (found in related documents). While it is the professional duty of all doctors to help patients in need, any diversion of junior doctors from their usual professional responsibilities should be regarded as exceptional and should not risk adversely affecting their training progress.

We have extended whistleblowing protection for junior doctors, providing a new legal route directly against ourselves, if required, for trainees who raise concerns and believe that we have caused detriment to them as a consequence. We have now placed this into our contracts with local employers a provision that protects junior doctors making patient safety disclosures.

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