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Enhancing working lives

The Enhancing Junior Doctors’ Working Lives programme was established in March 2016, to address a range of issues that were having a significant negative impact on the quality of life of doctors in training.

The interim People Plan makes clear the commitment to provide better support for junior doctors at the start of their career, by improving their working experiences and paying greater attention to their health and wellbeing. The initiatives, outlined in the first Enhancing Junior Doctors’ Working Lives report and subsequent progress reports, aim to tackle some of these issues.

2020 Progress report

At a time of challenging service and workforce pressures, we have remained committed to supporting junior doctors. COVID-19 has impacted all of us in ways we could have never imagined but has shown more than ever that the strength of the NHS is its workforce, which has shown incredible depth of compassion, strength, and adaptability.

The Enhancing Junior Doctors’ Working Lives progress report 2020 provides an update on achievements over the past year. Specifically, it highlights:

  • Expansion of flexible training opportunities
  • Implementing and sharing best practice
  • Addressing deployment concerns
  • Other Related Education Reform activities

Read the full update report here.

Some of the important areas we will explore over the next year are:

- Working with the GMC, we will further expand Out of Programme Pause and ensure that skills and competencies gained by doctors that ‘step out’ of managed training pathways are recognised when they return

- We will further expand LTFT Category 3 to additional specialties, especially those particularly impacted by COVID-19

- We will continue to progress mechanisms for doctors to step in and out of training that aligns with the needs of service and doctors themselves

- We will provide appropriate assessment and support packages to facilitate doctors’ return to an appropriate stage of training, reflective of their experience and skills gained.


We will incorporate our learning from the COVID-19 pandemic to help shape our future strategies in supporting junior doctors.

Some of the important areas we will explore over the next year are:

- The integration of learning from the pandemic into education and training

- Evaluation of the Flexible Portfolio careers initiative

- Further improvements to the recruitment experience for junior doctors

- Improvements to the study leave process

- The implementation of recommendations from the NHS Staff and Learners’ Mental Wellbeing Commission

- Development of specific support packages on the impact of COVID-19 for junior doctors.

A mapping document produced by the National Leadership Fellows highlights initiatives from across the country to enhance junior doctors' working lives. It does not aim to be a fully comprehensive document as we are all continuously working on initiatives, but it gives an overview of activity across the country, highlighting good practice that can be replicated elsewhere in the country and also where there may be gaps.

In April 2019, The Royal College of Pathologists provided an update to the above report.

Enhancing Junior Doctors’ Working Lives

As we launch the latest progress report on Enhancing Junior Doctors’ Working Lives, it is good to see how our work aligns with the priorities set out in the NHS Long Term Plan and Interim People Plan.

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Jun 24 News

Greater flexibility for doctors in training

24 June 2019

Expanded opportunities for training less than full time, flexible portfolio training and the development of a Out of Programme Pause (OOPP) initiative which allows doctors the chance to take time out from their training, are just some of the achie

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