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Enhancing working lives

The junior doctors’ contract dispute highlighted a number of issues involving doctors’ training and working environment. To address this, working with partners, we have been looking at how we can enhance the working lives of doctors in training.

We have committed to improving the quality of education and training for doctors. We believe that safe, high quality patient care is best delivered by a highly motivated workforce, that also feels valued.

The junior doctors’ contract dispute highlighted a number of issues involving doctors’ training and working environment.  We heard of longstanding structural and cultural issues within the training environment that were having a significant negative impact on doctors’ quality of life.

In recognition and in response to this feedback, we established The Enhancing Junior Doctors’ Working Lives programme. The programme works with partners such as the British Medical Association Junior Doctors’ Committee, General Medical Council, NHS Employers, Academy of Medical Royal Colleges and trainee representatives, to discuss and address these issues.

We committed to publishing an update on the programme’s work every year.

Progress report – 2017

Progress report – 2018

Infographics to support the 2018 progress report

Highlights from our latest report include:


Over the next year, we will provide leadership in co-ordinating activities across the system and in identifying and promoting initiatives and innovation to support doctors in training.  We will continue to work with system partners to engage with doctors in training and their representative bodies.

Among the important themes that we will be examining over the coming year are:

- the provision of Educational and Clinical Supervision

- empowering doctors in training to ensure they have time for both clinical work and educational opportunities, for example, with work scheduling

- the provision of pastoral support or mentorship

- effective, supportive, multi-disciplinary team working

- what more can be done to tackle bullying and harassment

- guidance on safe reflective practice.

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.