Impact of COVID-19 on the UK Foundation Programme 2020

The UKFPO is monitoring the situation concerning COVID-19 closely and in conjunction with our partners elsewhere in the NHS across the UK. 

A summary of key changes/updates relating to COVID-19 (including those trainees currently on FiY1 interim posts) can be found below.

Interim (FiY1) FAQs: Curriculum, Content & Advice

Will FiY1 doctors have access to the foundation ePortfolio?

Yes, you will be contacted about this once the post has commenced.

Will FiY1s be able to access e-Learning for Healthcare’s free modules on COVID-19?

Yes. You can access this now without logging in, on the e-LfH website.

More new content has been added to Health Education England’s e-LfH COVID-19 programme, including four learning paths for nurses and allied health professionals and a document created by the HEE Knowledge Management Team listing resources from Royal Colleges and other professional bodies. The COVID-19 programme now includes:

· Essential Guidance from the NHS, UK Government, WHO and BMJ

· Public Health England – Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

· Infection Prevention and Control

· Resources for Staff Working in Critical Care Setting

· Resources for Staff Working in Acute Hospital Setting

· Resources for Staff Working in Primary Care and Community Setting

· Resources for Return to Work Healthcare Staff

· Resources for Staff being Upskilled or Redeployed

· End of Life Care COVID-19

· Resources for Paramedics

· Resources for Pharmacy Staff

· Equipment Quick Guides

· Wellbeing for Staff

Will the FiY1 experience count towards Annual Review of Competence Progression (ARCP)?

Yes. Activities undertaken as part of the FiY1 experience count towards Foundation Year 1 (FY1) training progression (if the FiY1 doctor is undertaking FY1), although not in terms of the time component of the foundation curriculum.

This means that FiY1 doctors can collect evidence in their e-portfolio that can be used towards their FY1 ARCP in June 2021, but they will still need to complete a full 12 months pro-rata in a formal FY1 programme (August 2020 – July 2021 for most).

It is not obligatory for FiY1 doctors to formally record evidence in their e-portfolio of having met the requirements of the curriculum during this time as an FiY1 doctor. For further guidance please view our ‘FiY1 Training Operational Guide 2020’.

If I undertake a FiY1 placement and then move into a standard FY1 rotation in August 2020, will I be able to complete FY1 early?

No – as above, the time requirement of 12 months (pro-rata) in an FY1 rotation has to be fulfilled to be eligible to complete FY1.

Do FiY1s have to complete an e-portfolio?

Your named Clinical Supervisor must complete an end of placement report for you in your e-portfolio. This is the only mandatory piece of e-portfolio content during your FiY1 placement. You are, however, encouraged to complete other content as well to support you in your training and development. Guidance on the content available in the e-portfolio can be found here.

Do FiY1s have to have an ARCP?

No – anyone undertaking a FiY1 placement must have a Clinical Supervisor’s end of placement report but they will not have an ARCP.

Do FiY1s have to complete a Form R?

No. Anyone who has undertaken a FiY1 placement and continues into an FY1 rotation in August 2020 must declare their FiY1 placement on their FY1 Form R in advance of their ARCP in 2021. Note that Form R is not used at all in Scotland.

Curriculum Requirements and COVID- Related absence

Please click here to view the Curriculum Requirements and COVID-Related absence guidance

Other Information for Incoming FY1s

Incoming FY1s who are or have been shielding due to COVID-19.

If you are an incoming FY1 who is or has been shielding due to COVID-19, please read the UKFPO Shielding Guidance.

Incoming FY1s for August 2020 – Deferral Information

The UKFPO has published deferral guidance for FY1s who are supposed to start the Foundation Programme in August 2020, but wish to defer. The guidance can be accessed here.

Please note that this deferrals process, including the new criteria accepted as valid reasons for deferring, has been developed in response to the COVID-19 crisis. It therefore applies to August 2020 only, and will not set a precedent for the UKFPO allowing these same criteria to be used for deferring applications in future years.

Current FY1 and FY2 Trainees

e-Learning for Healthcare: Free Modules on COVID-19

You will be able to access this following your allocation to an interim post.

More new content has been added to Health Education England’s e-LfH COVID-19 programme, including four learning paths for nurses and allied health professionals and a document created by our Knowledge Management Team listing resources from Royal Colleges and other professional bodies. The COVID-19 programme now includes: 

·         Essential Guidance from the NHS, UK Government, WHO and BMJ   

·         Public Health England – Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)   

·         Infection Prevention and Control   

·         Resources for Staff Working in Critical Care Setting   

·         Resources for Staff Working in Acute Hospital Setting   

·         Resources for Staff Working in Primary Care and Community Setting   

·         Resources for Return to Work Healthcare Staff   

·         Resources for Staff being Upskilled or Redeployed   

·         End of Life Care COVID-19   

·         Resources for Paramedics   

·         Resources for Pharmacy Staff   

·         Equipment Quick Guides   

·         Wellbeing for Staff 

Advice for Pregnant Trainees during the COVID-19 crisis

Pregnant trainees are advised to consult the Royal College of Gynaecologist’s website for advice concerning COVID-19 and pregnancy here and Maternity Action’s FAQs concerning rights and benefits during pregnancy and maternity leave here.

Academy of Medical Royal Colleges – COVID-19 Resources

The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges has created a comprehensive COVID-19 resources page which can be found here.

The Academy has also created a new webpage focusing on mental health and wellbeing support for doctors and other healthcare workers during the COVID-19 outbreak response, which can be found here.

The BMJ – Free COVID-19 Courses

BMJ have created a series of free COVID-19 courses for all foundation trainees which can be found here.

Management of medical training during a pandemic

To ensure availability of the senior medical workforce in the future, it is essential that trainees of all grades continue to be supported during a pandemic. Where possible, the following principles should still apply so that assurances can be provided to trainees.

– Planned rotations

– Redeployment of trainees should discussed and agreed with the Postgraduate Dean, trainees in advance of any change and be of proportionate response.

– Formal Education should continue (including practical)

– Work Place Based Assessments should continue

– Clinical and Educational Supervisor meetings should continue

– Appropriate senior supervision

– Approved Study Leave should continue

– Trainees should be released to take part in Recruitment and Selection processes

– Approved Examination Leave

– Out of Programme placements should continue to be supported

– Annual Reviews of Competence Progression (ARCPs) should continue to take place during a pandemic surge using the 4N SEB COVID-19 Decision Aid and GMC-approved derogations from Royal College and Faculty curriculum learning outcomes and evidence.

– Professional Support should continue to be provided

– Academic trainees should be supported to contribute to clinical services, if required

– Proportionate Quality Management activities should be supported

Should trainees have any queries, please contact your foundation school directly to discuss any concerns.