Welcome to the March/April bulletin.
For the majority of Foundation doctors, it’s now the second half of the year and with ARCPs due in June it’s definitely time to get your portfolio ready for a final review with your ES in May. The checklist of requirements for ARCP can be found on the ARCP page of the UKFPO website. Links to guides on how to use the Horus and Turas e-portfolios are in the “Links and information” section below.
By this stage, you should be accruing evidence in your portfolio against the 13 FPCs and thinking about your ‘summary narrative’ to explain your choices. How you write your summary narrative is up to you – bullet points or prose is fine (poetry if you prefer) but word count is limited – you will not be marked on your grammar as long as what you have written is clear. Remember that for FPCs 1-5 you must provide evidence of care of mental health issues as well as physical health and evidence of health in the context of social wellbeing. If you have gaps in your portfolio, now is the time to address them and your Educational Supervisor should be able to help you. If this is not possible then you should contact your FTPD.
There is no specific number of SLEs that should be undertaken. Do as many as you can and link the best/most appropriate ones to the curriculum.
Life Support Skills
I have received a few queries about the use of ALS as evidence for FPC2: clinical prioritisation. An ALS course is very good evidence to support a Foundation doctor’s capabilities in this area although, of course, it does not cover mental health. Based on the hierarchy of evidence in the curriculum, ALS would need to be supported by evidence of management of one or more unstable/severely unwell patients and perhaps some other training, particularly in the area of acute mental health presentations. Evidence of management of acute mental health presentations should be included.
The hours spent on an ALS course should not be counted towards core or non-core learning hours. This is purely a practical decision based on the fact that we expect Foundation doctors to cover all areas of the curriculum in their required sixty hours of learning and a two day course would constitute 25% of the requirements. Other teaching sessions and on-line learning do count and, ideally, these should be a mix of face to face and virtual learning sessions although I appreciate there will be some FDs who will have limited access to f2f sessions and will have to undertake much or even all of their learning on-line. On this note, I would like to clarify that the sixty hours should be relevant to the 2021 Foundation curriculum. Extra learning can be recorded and some sessions outside the curriculum could be included if relevant to career goals.
If you are an FD still on the 2016 curriculum, and you are due to finish either F1 or F2 by July 2022, you will simply follow the ARCP process used last year complete with Covid derogations approved by the GMC (available on the UKFPO ARCP page). If this completes your F1 training, you will move to the 2021 curriculum for F2.
If you are an FD still on the 2016 curriculum, and you are not due to finish your current grade of training by July 2022, you will still have an ARCP in June as above and we will provide further guidance next month.
2021 Curriculum – PSG
For supervisors, I would like to take this opportunity to remind you of one of the key differences this year with the 2021 curriculum, the requirement for a ‘satisfactory’ PSG report at least once during the year (just like there is a requirement for a satisfactory TAB). More information on PSG is given on the curriculum page (topic 5). If your FD does not have a satisfactory PSG report in their portfolio then the current clinical supervisor will need to organise this on the e-portfolio. There is no minimum number of respondents and in small departments/practices the PSG report may only involve one person other than the CS but, ideally there should be feedback from three individuals. When deciding whether the report is satisfactory, the supervisor will need to consider the feedback in the context of the Foundation doctor’s progress. It is likely that any ‘major concerns’ expressed by the PSG would make the report unsatisfactory; however, minor concerns that have been addressed elsewhere in the portfolio might still allow a PSG report to be considered ‘satisfactory’. The Turas e-portfolio allows the supervisor to specifically rate the report; those using Horus can comment in the CSR. (It is likely that Horus will have this functionality from Aug this year).
Finally, I would remind Foundation doctors that one of the obligations of training is to feed back on the training process. This allows training to be improved for future groups of doctors. I am aware that FDs are required to complete a number of surveys and feedback forms. Some of these are more important than others. One of the things we are all working on at the moment is the issue of differential attainment – different outcomes to training as a result of trainees being members of certain groups. There is growing evidence that a number of factors play a part in this and it is the responsibility of all to attempt to address it and provide equity in training. With this in mind, I remind you that the GMC National Training Survey (NTS) is now live and closes on Tuesday 3 May 2022. If you are a Foundation doctor or trainer please complete it as soon as you can.
Tony Choules, Operational Advisor to the UKFPO
Links and information
GMC National Training Survey
Trainees and trainers are invited to complete the GMC NTS by Tuesday 3 May 2022.
E-portfolio ARCP guides
2022 National Academic Foundation Programme Conference
Curriculum resource document
The 2021 Curriculum resource document highlights national guidance and protocols available to support each of the curriculum’s foundation professional capabilities. It lists many of the freely available evidence-based resources, including helpful web links and guidance notes. It is available on the Curriculum page of this site.