UKFPO Bulletin

Posted on:

October Bulletin

Black History Month, Stoptober, Mental Health Day

Other national campaigns this month


Judging by the weather recently, winter is coming. By the time you’re reading this week 38 will have passed causing a surge in asthma admissions, many of us will be going to work in the dark and our shifts will be busier.

At times like this it’s important to make time for ourselves.  We need to look after ourselves so we can care for our patients. This isn’t just a moral argument, the GMC requires it. Section 77-80 of the new Good Medical Practice. It’s a requirement of the Foundation Curriculum too.  (FPC7 – part of HLO2).

There’s a lot of stuff out there about wellbeing including coping with shiftwork. (I’m sure there are equivalent documents for the other nations). There’s BMA advice too.  

As well as looking after your health, there are other things that you need to think about for your own benefit. One is to keep an eye on your career. For F2s, specialty applications will be opening soon.  

For F1s, it’s not a bad time to take a look at the choice of careers (perhaps via the person specifications on this website or via the Royal College websites) both to provide inspiration and to consider if you need to start developing your portfolio in a way that will aid your application. This might include making a point of going to theatre or outpatients, taking on a QI project or developing your teaching skills.

With this in mind I would draw your attention to the National Foundation Doctors’ Presentation Day which will be held again in Bristol in January. This is a great opportunity to showcase any work you’ve done (and possibly win a prize for it) and to meet colleagues from all 4 nations of the UK to network and share ideas.

In thinking of the future, if you’re planning on a year out of training, you might want to think how you plan to spend this. If going abroad, you’ll need to find out when jobs/rotations change and plan your time accordingly. Thoughts of working in Queensland might also carry you through the darker days of winter. (Other destinations are available. As I think I’ve mentioned before, I thoroughly enjoyed my year working in Perth, WA).

Now is also the time, as if you needed anything else to think about, to ensure the more mundane parts of your portfolio are progressing. Have you done enough SLEs to use as evidence against the FPCs? (And do some of them show excellence that will help you in future specialty/job applications?). You’ll need to start sending out requests for your multisource feedback too (known as TAB in Foundation) and your Clinical Supervisor will be ‘ticketing’ the Placement Supervision Group (PSG) for feedback on your performance. (If none of this paragraph makes sense, you need to speak to your educational supervisor as soon as possible and look at the choice of webinars on the UKFPO website.)

Basically, what I’m saying is: on your next break, put your phone away and sit and think for a few minutes, engage in a wellbeing huddle with colleagues, then get your phone out, arrange your flu and Covid vaccines, book some leave for your next post, check your portfolio and then Google that next career move.  (Other search engines are available).

As always, there is information on all this on the website. You can also email questions to

Best wishes
Tony Choules, Operational Advisor to the UKFPO

Elearning for Health Update

View the elfh October update.


Do you know the difference between TAB/PSG and summary narrative?


Webinar: PSG/TAB and summary narrative

20 October 2023, 14:00 – 15:00

Details on our website. All webinar recordings are on our webinars page.

National Foundation Doctors Presentation Day

19 January 2024 – Bristol

Abstract submission window – Monday 9 October (09:00 BST) – Sunday 29 October 2023 (23:59 BST)

Details on our website.