UKFPO Bulletin – January 2023 

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Happy New year to all UKFPO bulletin readers.  

Traditionally, this is a time for taking stock of what we do and laying plans for the future; a time when we often make new year resolutions.  Many of these are about taking care of ourselves and, at what feels like yet another time of crisis in our healthcare systems, personal wellbeing seems more important than ever. Unfortunately, the opportunity for personal space can feel elusive when there is so much pressure on us to deliver for patients, but it is important we find the time to look after ourselves as well as others.  

It is also time to put things right. If we have a slight respite in the summer, our workload will be heavy again next winter. There will always be demand for healthcare so there is no excuse for us to be surprised by it and to face each wave of demand as ‘yet another’ crisis. It is, of course, everyone’s responsibility to deliver care to the patient in front of us to the best of our ability but, I would suggest, it is also our responsibility to ensure we care for all those who need it – something which involves contributing to the development of the systems in which we work.  

As Frances said in his report on Mid-Staffordshire, the frontline medical staff are the eyes and ears of the healthcare system. Making changes to working practice on a small scale can improve the quality of patient care and patient safety and I would encourage all FDs to involve themselves with QI processes. However, it is important such changes are sustainable and it is important that those supervising doctors in training facilitate this – usually by the involvement of other professionals including management colleagues. Engagement with management is crucial to initiating change. In fact, I would say that within the current healthcare system, making changes without management involvement is impossible. All medical staff should know about the structure of healthcare management and be able to engage fully with it.  

Times of crisis are not the times we should be considering ‘patient flow’ and ‘freeing up beds’ or ‘Suring up rotas’. Good healthcare is what we should be practicing all the time knowing that we need a flexible system. We should be aiming for rapid diagnosis followed by appropriate and timely treatment in a suitable setting. This requires timely and sometimes regular, senior review, rational use of investigations and clear decision making. Where this does not happen, we should be challenging bad practice and instigating change. As senior medical professionals, it is our responsibility to work alongside other healthcare professionals to develop and sustain services that work for patients in all healthcare settings.  

These are the skills we should be teaching our Foundation Doctors and the best way for them to learn them is to work alongside us in all the various setting in which we do our jobs.  

Those that show an interest in medical management and leadership should also be encouraged to join the ranks of healthcare managers in CD, MD, ICB lead and even CE roles. Time spent thinking about these career paths is an investment for the future of all of us. There are Foundation Doctors out there who are way brighter than me and more capable and these are the people I want developing and leading our healthcare systems of the future – especially at an age where I am likely to be moving from the role of healthcare provider to one of healthcare user. 

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 

Links and Information

UKFPO webinars  

As a reminder, the UKFPO run several webinars throughout the year where the recording are listed on our resources page.  

State of the Nation – digital technologies in health and care education 

Contribute to a survey on the use of digital technologies in health and care education. 

Health Education England want to improve digitally enabled education within health and care across England. To do this, they need to understand the current landscape and state of play.  

If you work in the development or delivery of undergraduate and pre-registration education e.g., a member of staff at a higher education institute, a practice education facilitator, or working in education strategy, policy, or design (such as members of staff at regulatory, professional bodies and councils), or are a student in health and care at this level – visit their engagement platform today. 

Share your thoughts and contribute to the State of the Nation survey before Friday 3 February.  

Your feedback will inform the report’s findings and support recommendations for improving digitally enabled education in the future. 


eLearning for Health Care 

Stress and mental health: Foundation update (December 2022)  

Welcome to your December 2022 update from the Foundation eLearning programme. This month focuses on stress and mental health.  

All doctors feel stress at some time in their working lives. How do you recognise it in yourself and/or in your colleagues? What are your options to deal with it? The following sessions contain information that can support you and highlight implications on patient safety.  


The sessions cover key areas in your curriculum on:  

FPC 4: Communication and Care 

FPC 5: Continuity of Care 

FPC 6: Sharing the Vision 

FPC 7: Fitness to Practise 

FPC 8: Upholding Values  

FPC 11: Ethics and Law  

The Foundation elearning programme has been developed specifically for Foundation doctors by the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges in partnership with Health Education England eLearning for healthcare (HEE elfh), and is approved by the UK Foundation Programme (UKFPO). 

The Foundation programme has a range of other sessions that might help you. Please log in to the programme page to view more.  

You can sign on to the eLearning with your login supplied by eLearning for healthcare at any time during your foundation training:  

Horus and Turas have deep links to eLearning for healthcare sessions from the Foundation Curriculum and are therefore accessible to all trainees, making it quicker and easier to access the appropriate session linked to the curriculum. 

An evaluation survey is also available to capture feedback on these sessions.