Hospital Dr News

Four days of shadowing for newly qualified docs

The Department of Health in England has announced that all new foundation programme trainees will undertake a minimum of four days shadowing immediately before starting the F1 year.

The government says it will reduce the level of stress which many newly qualified doctors experience, while improving patient safety.

All foundation doctors appointed in England will spend a minimum of four working days shadowing the F1 job that they will be taking up and completing a trust-based induction.

Shadowing will equip foundation doctors with the local knowledge and skills they need to provide safe, high quality patient care from day one, claim the Foundation Programme organisers, as well as help them become familiar with their new working environment.

Foundation doctors will be paid for this shadowing period on a pro-rata basic F1 salary. Employers in England will contact new F1s prior to starting work to advise them of their specific arrangements. New F1s must ensure they are available for at least the last week of July 2012.

This announcement only applies to new F1 doctors in England. New F1 doctors in Wales have been required to participate in a paid four day shadowing period for the last few years. Different arrangements exist in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

A spokesperson for the BMA welcomed the news saying F1s had felt unprepared, anxious and unsupported during their first few weeks in the job in the past.

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2 Responses to “Four days of shadowing for newly qualified docs”

  1. Tom Goodfellow says:

    When I was a medical student in the dark ages it was common for senior students (near finals) to do locums for house plants (as we were called in those days).

    Closely supervised it was a brilliant way to get experience at the coal face.

    On the other hand there was a “firm” of other HOs, SHOs, registrar, possibly senior registrar and consultant. So there was always someone around to help out.

    That seems to have gone these days!

  2. Dr Umesh Prabhu says:

    I am glad to read this. It is important to have shadowing for newly qualified doctors. But it is equally important to teach them issues like patient safety, why doctors make mistakes, what puts patients lives at risk, how they can prevent them, what is the duty of a doctor, who can help, support and guide them, when to seek help, what to do if they see patients lives are put at risk, how to deal with complaints, litigation and so on. So proper induction is also very important for all newly qualified doctors.

    For doctors qualified outside UK, it is much more important to have excellent induction and they should also have proper shadowing. This would protect patients and help and guide doctors to be good doctors and settle in our NHS.

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