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Health Education England invest £25M to support new doctors

By Evie Payne

27th Sep 2022 | Local News

Image courtesy of Oakham Medical Practice.
Image courtesy of Oakham Medical Practice.

Following a shortage of doctors both nationwide and in rural areas such as Rutland, those in Postgraduate training are benefitting from a further £25m investment by Health Education England (HEE) during 2022/23 to support the continued recovery of medical training which is essential to service recovery and patient care.

The financial investment last year achieved significant savings for the NHS, with reduced extension rates and increased support for trainee and educator wellbeing.

The Postgraduate Medical Education (PGME) Training Recovery Programme launched in 2020 to minimise the impact of the pandemic on the progression of England's 55,000 doctors in postgraduate training, critical to managing the NHS care backlog. This year's funding has been divided into £20m split regionally, based on the number of doctors in training programmes in each area to be used in the specialties where doctors are most at risk of falling behind in their training. The remaining £5m is being allocated for cross-regional and national interventions.

We have now developed the Training Recovery Toolkit aimed at Directors of Medical Education (DMEs), Training Programme Directors (TPDs), supervisors and other medical educators to illustrate the impact of interventions on training recovery and to encourage adoption of interventions. With this toolkit, we share real training recovery case studies that target multi specialty-specific needs of doctors in training and their educators and provide key contacts at HEE who can help with queries about training recovery interventions and funding. 

Professor Sheona McLeod, Medical Director for Medical Reform at HEE, said: "The funding for this year shows a shared commitment to maintaining the training of postgraduate doctors delivering vital clinical services as they progress through their careers."

Examples of training recovery interventions shared on the toolkit, include:

  • Individualised training recovery solutions for greater flexibility in training pathways, to ensure both the future supply of consultants and GPs, and service delivery, and to increase doctors morale.
  • Virtual and blended learning, simulation, immersive technologies including Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Simulation, Avatars and Virtual Learning Environments (VLE) and E-learning courses.
  • Wellbeing support for training recovery and future health with a range of tools, resources and programmes which support the wellbeing of both learners and their educators, reduce burnout, and improve flexibility.

Professor Sheona McLeod concluded: "Allocating the funds regionally supports specific targeted innovations for individuals and services where they need it most. We will build on the innovation and best practice seen over the first year of the programme which are highlighted in the Training Recovery Toolkit. The toolkit can assist regions in generating and prioritising ideas which will have the greatest impact on recovery, while continuing to focus on wellbeing and ensuring doctors and educators are supported during the pressures of Winter and training and service recovery."

This support for Postgraduate doctors will come as a relief to many Rutland residents, some of whom have voiced their concerns regarding the provisions of care at Oakham Medical Practice. Read more here.

In July 2022, the practice received an Inadequate rating from the Care Quality Commission.

The Partners at Oakham Medical Practice said: "We take the findings of the CQC report very seriously and have been working with our team, addressing each of the recommendations, to make improvements and provide patients with good quality care.

"We would like to pay tribute to our valued staff who are our greatest asset. Our staff have continued to work with true integrity and professionalism throughout the challenges of the pandemic, adapting and responding to an increase in demand of GP services. We will continue to invest in our staff, enabling them to continue to provide good services to our patients."

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