Mandatory shadowing for F1s

ALL doctors entering foundation training in England this summer will be required to undertake at least four days of work shadowing before starting their jobs in August.

Medical graduates will have to start shadowing their new role no later than Thursday, August 1, 2013 before taking up their foundation year 1 roles on August 7.

The move continues the scheme introduced in 2012 by Health Education England which aimed to cut stress levels for newly qualified doctors and improve patient safety. Nearly all Trusts implemented shadowing last year, prompting HEE to hail the programme a success and to continue it for 2013.

As last year, the shadowing will be paid on a pro-rata basic F1 salary.

Rules state that at least two days of shadowing should involve clinical activity such as a clinical handover and an out-of-hours shift. Trainees should also be given a guided tour of the working environment and a trust-based induction.

An HEE survey of F1 doctors about last year’s scheme found a third thought the most useful component was shadowing the outgoing F1 doctor. Trainees also valued being involved in scenarios and teaching about the critically ill patient.

Nearly all respondents (95 per cent) said they were paid for attending shadowing, an increase on the 55 per cent who said they had been paid in 2011.

Employers in England will be expected to confirm arrangements with trainees at least six weeks in advance.