Scale of trainee jobs shortage confirmed

THE foundation training programme is oversubscribed by almost 300 places, the UKFPO has confirmed.

There are currently 293 more eligible applicants than places available for the programme which will start in August. That is only slightly lower than last year’s record-high oversubscription of 295.

This is the fourth year in a row there has been a shortfall in places.

Despite the high number, the UK Foundation Programme Office has moved to reassure trainees. They predict a number of applicants will drop out of the programme between now and March when the primary list allocations will be announced. This is generally due to candidates failing exams or withdrawing from the process.

Over the coming weeks, all eligible applicants will be ranked in score order and the top 7,589 will be allocated to a foundation school on March 10. Those left over will be put on a reserve list and will be given jobs in batches over the following months.

Details of the reserve allocations will be published on the UKFPO website shortly.

UKFPO national director Professor Derek Gallen said: “Despite the programme being oversubscribed again, I would like to reassure applicants that we are in a better position at this stage in the process than last year.

“I am confident that as has been the case since the programme was first oversubscribed, all eligible applicants will be placed in jobs by the start of the programme in August.”

Reserve list applicants are being offered support from their medical school and will be kept “fully informed” as to when allocations will take place.

In 2011 the programme was oversubscribed by 81 and in 2010 the figure was 185. Last year the final applicants were found jobs in July.

For more information visit www.foundationprogramme.nhs.uk/pages/home