Welcoming incoming foundation year 1 doctors new to the region

Many foundation year 1 (FY1) doctors will be unfamiliar with the local health system they are joining, so finding ways of explaining this to them is important to make sure that they are able to quickly make an effective contribution.

This case study looks at how Wessex approaches this.

Why a regional programme is needed?

The introduction of the Foundation Programme has changed the source foundation year 1 (FY1) doctors at Wessex. Prior to Foundation Programme, over 80% of FY1 doctors at Wessex came from the University of Southampton, and so had a good knowledge of the local health care system. Since the introduction of Foundation Programme in 2005, this percentage has decreased, such that only approximately 20% of FY1 doctors at Wessex are Southampton graduates. Therefore, final year medical students coming to Wessex for FY1 training often have limited knowledge of the environment and the programmes for which they will be applying.

What is the programme?

After doctors in training are allocated to the Wessex Foundation School, a welcome event is held where trusts which host Foundation Programmes have stands to help the applicants decide where in the region they want to go, this is staffed by education faculty and existing foundation doctors. The Head of the Wessex Foundation School gives an overview talk with the opportunity for final year medical students coming to Wessex for Foundation Programme to ask questions.

In addition, an e-welcome pack was introduced in 2014, where each applicant was given a mobile storage device containing important information about individual Trusts and programmes within Wessex.

High transferability

This initiative could be replicated in other organisations. The welcome event is held at venues specifically chosen for their public transport links. Funding for the venue and the e-welcome pack needs to be identified, but because of its success, this is now accounted for in the School budget.


Appreciation by incoming doctors in training

Levels of attendance at the welcome event, and feedback from those who come, has shown the popularity of the day, and how useful it is for them to meet faculty and especially current foundation doctors from the different Wessex trusts, as well as meeting Wessex Foundation School staff. By using an e-welcome pack, rather than basing the welcome pack on paper documents, it also contributed to the organisation's efforts on sustainability.

I want to learn more

For further information, contact Dr Mike Masding at mike.masding@wessex.hee.nhs.uk.

Who is this page for?
This case study is for those involved in organising the introduction of foundation year 1 doctors into the local health system.
Why might this page help you?
Ensuring incoming doctors understand the local health system will help them make an effective contribution.