News story

Shadowing for foundation year one doctors introduced

Sir Bruce Keogh, NHS Medical Direct, announces a paid shadowing period for all new appointees to F1 at the end of July.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


Learning from pilots undertaken across trusts in England and in other parts of the United Kingdom, NHS Operations Executive agreed that all new appointees should undertake a period of paid shadowing immediately before they take up their foundation year one (F1) post.

Letters from Sir Bruce Keogh, NHS Medical Director, state that in order to prepare new F1 doctors starting this August, it has been agreed to introduce a paid shadowing period for all new appointees to F1 at the end of July.

To date there has been variable practice of shadowing across the country and key stakeholders believe there will be considerable advantages for both trainees and the quality and safety of patient care if there is clearer guidance and a more consistent approach.

General Medical Council (GMC) documents, ‘The New Doctor’ and ‘Tomorrow’s Doctors’, and Medical Education England’s ‘Foundation for Excellence’ highlight the need for a period of shadowing. The GMC denotes this as a discrete period where medical students / appointees work closely with the F1 doctor who is in the post that they will take up upon graduation.

Published 8 March 2012