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Current position of psychiatry in UK foundation schools

  • John Lowe (a1) and Gianetta Rands (a2) (a3)
Abstract
Aims and method

We report an audit of the provision of psychiatric postgraduate education within the foundation programme and psychiatry specialty programmes in the UK. Our primary measure was the number of foundation posts in psychiatry. Our audit standard was that all foundation doctors should receive programmed training in psychiatry via a psychiatry foundation post.

Results

We found a total of 413 foundation posts in psychiatry in 21 out of 22 foundation schools in England. This figure is only a fifth of that required to meet the audit standard. There is training capacity for 500 core trainees and 460 higher trainees in psychiatry per year. Currently, 13.6% of specialists other than general practitioners on the General Medical Council registers are psychiatrists.

Clinical implications

The provision of programmed postgraduate training in psychiatry in UK foundation schools is inadequate. The training needs of all doctors, the mental healthcare needs of all patients, and recruitment to psychiatry are all likely to suffer as a consequence.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Corresponding author
John Lowe (jlowe@nhs.net)
Footnotes
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See commentary, pp. 69–70, this issue.

Declaration of interest

None.

Footnotes
References
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1 Department of Health. Modernising Medical Careers. Department of Health 2009.
2 Foundation Programme UK. The Foundation Programme Curriculum. FP UK, 2007 (http://www.foundationprogramme.nhs.UK/pages/home/key-documents#foundation-programme-curriculum).
3 Herzberg, J, Forrest, A, Heard, S. Modernising medical careers: an opportunity for psychiatry? Psychiatr Bull 2004; 28: 233–4.
4 Brown, N, Bhugra, D. Modernising medical careers, the Foundation Programme and psychiatry. Psychiatr Bull 2005; 29: 204–6.
5 Boyle, AM, Chaloner, DA, Millward, T, Rao, V, Messer, C. Recruitment from foundation year 2 posts into specialty training: a potential success story? Psychiatr Bull 2009; 33: 306–8.
6 Department of Health. A Guide to Postgraduate Specialty Training in the UK (The Gold Guide). Department of Health, 2007.
7 NHS Information Centre for Health and Social Care. NHS Staff 1998 2008 (Medical and Dental). NHS ICHSC, March 2009 (http://www.ic.nhs.uk/statistics-and-data-collections/workforce/nhs-staff-numbers/nhs-staff-1998-2008-medical-and-dental).
8 Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, Royal College of Psychiatrists. No Health without Mental Health: The Supporting Evidence. Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, 2009.
9 Collins, J. Foundation for Excellence: An Evaluation of the Foundation Programme. Medical Education England, 2010.
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 1758-3209
  • EISSN: 1758-3217
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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Current position of psychiatry in UK foundation schools

  • John Lowe (a1) and Gianetta Rands (a2) (a3)
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