New Clause 27 - Duty as to workforce and training innovation

Part of Health and Care Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 5:00 pm on 27 October 2021.

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Photo of Philippa Whitford Philippa Whitford Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Health and Social Care), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Europe) 5:00, 27 October 2021

Obviously, there has been a drive to expand medical student places in universities right across the UK, but one part of the system that is controlled centrally is foundation places, which a medical graduate has to spend their first two years in. This year, for the first time, there was a shortfall of about 400 places. Hopefully all those graduates have now got a foundation doctor place, but they cannot practise outwith a foundation place, which lasts two years, so they simply cannot work as doctors, nor can they work as doctors until they complete that two-year foundation role. There is no point in expanding medical school places if those at the end of the production line get turfed out to be unemployed or go and work as something else. It is not just about university places; there is also the issue of placements as foundation doctors for the first two years of their career.