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Foundation Programmes

The County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust Foundation Programme will commence again in August 2020 with 58 new F1 trainees starting a 2 year training  programme, working across our Trust sites in Durham, Bishop Auckland and Darlington, with our GP partner practices and in mental health sites across the County.

The Foundation Programme has training as its basis - delivered by skilled, experienced and highly motivated medical and non-medical professionals. The training attachments comply with the elements and principles of the Foundation Programme, and are compliant with the European Working Time Directive (EWTD). 

At County Durham and Darlington, medical education is recognised as an integral element of training and development. The active development of the facilities to support life long learning for all health care staff, is a key priority.   The newly opened Prospect House, adjacent to the University Hospital of North Durham, is a new education and learning facility, with excellent clinical skills facilities.

The essential components of hospital based medical education include comprehensive shadowing and induction, both generic and specialty based, educational supervision, clinical supervision, effective appraisal, clinical skills development, access to training, structured teaching and continuing medical education. We pride ourselves in providing innovative, enjoyable, high quality training for our trainees.   We also have a number of innovative community placements, including General Practice, Psychiatry and community medicine.

Our Clinical Simulation Centre at Bishop Auckland Hospital provides all of our Foundation Doctors with training during the Shadowing Programme and at intervals throughout the year.

Multi-professional learning is another priority for us. Multidisciplinary education can be matched to inter-disciplinary working - multidisciplinary teams deliver clinical care with contributions from different disciplines. This shared care between health professionals is a regular occurrence on the wards, in outpatients' clinics and in the community.


The Foundation Programme offers training opportunities within an acute care setting with support from the local General Practitioners and the Mental Health Trust for Psychiatry placements in F1 and F2. County Durham and Darlington supports the principle of cross-trust training and will continue to explore collaboration with neighbouring Trusts and community partners. 

The attachments in F1 provide structured, supported and comprehensive training opportunities in Medicine and Surgery specialties. This training will be consolidated and strengthened during the "speciality" attachments in F2, where areas of interest will provide in-depth opportunities for a continuum as far as patients' care pathways are concerned. 

Well over half of the F2 rotations provide a general practice or Psychiatry placement within the County Durham area along side our innovative posts in Clinical Radiology and Academic Medicine.

Electronic rotas are currently available via Health Roster across all Medical Departments, and plans are in place to roll this out across all clinical areas for August 2019.  This enables access to rotas elecronically and supports booking for annual leave and study leave, as well as reporting sick leave and additional shift availability.

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'I have to compliment everyone on their pleasant persona and their expertise and knowledge. By the end of the 5 days, I did not feel as though I had been in a hospital ward and was very relaxed.'

Patient, Ward 16 Orthopaedics, University Hospital of North Durham