Swap Policies for UK Foundation Schools 2019

We’ve collected the foundation programmes swap policies for each Foundation School in the UK, where this information was available.

Under exceptional circumstances, there is always flexibility to swap, but this is decided on a case by case basis and needs to be brought up with the Foundation School director of your region and your hospital. This article is focussed on swaps for those unrelated to exceptional circumstances.

There is also a set policy on Inter-Foundation School Transfers (IFST), information on which can be found in the UKFPO Handbook here.

It is important to remember placements don’t affect your chances of getting into a certain specialty. Selection panels know that trainees may not have been allocated their most preferred rotations. However, they will look for evidence of your commitment to that specialty through tasters, research, attending careers events etc. If you’d like to try out a specialty which doesn’t feature in your allocated programme, contact your Foundation School for more information.

Contents

East Anglia
Essex, Bedfordshire & Hertfordshire (EBH)
Leicester, Northamptonshire & Rutland (LNR)
North Central & East Thames
North West London
North West of England
Northern
Northern Ireland
Oxford
Peninsula
Scotland
Severn
South Thames
Trent
Wales
Wessex
West Midlands
Yorkshire and Humber

East Anglia

We do not offer any programme or rotation swaps, for the following reasons:

The process for allocating or matching to posts needs to be transparent and fair
Programme allocation follows a nationally co-ordinated points-based system. It would be unfair to “give” your rotation(s) or programme to another trainee when others who ranked higher in the allocation process would have preferred it.

All of our programmes are approved by HEEEoE in specific combinations
There is rarely any educational argument favouring swaps or alterations.

Placements don’t affect your chances of getting into a certain specialty
Selection panels know that trainees may not have been allocated their most preferred rotations. They will be looking for evidence of your commitment to that specialty through tasters, research, attending careers events etc.

If you’d like to try out a specialty which doesn’t feature in your allocated programme, visit this page for information on taster opportunities at your employing Trust.

Many doctors choose to resign at the end of F1, with a view to applying for a standalone F2 LAT post in their preferred specialties. Further information on LAT posts is here.

To see the full post on the HEE East of England site, please click here.

See example rotas, GMC ratings, reviews & more useful info from the hospitals in East Anglia here.

 

Essex, Bedfordshire & Hertfordshire (EBH)

We do not offer any programme or rotation swaps, for the following reasons:

The process for allocating or matching to posts needs to be transparent and fair
Programme allocation follows a nationally co-ordinated points-based system. It would be unfair to “give” your rotation(s) or programme to another trainee when others who ranked higher in the allocation process would have preferred it.

All of our programmes are approved by HEEEoE in specific combinations
There is rarely any educational argument favouring swaps or alterations.

Placements don’t affect your chances of getting into a certain specialty
Selection panels know that trainees may not have been allocated their most preferred rotations. They will be looking for evidence of your commitment to that specialty through tasters, research, attending careers events etc.

If you’d like to try out a specialty which doesn’t feature in your allocated programme, visit this page for information on taster opportunities at your employing Trust.

Many doctors choose to resign at the end of F1, with a view to applying for a standalone F2 LAT post in their preferred specialties. Further information on LAT posts is here.

To see the full post on the HEE East of England site, please click here.

See example rotas, GMC ratings, reviews & more useful info from the hospitals in Essex, Bedfordshire & Hertfordshire here.

 

Leicester, Northamptonshire & Rutland (LNR)

“LNR and Trent Foundation Schools two-year Foundation Programmes have been designed to provide broad educational programmes which will enable trainees to achieve all of the foundation competencies. The schools offer all foundation doctors the opportunity to swap elements of their F2 programme during their F1 year.

Trainees wishing to take part in the F2 swap process will be responsible for finding a swap themselves. To assist trainees in finding a swap a list of all F2 jobs and the doctors currently assigned to them will be published on the VLE at the beginning of the swaps process from 31st October until 31st January.”

To see the full post on the HEE East Midlands site, please click here.

See example rotas, GMC ratings, reviews & more useful info from the hospitals in Leicester, Northamptonshire & Rutland here.

 

North Central & East Thames

All London Foundation Schools offers a Swap Shop for doctors who wish to arrange to swap their provisionally allocated F2 programme with another doctor within the foundation school.

To see more information from the London and KSS Foundation Information Bulletin, please click here.

See example rotas, GMC ratings, reviews & more useful info from the hospitals in North Central & East Thames here.

 

North West London

NWTFS runs an F2 Swap shop for F1s who wish to arrange a swap of their allocated F2 post commencing the following August. The process is open to all eligible F1 trainees in NWTFS (those who are full-time, non-Academic and non-LAT). The swap shop is run alongside the Internal application for vacant F2 posts in early spring.  Only whole F2 posts of 12 months duration can be swapped, not individual placements or specialties. These will only be available via Synapse and will not be emailed direct to F1 doctors.  If you have forgotten your Synapse password, use the link on the login page to obtain a reset. Please read the Swap shop guidance document.

Once the swap shop and application for vacant F2 process is finished there will be no more swapping or moving allowed.  F2 posts that become vacant as a result of this process or subsequently will be returned to the Trust and will be recruited to as an F2 Locum Appointment for Training (LAT). If trainees wish to apply for these jobs they would need to resign from the Foundation School (with appropriate notice) and apply for the LAT in open competition.”

To see more information from the North West Thames Foundation School site, please click here.

See example rotas, GMC ratings, reviews & more useful info from the hospitals in North West London here.

 

North West of England

The North West of England Foundation School does not approve or allow any swaps between programmes and specialties, even when two applicants/trainees are in mutual agreement.

To see the full post on the HEE North West site, please click here.

See example rotas, GMC ratings, reviews & more useful info from the hospitals in North West of England here.

 

Northern

Our Foundation Schools do not allow trainees to swap any section of their programme.

For more information, please visit the HEE Northern England site here.

See example rotas, GMC ratings, reviews & more useful info from the hospitals in Northern here.

 

Northern Ireland

For information, please contact foundation.nimdta@hscni.net

For more information, please visit the NHS Northern Ireland site here.

See example rotas, GMC ratings, reviews & more useful info from the hospitals in Northern Ireland here.

 

Oxford

“The Oxford Foundation School (OFS) is developing a flexible approach to swapping Foundation year 2 (F2) rotations. Under this policy, Foundation Doctors appointed from August 2018 onwards will be able to swap a whole F2 rotation with another Foundation Doctor, subject to certain guidelines.

  • The swap is only available to current Foundation Year 1 doctors based within the Oxford Foundation School.
  • Swaps in F1 – no swaps will be allowed within the F1 programmes.
  • Individual placements cannot be swapped – only an entire F2 rotation.
  • The onus is on the foundation doctor to find a willing swap partner.
  • Oxford Foundation doctors MUST have one community post in their 2-year programme. Any swap must not result in a trainee without a community placement.
  • Only direct swaps between two Oxford Foundation doctors are permitted. Any rotation swaps involving more than two doctors will be automatically rejected.
  • The agreed swap must be educationally balanced, (over the whole 2 years) and approved by the Foundation School.
  • The foundation doctor(s) will have to demonstrate that they are making satisfactory progress in their training and that their e-portfolio is up to date.
  • The request must be supported by the Educational Supervisor and FTPD, during the F1 year (this may involve two Trusts and two FTPDs if a cross Trust swap is requested, and both FTPDs must give approval)
  • Only one swap within the 2 year foundation programme will be considered or allowed per trainee – multiple applications will not be accepted”
See example rotas, GMC ratings, reviews & more useful info from the hospitals in Oxford here.

 

Peninsula

Once you have been allocated a foundation rotation, you are not allowed to swap the whole rotation or any post within it except through the School’s official F2 Swaps Process or with the approval of the Foundation School in other exceptional circumstances. We understand that this rule is disappointing for some trainees, particularly those who want a rotation explicitly geared towards their preferred career choice but it is implemented for the following reasons:

The process for allocating or matching to posts needs to be transparent and fair. Trainees are matched to rotations on the basis of the national application process. Rotations do not belong to trainees and are not theirs to give away outside this process.

Educational approval has been given to the rotation to which you have been allocated. Changes to the rotation that are not authorised by the Foundation School will not carry educational approval.

For selection into specialty training, it is important that you show evidence of Foundation capabilities as well as suitability for and commitment to that specialty. Selection panels are aware that many trainees will not have had their most preferred rotations. What they will be looking for is evidence of your commitment to that specialty e.g. through tasters, audit, attending careers events etc.

While wanting to get the best outcomes for our trainees, the School does not want to raise false expectations that it can satisfy all requests for swaps. Swapping will depend on matching swaps being identified and cannot happen if it results in a vacancy rate in any trust that would impact on patient safety. The School’s ability to accommodate swaps will be very limited due to its obligation to ensure that each trainee has an appropriately balanced rotation.”

To see the full post on the HEE Peninsula site, please click here.

See example rotas, GMC ratings, reviews & more useful info from the hospitals in Peninsula here.

 

Scotland

“The School does not allow any “swaps”.  All of our programmes are ‘balanced’ educationally and are quality monitored by NHS Education for Scotland (NES) through its quality management processes.

Exceptionally, changes can be made for operational reasons relating to the running of the programme, or when specific circumstances warrant it on the basis of a trainee’s health or well-being.”

To see the full post on the NHS Scotland site, please click here.

See example rotas, GMC ratings, reviews & more useful info from the hospitals in Scotland here.

 

Severn

“In order to offer some flexibility in its allocation of programmes whilst ensuring rotations are balanced, the Severn Foundation School will facilitate a swap process whereby F1 trainees can apply for a swap of their matched F2 programme. This will be managed in conjunction with the F2 Special Circumstances, F2 Overseas and Time Out of Foundation Programme application processes.

  1. Part-way through their first year, F1 trainees will have the opportunity to apply for a swap of their F2 programme within the Severn Foundation School. Trainees will be able to request a swap of their F2 programme and/or its location.
  2. The School’s ability to meet requests for swaps will depend on several criteria including:
    – the number of F2 vacancies at the time of running the process (Individual provider headroom posts can be included in the process. This is to reduce the incidence of trainees applying for vacant F2 posts later on.)
    – the suitability of potential rotations for any individual trainee (it is the responsibility of the School to ensure that trainees do not repeat posts from the same specialty grouping during their 2 year programme unless one of those posts is community-facing)
    – the impact of resultant vacancies on patient safety
  3. Trainees can only apply to swap their full programme i.e. it will not be possible to apply to swap part of a rotation (e.g. Oncology for Cardiology), and priority will be given to Special Circumstances applications.
  4. By requesting a swap, trainees agree to put their existing allocated programme into the pool. If a swap is approved, the trainee must accept the swap – they cannot change their mind, as their own programme may have been allocated to another trainee.”

To see the full post on the HEE Severn site, please click here.

See example rotas, GMC ratings, reviews & more useful info from the hospitals in Severn here.

 

South Thames

South Thames permits foundation doctors to apply to swap either a single rotation or their whole 1 year programme with another foundation doctor within the same Trust. The Trusts retain the right to veto on a case by case basis. If approved by the Foundation Training Programme Director or Clinical Tutor at the Trust, the application is forwarded to the Foundation School for the Director or Associate Director to ensure that the two resulting programmes remain educationally balanced. Without approval from both the Trust and the Foundation School, the swap cannot take place.”

To see the full post on the South Thames Foundation School site, please click here.

See example rotas, GMC ratings, reviews & more useful info from the hospitals in South Thames here.

 

 

Trent

“LNR and Trent Foundation Schools two-year Foundation Programmes have been designed to provide broad educational programmes which will enable trainees to achieve all of the foundation competencies. The schools offer all foundation doctors the opportunity to swap elements of their F2 programme during their F1 year.

Trainees wishing to take part in the F2 swap process will be responsible for finding a swap themselves. To assist trainees in finding a swap a list of all F2 jobs and the doctors currently assigned to them will be published on the VLE at the beginning of the swaps process from 31st October until 31st January.

Please see below the F2 Swaps Policy and form in the download section of the page.”

To see the full post on the HEE East Midlands site, please click here.

See example rotas, GMC ratings, reviews & more useful info from the hospitals in Trent here.

 

Wales

It is not possible to swap places between foundation schools. Foundation doctors contemplating requesting an Inter Foundation School Transfer (IFST) should check the relevant guidance for applicants in the Key Documents section of the UKFPO website.  Please note that it is not possible to change foundation schools if the circumstances have not changed since the application for FP 2019.The Wales Foundation School does not permit foundation doctors to swap their programme allocated.”
To see the full post on the NHS Wales site, please click here.

See example rotas, GMC ratings, reviews & more useful info from the hospitals in Wales here.

 

Wessex

“We recognise that a Foundation doctor’s personal circumstances or career ambitions may change after their initial Foundation Programme application. We are therefore happy to facilitate swaps of the allocated FY2 year, where possible, according to the following policy. Please note that to be fair to all we have a strict timeline and late applications will not be considered.

Key points

a) For your application to be considered, trainees must be (in the opinion of your Foundation Programme Training Director) on track to successfully complete your FY1 year.

b) It is only possible to swap FY2 posts and you must formally apply for a swap during the application window in your FY1 year. Private swaps and swaps arranged outside of the application window are not permitted.

c) You can only swap a whole FY2 year rotation (including with a trainee on the same rotation as you – so that you can alter the order of your allocated posts); NOT one or two 4-month posts.”

To see the full post on the HEE Wessex site, please click here.

See example rotas, GMC ratings, reviews & more useful info from the hospitals in Wessex here.

 

West Midlands

Once you have been allocated to a specific rotation order you are normally not allowed to swap this. Rotation orders are not amended unless there are extenuating circumstances, and only then with the agreement of the Foundation School Director (FSD).”

To see the full post on the HEE West Midlands site, please click here.

See example rotas, GMC ratings, reviews & more useful info from the hospitals in West Midlands here.

Yorkshire and Humber

Our Foundation Schools do not allow trainees to swap any section of their programme.

To see the full post on the HEE Yorkshire and Humber site, please click here.

See example rotas, GMC ratings, reviews & more useful info from the hospitals in Yorkshire and Humber here.

 

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