F2 Swaps Policy

Purpose

To offer some flexibility in its allocation of programmes whilst ensuring programmes are balanced, the Severn Foundation School facilitates a swap process whereby F1 doctors can apply for a swap of their matched F2 rotation. This will be managed in conjunction with the F2 Special Circumstances, F2 Overseas and Time Out of Foundation Programme application processes.

Background

Foundation Programmes are designed to deliver a broad range of experience, and provide each Foundation Doctor with a generic programme in which they can achieve the outcomes of the curriculum. A Foundation programme should not repeat posts from the same specialty grouping within the 2 years and ideally should contain a community placement (though this is not currently mandated). In order to meet these requirements, Foundation Doctors are allocated to a 2-year fixed foundation programme where the F1 rotation is matched to a compliant F2 rotation to ensure an appropriate balance of placements.

The Severn Foundation School recognises that this allocation of a 2-year programme restricts the choice of posts that foundation doctors can have and we are keen to improve foundation doctors’ satisfaction with their programmes if possible.

Principles

Part-way through their first year, F1 doctors will have the opportunity to apply for a swap of their F2 rotation within the Severn Foundation School.

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.
  • The suitability of potential rotations for any individual foundation doctor (it is the responsibility of the School to ensure that foundation doctors 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.

Foundation doctors can only apply to swap their full F2 rotation, i.e. it will not be possible to apply to swap an individual placement (e.g. Oncology for Cardiology).

By requesting a swap, foundation doctors agree to put their existing allocated F2 rotation into the pool. If a swap is approved, the foundation doctor must accept the swap – they cannot change their mind, as their original F2 rotation may have been allocated to another foundation doctor. However, there will be the opportunity to opt out prior to the swaps process taking place.

If foundation doctors have completed a 4-month F1 placement that entails more than one specialty (e.g. the 4 month post is Psychiatry and AAU), they can be matched to an F2 rotation with any of these specialties included in them.

If, in line with the above principles, it is not possible to facilitate a swap that matches a foundation doctor's preferences, they will remain in their original allocated F2 rotation.

The matching process will be transparent and fair and will not impose an unnecessary administrative burden on the foundation doctors or on personnel associated with the Foundation School. Priority will be given to Special Circumstances applications. All other swaps will be allocated randomly.

There will be an appeals process for decisions made as part of the swaps process.

Swaps of rotations cannot be made outside of the School’s official process.

Less than full time foundation doctors (LTFT)

Matching LTFT foundation doctors to F2 posts requires special consideration. It may not be possible for LTFT foundation doctors to secure the rotation they would have gained if they were full-time foundation doctors. This is because by virtue of accepting LTFT training, foundation doctors may be required to slot-share, the full-time post may be unsuitable for a LTFT foundation doctor or the post may not have the capacity to take the LTFT foundation doctor in a supernumerary capacity.

An LTFT foundation doctor can still apply for a swap of F2 rotation under the policy, but it is likely that decisions about their programme will be made outside the policy in order to accommodate other factors.

Specialised foundation doctors

Foundation Doctors undertaking a Specialised Foundation Programme (SFP) may apply to swap their F2 rotation, but swaps will only be considered with other SFP applicants. A Specialised Foundation Doctor cannot apply to swap into a standard F2 rotation, and a standard F1 cannot apply to swap into a Specialised Foundation Programme.

Special Circumstances

Foundation doctors wishing to change their F2 rotation due to Special Circumstances will need to apply through the F2 Special Circumstances process.

Withdrawal from the Swaps Process

Applicants may opt out of the swaps process up to the preferencing window deadline. Once the F2 Swaps preferencing window has closed, submitted requests cannot be withdrawn.

Process

  1. All F1s will be notified of the swaps process including the application window and deadline for applying.
  2. Applicants will be asked to preference the available F2 rotations. Swaps applicants should only rank F2 rotations they would be happy to swap into, as once a swap is confirmed it cannot be changed.
  3. Priority will be given to foundation doctors who have special circumstances. All other swaps will be allocated randomly.
  4. An F2 rotation swap will only be approved if it provides the foundation doctor with a balanced overall Foundation Programme in conjunction with their F1 rotation.
  5. The Foundation School will notify foundation doctors of the outcome of their application.
  6. The Foundation School will notify Trusts of any change to their expected F2 intake resulting from the swaps process.

The F2 Swaps Application Form can be accessed by clicking here. The form will be open from 4th December 2023 at 09:00 GMT until 5th January 2024 at 12:00 midday GMT.

Timeline

Application window opens 04/12/2023 09:00 am GMT
Application window closes 05/01/2024 12:00 midday GMT
Preferencing window opens 10/01/2024
Preferencing window closes 24/01/2024
Deadline for withdrawing from process 24/01/2024
Results released 31/01/2024