All medical graduates should be guaranteed foundation places, says BMA

by BMA media team

Press release from the BMA

Published: Friday 11 March 2022
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Responding to figures from the UK Foundation Programme that show 791 final year medical students are on the reserve list for foundation training places, Khadija Meghrawi, BMA medical students committee co-chair said:

“We have made it clear to Government that all medical graduates should be guaranteed foundation placements, but now we have a situation where a record number are left with unnecessary uncertainty about where they are headed this August.

“Both the Government and UKFPO have said that they expect all those on the reserve list to be allocated a place as in previous years, and we are relieved that this year’s reserve list won’t have to wait as long to be allocated their placements. However, it is concerning, after years of steadily increasing reserve numbers, that we’re seeing the same situation arise again.

“As medical students ourselves, we personally feel for our colleagues. In a time where student mental health is declining, this additional source of uncertainty and anxiety is particularly unfair.

“The Government is failing to maintain a well-supported future workforce, which also has consequences for our future patients, many of whom have far less privilege than medical students, and who rely on an efficient and well-equipped workforce to meet their health needs. “

Lara Akinnawonu, BMA medical students committee co-chair, added:

“As the BMA pointed out at the time of the increase in medical school places from 2018, a solution to the disparity between medical school places and foundation school places is needed to avoid this problem worsening in future, and this year’s data makes this even starker.

“While there is a great need to drastically increase medical school places to ensure we are training enough doctors for the future, this must be backed with a corresponding increase in foundation and specialty training places, as well as resourcing for medical schools themselves.

“The BMA will continue to lobby for more long-term solutions to this problem and work to guide students through this stressful time.”


Notes to editors

The BMA is a professional association and trade union representing and negotiating on behalf of all doctors in the UK. A leading voice advocating for outstanding health care and a healthy population. An association providing members with excellent individual services and support throughout their lives.