Doncaster teaching hospital enters partnership with local school creating England’s first ‘Foundation School in Health’

Hall Cross Academy will work closely with Doncaster and Bassettlaw teaching hospitals to develop opportunities for students.

What is a foundation school in health?

In the United Kingdom, foundation schools bring together medical schools, the local deanery, trusts and other organisations.

Foundation schools offer foundation doctors training in a range of different settings and clinical environments in order to complete the Foundation Programme.

The schools are administered by a centrally located group of staff members which is supported by the deanery.

What function will it serve?

Students will now be exposed to the medical profession from a much earlier age.

The hope is to address the shortage in clinicians alongside the ever-expanding population, with the prediction being the NHS will face further demands for workers in the near future.

The school will benefit from increased involvement from health professionals giving students ‘extensive work experience’.

Outside of traditional academic studies, the partnership will allow access to more vocational routes into the medical profession.

Importantly, this partnership won’t just be about patient-facing roles, but also about career possibilities in key areas such as Laboratories, IT, Estates and Facilities and other corporate functions within the Trust.’

Dr Alasdair Strachan, Director of Education and Consultant Anaesthetist at the Trust, said:

“This is a fantastic development not only locally but also for the wider NHS. By working closely with our partners at Hall Cross Academy we will not only further increase opportunities for students to embark on a hugely rewarding career in health, but also lay a promising and skilled foundation for the future of our local hospitals.”

The future

The school will undoubtedly now see an increase in admission rates as a result of the partnership.

The number of students entering the medical profession will also see an increase, where over recent years there has been a drop off.

Students have often cited length of study as well as student living costs as being off-putting factors when deciding on a career in medicine.

The partnership may reduce higher education degree study lengths with students gaining valuable experience whilst in high school and sixth form.

It has always been known in education that certain students are simply not good at sitting exams but excel in vocational areas.

The move towards the partnership comes in the year of BREXIT and perhaps shows a move by the government in backing British students to fill job roles in the NHS rather than looking abroad.