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Listed below are frequently asked questions and answers relating to the national Foundation recruitment process and allocation to the Wessex Foundation School. 

If you have a question that has not been answered on these pages, please email it to 

Frequently Asked Questions.



If one (or both) of your referees has not submitted a reference online before the deadline, please don't worry. This will not have affected your programme allocation. Your referees will still have the opportunity to supply a reference directly to your employing Trust. Your referee details will be passed onto the Medical Personnel / HR department at your employing hospital by us. The hospital will take up any outstanding references for F1 trainees before August and referees will be able to submit these directly to the hospital.

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When will my Trust contact me?

Some of our trusts may start contacting applicants in April - but some may not contact applicants for a few more weeks after this. It will depend on the time frame set by each individual Trust. And will also depend on workload and staffing levels at each Trust.

If you are keen to get in touch with your employing Trust, please contact a member of staff in their Medical Personnel department or in the Postgraduate Education Centre.

For a list of contacts at each Trust, please visit the Trust information page. For queries about your contract, pay and pre-employment checks etc. please contact the Medial Personnel department.

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What are the shadowing arrangements in Wessex?

It is compulsory for all new F1 trainees to attend Shadowing week in Wessex. Shadowing will take place at the hospital where you will be spending your F1 year. Details about shadowing arrangements can be found on our website on the Shadowing in Wessex page.

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Shadowing as part of the undergraduate curriculum

Please note that Wessex Foundation School is unable to assist with shadowing arrangements that are undergraduate curriculum requirements for medical schools.

If you need to arrange an undergraduate shadowing placement, please liaise with your allocated Trust to find out if this is possible, and to make arrangements. Please note that it may not be possible to arrange this at your allocated Trust, and you may be advised to complete this at a hospital local to your medical school.

All applicants allocated to Wessex will need to attend the Wessex shadowing week at their employing trust. This includes applicants who have already completed an undergraduate shadowing placement.

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Tier 4 Visas

International students who are graduates of UK universities will need to apply to the UKBA for a Tier 4 visa to extend their leave to remain – enabling the trainee to complete their two year foundation programme.
Health Education England (HEE) provides Tier 4 visa sponsorship for all non-EEA citizens graduating from UK medical schools who have secured a place on a Foundation Programme.

HEE will email all students who indicated on their application that they would need to apply for a visa. These students will be asked to complete an online form and supply supporting documentation. Further information will be provided by the Tier 4 team at HEE

  •         Please refer to the Tier 4 information and the Tier 4 FAQs on the UKFPO website.
  •         Refer to the UKBA website for information and to access the Tier 4 Visa application.


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Matching to Trusts/Programmes within the Wessex Foundation School – how does it work?

Applicants will be automatically matched to programmes according to their combined EPM and SJT score as well as their preference. This is a simple match in score order and will place applicants in a Trust/programme according to their ranked preferences. You will therefore be matched in score order, gaining a place in a Trust/programme before applicants who scored lower than you. Please refer to your applicant guidance booklet for information regarding tied scores.

Appointment to a post is dependent upon the applicant successfully completing medical school (passing finals) and is subject to pre-employment checks and references. 

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Withdrawing from your allocated programme and from the Foundation Programme application system

If you do not take up your allocated Foundation Programme, you will not be able to find an alternative F1 training programme in August. Before you make any decision, you are advised to speak with your medical school / foundation school to review your options.

F1 vacancies across the country will only be advertised as programmes where an essential criterion is that the applicant should hold full GMC registration. 

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Applicant Scores - Can I compare my score to others within Wessex?

Yes - we have produced bar charts showing the range of scores of applicants allocated to Wessex.

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F2 rotations

Trainees are guaranteed a fixed two-year programme in Wessex with the majority of trainees remaining in the same trust for F2. Some F1 programmes are linked to another named trust for F2, however all applicants will know both their F1 and F2 rotations.                     


F2 Abroad - What options are available? 

F1 doctors wishing to achieve their F2 competencies outside the UK will need to apply for F2 abroad and Prospective Approval of the overseas F2 programme. Wessex Foundation School can only approve F2 abroad in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa

We ask that applications for F2 abroad and Prospective Approval are submitted six months ahead of the post start date. Guidelines for this process can be found on our F2 abroad page.

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Can I undertake my F1 year abroad?

The Wessex Foundation School does not facilitate the completion of the F1 year overseas for University of Southampton graduates.

Please be aware that if you undertake your F1 year outside the UK in posts that do not have the approval of your university medical school and local postgraduate deanery, you may not be eligible to apply for full GMC registration if you return to the UK in the future.
The GMC cannot accept any other evidence in place of a Certificate of Experience and without this, you will only be able to apply for provisional registration on your return. Further guidance is available from the GMC website.

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As of 1 August 2007 Trusts are not obliged to provide free accommodation for F1 doctors. Please review trust profile information and contact the individual trusts to find out about local accommodation arrangements.

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How can I find out more about the Trusts within Wessex?

For information on any of the individual Trusts within Wessex, please visit our Trusts page which lists links to all Trust websites and Trust profiles.

The Trusts that offer Foundation training in Wessex are:

  • Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
  • The Royal Bournemouth & Christchurch NHS Foundation Trust
  • Dorset County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Dorchester
  • Dorset Healthcare University NHS Foundation Trust 
  • Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Isle of Wight NHS Trust
  • The Jersey General Hospital, States of Jersey
  • Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust
  • Solent NHS Trust
  • Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust
  • University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust.

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