What is Enhancing Generalist Skills?

NHS England’s enhance programme is a postgraduate medical education offer that aligns with the Foundation Curriculum. Inspired by key findings from the Future Doctor report and highlighted in the recent NHS long term workforce plan, the programme equips healthcare professionals with enhanced generalist skills.

Enhance can support you to develop attitudes, skills and behaviours that will be beneficial and transferable for both future clinical work and specialty job applications. Completing the enhance programme also provides evidence of meeting the holistic element of the Foundation Curriculum as well as a Contextual Leadership certification.

The enhance programme is available to all Foundation doctors from August 2023. The HEE Enhance website contains further information about the programme here.

What does enhance aim to do?

The enhance programme was created to improve generalist skills in UK healthcare workers. Generalism in this context means taking a holistic approach to the health and wellbeing of both individuals and entire populations.

Why is enhance important?

Our healthcare system has become increasingly complex, which can often cause fragmented and disjointed care. As well as being inconvenient for the patient, it also increases the chances of error, waste and duplication of care.

By improving generalist skills, enhance will help healthcare professionals feel more confident at managing care across multiple overlapping physical and mental health services. It will equip clinicians to bridge organisational boundaries, work better in multi-professional teams, and provide more person-centred care.

Enhance also aims to give practitioners a greater understanding of social justice and the environment, and how these play a crucial role in practicing modern medicine.

How will enhance be delivered?

There are two enhance programmes, enhance enable and enhance explore:

  • Enable– self-directed learning using the enhance workbook. Trainees get a certificate for each module they complete from the national enhance team. 
  • Explore– bespoke programmes which include protected time for generalist and community placement activities. These will be piloted in Kent for the 2024-25 intake of foundation doctors

Enhance is an outcomes-based programme. It allows individuals to work at their own pace and to use a variety of methods to fulfil the curriculum items. Its scope has been left deliberately broad to allow areas to align the programme with their local priorities.

What does the programme cover?

The enhance programme covers six domains, as outlined above. These domains are divided into six modules, each of which has a workbook. The workbooks discuss the themes of the module and set out a variety of learning objectives. Trainees can complete each workbook in a variety of ways, including core foundation teaching, self-directed learning, reflection on clinical events, quality improvement projects, shadowing other healthcare professionals, and arts based practice.

There are also four ‘cross cutting themes’ on the enhance programme. Whilst there are no workbooks dedicated directly to these, all the work do touch upon them in some way. These cross cutting themes are:

What is being done nationally?

Enhance has been piloted by seven trailblazer sites across the UK. Each site has used a wide variety of tools, from virtual reality to sustainability field trips, to deliver the programme. You can watch some videos about the work these sites have done here.

What are we doing in Kent, Surrey and Sussex?

You can start the enhance programme today! This website has all the information you need to get started. Just select the relevant pages from the menu above.

If you are a trainee just getting started, click here. If you are an educational supervisor wanting to know more, click here. If you are a FPD or administrator, please click here.