News Article

UKFPO Statement from your Students' Union

picture of VP Education (Health) Aless Gibson

Dear Medical Students of Guy’s, King’s, St Thomas’ and beyond,

I write to you following the announcement of the UK Foundation Programme Office (UKFPO) changes that will take effect for cohorts graduating in 2023 and beyond. As I was originally part of this cohort, the situation is even more pertinent to me and I recognise the distress this decision as well as the communication of this decision has caused to all students.

As I’m sure you are aware by now, the GKT Medical Students’ Association has been leading the force alongside 30 other Medical Associations and representative groups who have organised together as the National MedSoc, and who are calling for the UKFPO to:

  • Delay the decision until 2027-28 so no current students are affected
  • Include meaningful student representation and voice in the conversation
  • Demonstrate evidence which led them to their decision
  • Commit to Widening Participation across a broad range of actions and measures.

In addition to the stance from National MedSoc, other representative bodies such as the Medical Schools Council and the British Medical Association Students’ Division have also voiced their opposition toward their decision and called for the UKFPO to strongly reconsider what they have chosen.

I want to let all medical students know that I support you in your activism, in campaigning and lobbying for change, and have shared this support with the GKT MSA. I have been contacted by students who welcome, and those who reject the decision which has been made, and this identified to me that this issue is not an easy one to resolve. This makes the UKFPO’s rash decision without student nor medical school consultation even more inconsiderate and distasteful.

I believe the actions identified in the National MedSoc petition are a great summary of what needs to follow, and I would ask anyone who can to sign it by visiting this link: petition.nationalmedsoc.org

I want to let you know that key influential figures at King’s recognise the impact this decision has had on students and are serious in making sure the best outcome results for students; you will have seen communications from Dean of Medical Education, Professor Tim Lancaster, and it also featured in my latest catch up with Senior VP & Provost (Health), Professor Richard Trembath, where we discussed how affected parties, staff and students alike, were right to be appalled in the lack of consultation and the fact that this information was released over social media.
And lastly, I want to let you know that I am considering what I can do in my position beyond signing and promoting the National MedSoc petition. I will be reaching out to SU Student Officers across the country to connect, and think about where we can add to existing campaigning, including lobbying decision-makers.

As always, you can contact me at aless.gibson@kclsu.org, regardless of your thoughts on the decision, to talk further or be put in contact with our KCLSU campaigns team.

Thanks all for reading and have a fantastic winter break,

Aless