Trainee and supervisor experience of the Academic Foundation Programme

Background The Academic Foundation Programme (AFP) is often the initial step along the Integrated Academic Training pathway in the UK. It is relatively new and research as to its effectiveness is limited. Our objective was to evaluate the AFP in terms of its impact on academic career aspirations and to explore trainees’ expectations and experience of the programme and investigate the enablers and barriers to success.

Ring-fencing a budget for cancer drugs: is it fair?

Ring-fencing is defined as protecting funds for use in a specific area. In the National Health Service in the UK, various methods to ring-fence cancer have been employed over the years; more recently the Cancer Drugs Fund in England has enabled cancer drugs that would not normally be considered cost-effective to be provided to patients. This has created variation in provision between England and the devolved countries. While some would argue that ring-fencing allows major advances to be made in the treatment of a particular condition, others would argue that it is intrinsically unfair.