West Midlands Public Health Community Fellowship Scheme

Information for F2 doctors


What is a Public Health Community Fellowship?

The West Midlands Public Health Community Fellowship Scheme offers Foundation Year 2 doctors a unique opportunity to develop skills and experience outside the clinical setting on projects to improve health and wellbeing. It is an innovative West Midlands-wide volunteering scheme supported by Health Education England in the West Midlands. Teams of Foundation Year 2 doctors, matched with a Public Health Specialty Registrar, work as volunteers with community organisations on local health and well-being projects. The SpR provides advice, support and leadership to the team.


What will I gain?

·         wider knowledge of how charitable and voluntary organisations provide services

·         a broader experience of health and well-being projects  in a different environment

·         exposure to public health skills and knowledge

·         something a little different for your CV

·         opportunities for doctors in training to discover the importance of non-statutory health & wellbeing services as well as exposure to PH knowledge & skills which they will take forward into their professional life

·         It is through the wider understanding of these alternative paradigms that a shift from an hospital based illness service to a health service will be achieved


Do I have to choose a project in my own Foundation School Area?

No. The projects are arranged according to Foundation School for administrative reasons. You have a free choice of projects throughout the West Midlands region. This gives you the freedom to work on a project you find particularly interesting. We do ask you to think about how you will work on a project that is geographically very distant from your home, as it can be tricky communicating with widely dispersed teams.


How much time will it take?

We ask F2s for between 6-8 days over the course of the project (around 4 months). Most participants have spent between 4 and 8 days working on projects. The only fixed days are the half day induction and the presentation evening.


How do I find the time to work on the project?

It is important to be flexible. You can use off duty time, study leave, taster days and annual leave days to work on the projects. Most people use a mixture. It is up to you and your team members to organise your time. You will need to be proactive in organising time off to allow you to work on the project. If you are struggling to complete your work on the project it is important to let your team leader know.


What kind of work will I do?

This is a Public Health Community Fellowship so the kind of work you do will be specifically health and wellbeing related rather than more general volunteering work. More details are given in the project outlines. Your team is a skilled and an important resource and you will bring your healthcare experience to the project.


What help will I get to understand PH principles (such as needs assessment & evaluation)?

The induction day will describe the principles of health needs assessment and evaluation, with numerous tools explained.


What is the role of the Specialty Registrar in Public Health?

The SpR is there to provide leadership, technical knowledge of public health and running health and wellbeing projects and to give you an insight into what public health specialists do. They are there to help you shape and complete your project – not to do the work for you.


Can I get work signed off in my eportfolio?

Yes, previous participants have sent tickets for presentations etc.


Does my Educational Supervisor know about the Scheme?

The WMPHCFS is supported by the West Midlands Foundation Schools and the School of Public Health. It is a small scheme in only its second year and as more people take part and talk about the Scheme to their colleagues there will be a greater understanding. We are happy to send your ES further information - just contact publichealthtraining@wm.hee.nhs.uk.


Why can’t I work on my project in work time?

You take part in the Fellowship as a volunteer attached to a local organisation. It is facilitated by HEE WM, but it is not a part of your core placement. For most placements, using study leave, taster days, annual leave or off duty are the only ways to participate in the Scheme.


My group are based in different areas. How do we have meetings?

This can be achieved in several ways – teleconferences, skype calls (or similar), regular email feedback and target settings etc.


I have my own idea for a project; can I work on that instead?

Unfortunately not. The Scheme only works with projects that address local needs and priorities as decided on by the community organisations concerned. You can of course put forward your ideas to a local organisation and volunteer with them directly.


How do I apply to the Scheme?

To apply, complete the application form Here and send along with your CV to publichealthtraining@wm.hee.nhs.uk



I’m not interested in the Fellowship just now, but how do I organise a public health taster session?

Contact publichealthtraining.wm@hee.nhs.uk with details of your interests, geographical location and potential dates and the Training Programme Director Team will link you up with a suitable placement.