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The SAS Conference is due to take place on 21 May at BMA House London, presenting SAS doctors across the UK with the opportunity to shape the policy agenda for the staff, associate specialist and specialty doctor committee for the 2019-2020 session. We have received valuable motions from the regional and national SAS committee which will undoubtably strike up important debates and give us the direction SASC UK needs to work on the issues which are most important to grassroot SAS doctors.
The year’s conference will be centred around the theme ‘Building on Success’ and we will be marking the achievements of SAS doctors over the past years. Key examples would be; the commitment from the Secretary of State to re-open the associate specialist grade, Health Education England and NHS Improvement developing the SAS guidance Maximising the Potential: essential measures to support SAS doctors , the launch of the SAS Charter Toolkit, piloted at last year’s conference. We want conference to look to how we can build on this to further improve the working lives of SAS doctors, which will, by extension, improve the experiences of our patients.
I am delighted to announce that we will be hearing from some excellent speakers at this year’s conference. Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, will be delivering the key note speech and informing conference on the role he sees SAS doctors playing in NHS England’s Long-Term Plan and upcoming workforce strategy. The Long-Term Plan contained some important commitments to SAS doctors, including the reform and re-opening the associate specialist grade and accelerating the development of credentialing.
We will also hear from Dr Henrietta Hughes, the National Guardian for NHS England who leads and advise the Freedom to Speak up Guardians and Champions based in each Trust. SASC have been campaigning for years to tackle bullying and harassment which effects an unacceptable number of doctors, including 27 per cent of SAS doctors. The establishment of Freedom to Speak Up guardians is an excellent step in creating an environment where doctors feel comfortable in coming forward about unacceptable treatment. I look forward to hearing from Henrietta on her vision for tackling this issue which she has described as ‘endemic in the NHS’.
This by no means covers all that is taking place at SAS conference, but gives a flavour of what we can expect from our conference next May.
To all those who are attending, I look forward to seeing you there!
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