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Call for full trainee representation on medical education bodies

Trainees should be represented on all the new bodies that have taken over responsibility for medical education and training, academics agreed.

knowledgeThe BMA conference of medical academic representatives heard that trainees were not currently widely represented on LETBs (local education and training bodies), which took charge of education and training in England last month.

Academics agreed trainees should be represented on every LETB. They recognised it might not be practical to have an academic trainee representative on the board as well but insisted that the views of such trainees and medical students should be adequately represented and expressed.

This is because LETBs will be responsible for SIFT (service increment for teaching) funding, which compensates NHS organisations for the extra costs associated with teaching medical students. This funding also has an influence on clinical academic training and the delivery of undergraduate medical education, which clinical academics oversee.

Liverpool academic foundation doctor 1 Luke Boyle said: ‘There should be a mechanism in place to make sure these groups have their views adequately represented on the LETB.’

He suggested that each LETB could develop an advisory group, which would include groups of doctors not represented on the LETB itself. This group could include clinical academics, clinical academic trainees and medical students.

Academics also called on LETBs to ensure that medical students were not disadvantaged by changes to SIFT funding or the NHS but continued to benefit from experiencing the full range of specialties. This should include public health, now the responsibility of local authorities.

The BMA should lobby to ensure SIFT money was paid to local authorities to support public health teaching and the BMA medical academic staff committee should continue to monitor all SIFT funding, the conference agreed.