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GMC plans to survey SAS doctors

Amit Kochar, Chair of Staff and Associate Specialists Committee
KOCHHAR: Welcomes the prospect of such a wide-ranging survey

Staff, associate specialist and specialty doctors across the UK are to be surveyed about their experiences in training and the workplace for the first time, the GMC has confirmed.

The survey, which will be the first of its kind conducted by the GMC, aims to develop a greater understanding of the issues and concerns of members of the SAS grade.

Questions within the survey, which will be launched later in the spring, will focus on a range of issues including training, workplace culture, and workload, with results set to be published later this year.

BMA staff, associate specialists and specialty doctors committee chair Amit Kochhar welcomed the prospect of such a wide-ranging survey, adding that he hoped it would provide a platform for providing greater support to the grade.

He said: ‘The GMC’s decision to survey SAS doctors about the nature of their work and the type of challenges they face is an extremely welcome one, although it is a decision that is long overdue and one that the BMA has consistently called for over the past few years.

‘It is encouraging to see that the GMC recognises the important contributions made by SAS doctors, and the fact that the grade’s role is one that is growing within the NHS. I and the committee would encourage all SAS doctors to engage with and participate in the survey, and we await the final results with interest.’


Call to take part

The study follows on from the publication of a paper by the regulator analysing changes in the make-up and demographics of the more than 45,000 SAS and locally employed doctors working in the health service.

The paper found that the number of SAS doctors under 30 had increased from 12 per cent of the grade in 2012 to 20 per cent last year.

It also revealed that the proportion of the grade made up by female doctors increased from 40 per cent in 2012 to 44 per cent last year, with the number of SAS doctors from BME backgrounds also increasing up from 41 per cent in 2012 to 52 per cent in 2018.

GMC chief executive Charlie Massey said that while SAS doctors played a vital role in the health service, there was often not enough data to provide insights into their needs.

He said: ‘These doctors make a hugely valuable contribution to UK health services, and their numbers are increasing. Yet we understand less about their experiences compared with other parts of the medical workforce.

‘This survey will be an opportunity for them to tell us about their careers, both good and bad, and the support they can access.

'We want as many doctors as possible to take part in this survey, so it will give us a robust and rich source of data that will aid our understanding and help us, and others, to give them the support they need.’

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