Hospital Dr News

Survey confirms slow SAS contract roll out

A minority of SAS doctors had moved on to their new contracts over a year after implementation had been agreed.

A BMA survey of over 1,000 SAS doctors reveals that less than two in five associate specialists and one quarter of staff grades had moved on to their new contracts by August. The majority were in the process of moving to the new contract.

Staff grade doctors indicated that the new contract was more likely to motivate them than associate specialists.

Only a fifth of staff grades reported that their current grade was their career goal. Two fifths said their career goal was to be an associate specialist. Those who wanted to become consultants described the probability of achieving their goal as low or very low.

Just one in 20s staff grades were on the specialist register, compared to one in ten of associate specialists. Many had applied unsuccessfully for a consultant post.

In a recent blog for Hospital Dr, Dr Radhakrishna Shanbhag, chair of the BMA’s SAS committee, described implementation as “wading through treacle”.

Now that we have the full picture of the sluggish nature of implementation, we have challenged NHS employers to put pressure on NHS trusts to properly implement the contract,” he said. “It is not acceptable for trusts to drag their feet on this process. We are particularly keen to ensure that SAS doctors who move to the new contract get the back pay owed to them.

Meanwhile, another survey of SAS doctors by the London Deanery reveals the significant contribution they make to teaching and research.  

Of 260 doctors surveyed, 70% contribute to medical student teaching and 63% teach junior doctors and other health professionals. A quarter had research or teaching qualifications at postgraduate level, and 16% were involved in current research studies.

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