Hospital Dr News

“Transform this forgotten tribe”, says SAS leader

SAS doctors have a unique chance to develop a crucial and valued role in the changing NHS, according to the chair of the BMA’s staff and associate specialists committee.

Speaking at the BMA’s annual SAS conference in London, Dr Radhakrishna Shanbhag said: “We are at a crossroad as we seek to take ownership of an otherwise neglected grade to forge a secure role and future in the evolving landscape of healthcare delivery.”

Shanbhag, who took over as committee chair last September, following the implementation of the new SAS contract, said he was focused on changing the perception of the role.

“I will, for our grade, endeavour to shift the emphasis away from ‘a non-training doctor’ to a ‘developing doctor’,” he said.

He pointed to SAS committee’s representation on the board of NHS Medical Education England as an acknowledgement of the importance of continuing development for speciality doctors. He also said the release of £12m recurrent funding in England will facilitate career development of SAS doctors.

He said: “We have noted with great enthusiasm the appointment of Associate Deans, Tutors and Clinical Leads from within our grade, a motivation for our grade to take on the challenges of being at the forefront, not only delivering, but leading such delivery of essential healthcare. It would be my endeavour to strive for a similar funding arrangement for Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales to benefit those who should so desire.”

Modular credentialing, he felt, also held opportunities for career development.

He said: “I support the development of some form of recognition for our grade that would recognise the specialist service that we provide and also allow re-entry to training for those that want it.

“From what I have heard, something like this is becoming inevitable and patients and the GMC will need to see some form of accreditation introduced in the future. There are several legitimate concerns around developments that could arise which is why I believe we need to work with others to harness these changes for our benefit.”

He called on specialty doctors to look forward.

He said: “Let us uncouple the memories of the past when we were seen as failed doctors, to the need of the future that requires a system that will not fail us. Let us work together, that we may transform this forgotten tribe in to a grade that we could be proud of and could well be a positive career choice for doctors of the future.”

Bookmark and Share

Post a Comment

Enter this security code

Submit Comment for Moderation