Trainee Committee statement on recruitment
Wednesday 12 May 2021
The Association of Anaesthetists Trainee Committee is very concerned about reports that up to 700 trainee anaesthetists may be left without a training post this summer. There is potential for a new ‘lost tribe’ of trainee doctors, caught up in a perfect storm, whose careers will put on hold due to factors outside their control.
There is a huge workforce shortage in anaesthesia and a large number of doctors wanting to train in the specialty and we continue to call for an urgent expansion of training posts.
We have been working on behalf of our trainee members regarding the transition to the new curriculum. We had highlighted to Health Education England and the Royal College of Anaesthetists that many trainees could be caught in a recruitment gap, due to introduction of the new curriculum. ST3 recruitment will cease and those unable to obtain an ST3 post in the last round of recruitment will be out of training and only able to re-enter if they meet ST4 criteria. These are highly skilled doctors who have been at the frontline of the pandemic; many have had their training disrupted, exams cancelled, and recruitment procedures changed at short notice. They are disappointed and frustrated. There is a huge workforce shortage in anaesthesia and a large number of doctors wanting to train in the specialty and we continue to call for an urgent expansion of training posts.
For those now facing the possibility of a year or more in a locally employed post there should be parity of pay and equal access to educational opportunities and study leave to those in training posts. These doctors are an asset to our profession and should be supported to gain competencies to enable ST4 entry.
We are working with the British Medical Association and the Royal College of Anaesthetists on a description for such ‘top-up’ posts and to provide employers and trainers with recommendations on best practice.
Chair, Trainee Committee
Association of Anaesthetists