Monday, 8 December 2014

Write to your Royal College or Trainee Organisation

Here is a letter template that I have crafted for anyone to send to their Royal College or trainee organisation.  If you agree that Shape takes medical training in the wrong direction, please take the time to do this, we must hold these organisations to account and tell them what we think. Every little really does help.


I am writing regarding the ‘Shape of Training’ review that recently reported and is currently in the process of implementation.  I have grave concerns about several specific recommendations made by the review. 

Firstly the recommendation to shorten training time before CST that will inevitably lead to the creation of a ‘sub consultant’ grade.  Such a move is incompatible with maintaining high quality patient care and would have a significant negative impact on patient safety.  Secondly moving full GMC registration to medical school graduation is unsafe.  Thirdly the introduction of post-CST ‘credentialing’ is not based on any evidence base and it would lead to serious problems with workforce planning as local employers would be left in control.  Fourthly the combination of a ‘sub consultant’ grade with post CST credentialing controlled by employers would lead to significant staffing issues as a result of its negative impact on staff retention and recruitment.  It will become harder for medicine to attract high quality applicants when a large number of post CST ‘sub consultants’ become trapped in a non-training service delivering graveyard, while currently the recruitment environment is worryingly brittle in many areas.

In addition to these significant concerns surrounding both short and long term harms relating to both doctors and patients, the review has ignored the majority of respondents to its consultation who felt training should not be shortened:

“most individuals and organisations argued that generalists would require a longer training period or reconstruction of training to capture the breadth of experiences needed to provide competent general care”

As things stand the Shape of Training review’s implementation is incompatible with maintaining high standards in medical education and patient care and as a result I urge you to openly reject the review’s implementation.  The failure to withdraw from such a failed process will only be used to by those forcing it through as a signal of tacit approval and this must be avoided at all costs,

Yours sincerely"

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