Monday, 2 February 2015

Please sign on and support high quality medical training!
The Shape of Training was an 'independent' review of medical training chaired by an economist, Professor Greenaway, which reported at the end of 2013 is currently in the process of being implemented by government.

The review was less than fully transparent in revealing the potential influence of government during the review process.  There are a number of other problems with the review including the fact that it ignored the majority of consultation respondents in recommending the training time for hospital consultants be shortened across the board. The RCP is one of several expert bodies that continues to express its concerns about the likely harms of the review.

This fact is compounded by the fact that the review does nothing to address the major problem areas with training quality today and that diluting down the exit standard of consultants is likely to further reduce training standards. The knock on effects on recruitment/retention are also likely to be largely negative.

This petition is not to say I or anyone has all the answers, it is simply to state the Shape does not have the answers and is likely to be harmful in many ways. My personal opinion is that we do not need major structural change to address the future needs of patients and that change within the current structures would be far more sensible that Shape's drastic reconfiguration.

"Training needs reform, therefore any change should be signed up to" This straw man argument is weak and frequently used by those backing Shape because they appear to have little else to offer to the discussion. The generalist versus specialist dichotomy is false, shallowly training 'generalist' registrars and calling them 'consultants' is not an honest or safe solution to anyone's problems.

The petition does not say that training in this country doesn't need to be improved it does, there are many simple ways of doing this to meet the needs of trainees and patients without major structural change. We need better regulation with teeth, we need less reliance on the competency based processes which ignore the important of time on the job/clinical experience, we need more of an opportunity for trainees to feedback problems to genuinely independent bodies, we need better mechanisms to ensure that employers value training and feel the stick when they give no value to it.

Overall the point is that this debate needs to be open, honest and transparent - and it appears that thus far this has not been the case with the Shape of Training.

Therefore if you feel the implementation of Shape should be halted, please sign the petition, every little helps, if you can also stick it up on Facebook/Twitter/email it to some friends, this would also be massively appreciated.

Thanks to your support we have almost 10 times as many signatures on the petition as the Shape of Training got in response to its consultation in total, a truly fantastic effort:

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