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Royal College of Anaesthetists’ President Writes to Secretary of State on Behalf of Anaesthetists in Training

The Royal College of Anaesthetists is continuing to work closely with the Department of Health and Social Care, Health Education England and other devolved nation stakeholders to negotiate a solution to ST3 recruitment.

The Royal College of Anaesthetists

College President, Professor Ravi Mahajan, has written to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, suggesting the following short-and-long term solutions:

  • to divert some of the additional funding allocated to tackling the surgical backlog to create additional Trust grade posts for anaesthetists in training who have been unsuccessful in this year’s recruitment round, so that they can continue to provide much needed anaesthetic cover for surgical procedures
  • to ensure that any workforce experience that anaesthetists in training gain outside of recognised training programmes is appropriately recognised as part of their anaesthetic training. The College is writing to all deaneries and Heads of Schools to ensure that they follow our equivalent training guidance
  • to consider an essential increase in anaesthetic training numbers in light of the fact that, even after the end of this year’s recruitment round, it is likely that a considerable number of anaesthetists in training will have been unsuccessful in securing a place. The current situation offers an excellent opportunity for a one-off increase in Higher Specialty Training recruitment that would provide significant mitigation for the current and future shortfall in consultant numbers after just four years rather than the usual seven-year programme.

Professor Ravi Mahajan, President of the Royal College of Anaesthetists said:

“Anaesthetists in training have worked tirelessly to support the response to the COVID-19 pandemic and in doing so, many have experienced significant disruption to their training. This has been compounded by the disappointing situation where many will have been unsuccessful in their recent applications for higher training posts. I was therefore pleased to see the announcement from Health Education and Improvement Wales that an increase in the number of anaesthetic training posts in that nation is being delivered for August 2021. I hope to see similar decisions being made across the devolved nations and I look forward to working with the Department of Health, Health Education England and the other Statutory Education Bodies to help make this happen.”

As negotiations continue, the College will provide updates to its anaesthetists in training and wider membership, where substantial progress is made.

If anaesthetists in training have further questions about their recruitment, or the introduction of the 2021 Anaesthetics Curriculum, please speak with your College Tutor, Regional Advisor Anaesthesia or Training Programme Director.

Alternatively, the College Training Team can be reached at 2021cct@rcoa.ac.uk, or the Chair and Deputy Chair of the Anaesthetists in Training Committee can be reached via trainee@rcoa.ac.uk.

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