College News - 2012
07 September 2012
RCPE Response to Scottish Government Consultation on Specialty Training Numbers
The RCPE has recently responded to the Scottish Government consultation on ‘Reshaping the Medical Workforce in Scotland: Speciality Training Numbers 2013 and Beyond’.
In this response the RCPE focuses on the pressures on acute medicine to manage the needs of emergency medical patients presenting at hospitals across Scotland and the challenges of correcting the current baseline data. Consultants in Acute Internal Medicine deliver this care with significant contributions to the on call rotas from their colleagues in selected other medical specialities.
In particular, the RCPE response notes –
- the data regarding the workforce in the medical specialties are not accurate and must be corrected to ensure workforce projections reflect fully the changing needs of the service.
- in acute medicine there are pressing service, training, recruitment and retention needs which must be addressed. In particular, urgent review of the consultant workforce of medical specialties which are currently involved in caring for acute medical admissions is required to ensure an accurate understanding of the future contribution to be made by these specialties. Current and projected consultant workload; proposed extended hours of consultant presence for medical receiving (e.g. twilight working); time for enhanced supervision and training of on call doctors; and maintaining activity in specialty (if applicable) are all issues which must be examined thoroughly.
- there is increasing evidence that a medical career in Scotland is now considered as being comparatively unattractive and this merits urgent attention.
RCPE recommendations include –
- there should be an incremental increase in trainee places in Core Medicine Training to deliver expansion in capacity at consultant level (AIM and other acute specialties) and support acute medical receiving;
- a detailed review of STR and consultant numbers
- phasing careers to protect “Generalism”
Commenting on this response, Dr Neil Dewhurst, President of the RCPE, said,
“Acute medicine in Scotland is under intense pressure and it will not be possible to make sensible, and informed, projections regarding Specialty Training Numbers without improving the baseline data on which such projections are made and understanding the hidden, and unrecorded, contribution of the specialties to acute medicine”.
Access the RCPE response