MTAS Statement 4 April 2007 by Bernard Ribeiro, President of Royal College of Surgeons of England

MTAS Statement 4 April 2007 by Bernard Ribeiro, President of Royal College of Surgeons of England

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The Review Group met this morning and I can report that they have accepted that surgery is a special case and there will be special transitional arrangements for surgery to cope with the large number of SHOs and others in non-training grades seeking to enter specialist training.

Consequently, I have put to the Review Group a scheme to enable those who are able, but are not successful in securing an ST3 post this time around, to continue their training in what I am calling ‘transitional training posts’.

I will know next week how many ‘transitional training posts’ DH will need to fund to make adequate provision for this cohort of trainees to ensure that the best applicants progress and that, in the future, patients can be confident that they will receive the highest standards of surgical care. We shall also be clarifying the distribution of these posts across deaneries and surgical specialties.

There is an obvious question to be answered about the future for people appointed to these new transitional posts. They would go on, in the first instance, to compete for a numbered training post in 2008 and, depending on numbers, may have another chance to compete in 2009.

These arrangements will not change the situation that has prevailed over the years that entry into specialist training in surgery is highly competitive and only the best will progress, but these proposals provide a safety net and further opportunities to compete.

More detailed discussion is planned next week with both the Review Group and DH. I believe that I am beginning to see significant progress on this issue and have no doubt that this is in no small part due to so many of you who have been prepared to speak out and to take action.

Bernard Ribeiro CBE
President