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Every operation should include a surgical trainee

15 Dec 2021

Commenting on the General Medical Council's annual report on The state of medical education and practice in the UK, Miss Fiona Myint, Vice President of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, said:

“This report by the GMC highlights the detrimental effect the pandemic has had on doctors' training and their working environments. It also shows the impact COVID-19 has had on recruitment, retention and patient care. The report's findings on the disruption to surgical training echo concerns we outlined in our ‘New Deal for Surgery' report in May 2021.

“It is very worrying that more than half (53%) of surgical trainees felt they had not been able to compensate for lost training opportunities and 25% felt they were not on course to progress towards curriculum competencies. Surgical trainees must be supported to catch up on missed training opportunities as soon as possible, with bespoke programmes of training that include enhanced theatre time. Every planned operation undertaken on an NHS patient, including NHS patients who are having their operation in an independent hospital, should include a surgical trainee to help them get the training time they have missed out on.

“We are also concerned by statistics showing that 30% of doctors often feel unable to cope with their workload (up from 19% in 2020), 17% are at high risk of burnout (up from 10% in 2020) and 23% said they were planning to leave the profession (up from 19% in 2020). Staff wellbeing and retention should be at the forefront of plans to recover services.

“We have joined more than 60 organisations to call for an amendment to the Health and Care Bill to strengthen workforce planning and accountability. This is to ensure we are training enough NHS staff now to meet patient demand in future.”

Notes to editors

1. The GMC’s report can be read here: The state of medical education and practice in the UK - GMC (

2. The Royal College of Surgeons of England is a professional membership organisation and registered charity. The College provides world-class education, assessment and              development to more than 28,000 surgeons, dental professionals and members of the wider surgical and dental care teams, at all stages of their career. The College sets                  professional standards, facilitates research and champions the best outcomes for patients – with a vision to see excellent surgical care for everyone.

    For more information, please contact the RCS Press Office:

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