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Response to the GMC's National Training Survey

27 Jul 2021

Commenting on the publication of the General Medical Council’s National Training Survey, Professor Neil Mortensen, President of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, said:

“Trainees have worked flexibly to support the NHS during the pandemic. They have shown courage and commitment during this very challenging time. It is not surprising that they are now reporting worsening degrees of burnout, but it is nonetheless worrying.

 “Trainees are our future surgical and NHS workforce. Their skills will be greatly needed as we tackle the backlog of operations created by the COVID pandemic. We must do everything we can to listen to their concerns and to support them now and in their future careers. Last week, the Government accepted the independent pay review body’s recommendation to propose a 3% pay increase for NHS staff. Surgical trainees and SAS doctors were not included in this award as they are party to a separate pay process. However the announcement sets an important expectation that they too deserve improved awards at the very least for their tremendous public service during the pandemic.

“A fully funded workforce plan is also needed to plug the vacancies in the NHS and improve staff wellbeing.  In May, we published our report ‘A New Deal for Surgery. One of the key recommendations in this is to enable surgical trainees to catch up on missed training opportunities, as soon as possible, with bespoke programmes that include enhanced theatre time.  We have also called for more funding to help reduce the NHS backlog and for investment in staff and hospital beds. 

The College has also expanded its Confidential Support and Advice Service to support health professionals with any pressures they may be experiencing in their professional or personal lives. If you are a member of the College in the UK or Republic of Ireland, and you would like to seek confidential support and advice from a trained counsellor, please call the helpline on 020 7869 6221.”

Notes to editors

The Royal College of Surgeons of England is a professional membership organisation and registered charity, which exists to advance surgical standards and improve patient care.

For more information, please contact the RCS Press Office:

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