Royal College of Anaesthetists responds to NHS England letter on improving the working lives of doctors in training

Published: 25/04/2024

We are pleased to see NHS England commit to concrete actions to help improve the working lives of doctors in training. This is something the College and others have been advocating for some time in our conversations with NHS leaders and Government.

We hear from our members time and time again about how the demands of rotational training are made more challenging by unnecessary financial and administrative barriers, such as not getting paid correctly or on time and having to repeat mandatory training when moving organisations. We welcome NHS England’s commitment to addressing this through actions such as providing intensive support to employers to improve payroll processes and reforming statutory and mandatory training.

While it is encouraging to see NHS England commit to exploring the roll out of lead employer models in the longer term, we think this should be done now. In regions where this model is already in place, it has been successful in reducing delays and errors in doctors getting paid. It also provides greater financial stability due to the longer duration of the contract.

Overall, these commitments are a positive step. NHS England will now need to provide sustained support and guidance to trusts to turn the proposals into reality. We will be examining them in more detail and welcome any views that members may have. While this letter has come from NHS England, we hope these proposals will be taken forward across the UK.

We will continue the work we are doing with our members and with NHS England to minimise the impact of rotational training on doctors’ personal and working lives. We also encourage NHS England to expand this very valuable work and take a similar approach to improving the working lives of all doctors.

Dr Fiona Donald