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700 anaesthetists may not secure a training job this summer, warns royal college


A perfect storm of pandemic pressures, changes to the medical curriculum and inadequate Health Education England funding threatens to leave 700 anaesthetists without a job this summer, HSJ has learned.

The news comes as the NHS prepares to tackle the huge backlog of elective care work that has built up during the pandemic. Anaesthetists will play a critical role in the recovery effort. 

Each year around 300 higher training, or ST3, places for anaesthetists are offered by the NHS. However, this year there are over 1,000 applicants for these posts. The oversupply has been created by the inability of trainees to seek work overseas because of the pandemic and a change in the curriculum overseen by the Royal College of Anaesthetists.  

Royal College of Anaesthetists’ council member Helgi Johannsson told HSJ  he was concerned trainees could become “so demoralised” after failing to secure a a job that they might switch to another specialty.

“We need those trainees to come through,” he said. “There is a shortage of anaesthetists with around 10 per cent of consultant jobs unfilled and we need to protect our supply line and get on top of our elective backlog.”

Read full story (paywalled)

Source: HSJ, 7 May 2021

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