RCoA Key Recommendations

The sources of data presented supports the following key recommendations of the College.

  • Core anaesthesia and/or ACCS (Anaesthesia) training posts must be increased to ensure sufficient supply to fill specialty training programmes. The total number of core anaesthesia training posts should equal the number of specialty anaesthesia training posts plus a minimum of 25% to take account of natural attrition from the training programme.
  • Specialty anaesthesia training numbers must be increased in the light of future demand projections, most notably from Health Education England’s work conducted by the CfWI. As a minimum, the number of specialty anaesthesia training posts must be maintained at current levels across the UK.
  • SAS and trust-grade doctors make up 22% of the trained anaesthesia workforce,48 with the largest cohort aged between 40 and 54 years. While retirement plans will vary, as is the case with consultants, this must be taken into account when conducting national and regional workforce planning.
  • The College supports an increase in the intensive care medicine workforce. However, any expansion must not occur at the expense of anaesthesia training numbers. This is a joint RCoA and FICM position.
  • There is a need for improved flexibility across postgraduate training including the reintroduction of Locum Appointment of Training (LAT) posts and the reintroduction of additional National Training Numbers to compensate for trainees undertaking Out-of-Program Experience and for those training on a less-than-full-time basis.