SAS Doctor? Have your say by Dr Nicky Morgan

Posted 23 Jan 2018

Date: 23 Jan 2018

Author: Dr Nicky Morgan

Dr Nicky Morgan introduces herself as the newly appointed FSRH SAS Lead sitting on Council to represent SAS doctors in the SRH workforce.

SAS doctors (Specialty doctors, Associate Specialists and Staff grades including trust grades and other locally appointed doctors) make up a significant part of the NHS workforce, particularly in Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare. They have a minimum of 4 years clinical experience before entering the grade, and often a lot more. They can vary in their level of skill, ability and competency and some have vast amounts of expertise and experience, indeed many Clinical Lead positions are held by SAS doctors.

However SAS doctors can feel undervalued and unsupported. They often lack opportunities for career progression or training and some do not have appropriate job plans or adequate SPA time. They may feel that the significant contribution they make to the healthcare workforce is unrecognised. 1,2

The FSRH acknowledges these obstacles and is committed to supporting its SAS members. To facilitate this an SAS Lead role (which is voluntary) has been created who is a co-opted member of the council.

I have been appointed to that role and want to introduce myself to you. My name is Nicky Morgan. I live and work in North Devon and have been an SAS doctor in Contraception and Sexual Health for over 22 years and Clinical Lead for the past 5 years. I am only too aware of the drawbacks and need for support as an SAS doctor, as well as the pressures and frustrations of being a service lead without the recognition of consultant status.

In order that I can represent you adequately I would like to hear, from as many SAS doctors as possible, what it is you want from the Faculty, such as:

  • a dedicated SAS conference with clinical and non clinical content
  • a dedicated SAS page on the website with information on the SAS conferences and initiatives for funding, 
  • assistance in making CESR applications, accessing research projects or preparing for the FSRH Membership exam
  • a network of SAS leads

If you have any ideas please email me and also look out for the FSRH roadshows, later this year, where you will have another chance to put forward your suggestions. There is currently workforce mapping exercise being undertaken which we hope will identify all the SAS members of FSRH. Once this is complete I will be sending out a survey which will help shape future provision for SAS members. Please complete it when it comes!


The Academy of Royal Colleges is hosting an SAS conference on 23 April 2018 at the Royal College of Anaesthetics, London. The conference, “Career Progression", aims to help SAS doctors develop their career goals through talks on training opportunities, CESR, quality improvement, wellbeing and nontechnical skills. Our own Jane Dickson is giving a talk on CESR training and there will be an opportunity for networking. Full details and booking can be found here

If you cannot get funding from your individual Trust, Health Education England has funding opportunities for SAS doctors development, as does the Scotland and Wales Deaneries

I look forward to hearing from you and representing you within the FSRH. Please do get in touch.

1.  SAS Doctors Survey
2. New Charter for SAS Doctors and Dentists launched (Wales).