What we are doing to better support SAS doctors

Posted 27 Aug 2019

Date: 27 Aug 2019

Author: Dr Nicky Morgan

Hear our SAS doctor lead, Dr Nicky Morgan, share what we are doing to help support SAS doctors, following your feedback.

Last year we developed an online survey for our SAS doctor members to find out their views on how the FSRH could better support them.

We thought we would show you the results of the survey and how we have responded to it. 943 members were invited to take part, with 170 (18%) responding.

What did the survey show?

The main themes that emerged were:

  • A need for better recognition of SAS doctors, especially those in leadership roles.

  • SAS doctors wanted to play a part in shaping programmes within the FSRH. 

  • There was an interest in an SAS conference or dedicated course.

  • There was a general support for re-opening of the Associate Specialist grade nationally.

  • Doctors wanted to have more opportunity to be involved in events - e.g. speaking or chairing conferences.

  • Just under 30% of respondents were interested in joining an SAS committee or working group.

  • 7. 42% of respondents were interested to learn more about CESR, but there were questions about how to go about applying for CESR and what was required.

What have we done in response to this survey?

We've reviewed your feedback and below are a couple of areas we're focussing on:

A dedicated CESR support fund for SAS doctors

We have a dedicated fund available to help with the CESR process. We have now extended the use of this fund to support SAS doctors in leadership positions, particularly where they are in a position to become an educational supervisor for a CSRH Trainee. Find out more.

SAS doctors' working group

We are in the process of forming a working group of SAS doctors from around the UK who will represent SAS doctors’ specific issues within the FSRH and will be accountable to the workforce development committee. If you are interested in getting involved, please contact me at sasdoctorlead@fsrh.org.

Every FSRH committee either has, or will have, an SAS doctor representative where relevant.

SAS doctor events

We are looking at options for an SAS specific conference and/or developing content tailored to SAS doctors in our future conferences. BASHH also have a dedicated annual SAS conference relevant for all SAS doctors working in integrated services.  View event details

Supporting the re-opening of the Associate Specialist grade

The re-opening of the Associate Specialist (AS) grade has been supported by the FSRH and the Academy of Royal Medical Colleges (AoRMC) alongside several other colleges.

The recent Health Education England (HEE) paper ‘The interim people plan’ supports the re-opening of the Associate Specialist grade, stating that; “We will go further by negotiating and introducing a reformed associate specialist grade to provide new opportunities for progression within a specialty and associate specialist career. This will better recognise the invaluable contribution made by this part of our medical workforce”.

Opportunities to raise the profile of SAS doctors

Our FSRH Events Committee have compiled a list of SAS doctors who are able to speak or chair at FSRH conferences. They have already been inviting people from this list to get involved and if you have a topic you are able to speak on, please complete our short online form

CESR guidance

We know that the CESR process can be challenging and confusing. Jane Dickson, our Vice President of Strategy, has written a helpful article about her experience of CESR within SRH.

We hope to develop more guidance on navigating around the CESR process on our webpage in the future. We are planning to launch a new learning management system in 2020, which will make it easier to compile and store evidence in the future.

Mentoring opportunities

  1. The BASHH/BHIVA/FSRH mentor scheme is also available to all SAS doctors either as mentors or mentees. I would encourage everyone to take advantage of this scheme, especially if you are a clinical lead, or considering undertaking CESR. A training day for mentees will be taking place later in the year. Find out more.


Continuing the conversation

We want to continue to represent all our SAS doctors, and I would encourage you all to get involved as much as possible, either as a speaker or chair of an event, as a member of a committee or working group or part of the mentoring scheme.

If you have any thoughts or comments about how the FSRH can better represent SAS doctors please email me at sasdoctorlead@fsrh.org.