We have issued a new position statement supporting the reintroduction of the Associate Specialist Grade in order to recognise leadership, address pay progression and enhance career opportunities for doctors.
Our statement recommends that the Associate Specialist Grade should be reintroduced to recognise Specialty doctors who are performing significant leadership roles in sexual and reproductive health. The statement also calls for adequate funding and service management support, enabling SAS doctors to develop leadership skills and pursue further training and career interests.
We believe that SAS doctors are vital to the sustainability of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare (SRH) services. Before the closure of the Associate Specialist Grade in 2008, many medical service lead positions in SRH were filled by AS doctors who fulfilled a vital role in leading services where no consultant was available.
Our statement supports the pledge in the interim NHS People Plan to introduce a reformed Associate Specialist grade. We believe this grade would provide new opportunities for progression within a SAS career, which would be a means to acknowledging the invaluable contribution made by this part of the SRH workforce.