The consultation “Expansion of Undergraduate Medical Education” has been launched by the Department of Health and seeks views on the proposed criteria for allocating 1000 extra student places among medical schools as well as whether medical graduates should be required to work in the NHS for a specific period of time (return of service)
FSRH believes that the Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and Health Education England (HEE) should approach the design of the competitive bidding process by rewarding providers who are committed to providing high educational standards and quality placements for medical students, affording students exposure to shortage specialties and other equally vital specialties, including SRH. A key task for HEE is, additionally, to guarantee that medical students can secure training after graduation.
More significantly, HEE must also ensure that the benefits of increasing medical student numbers are maximised by matching them with an increase in specialty consultant posts such as in Community Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare (CSRH). Currently there is a significant SRH consultant workforce shortage in spite of the fact that CSRH is a hugely oversubscribed medical specialty training programme and despite evidence that many SRH consultants will be retiring in the near future.
Therefore, to prevent this shortage from worsening in the coming years, FSRH believes the expansion of medical undergraduate education should be followed by an increase in subsidised training places on the CSRH specialty training programme. Future leaders in SRH are necessary to ensure the provision of high-quality services that can prevent unintended pregnancies and curb subsequent health costs.
Read FSRH’s full response below.
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