Response to UKSTSG Shape of Training Report

The Royal College of Anaesthetists acknowledges the publication of the report from the UK Shape of Training Steering Group (UKSTSG) and recognises many of the challenges it highlights for medical education and training in the UK. 

We welcome the Group's main conclusion that the anaesthetic curriculum is already a broad based programme that meets Professor David Greenaway's criteria of training 'generalists' who are able to apply their expertise across the diverse range of hospital services for the benefit of patients. We maintain our view that the current arrangements by which trainees gain experience in one special interest area of anaesthetic practice towards the end of training is consistent with the generalist agenda whilst providing an introduction to those who wish to subsequently pursue a career in sub-specialty practice.

The principles of improving the training process, such as increasing flexibility and developing more transferability of competencies are elements that have been included and refined in anaesthetic training over a number of years, most notably via the successful acute care common stem (ACCS) programme.  As we embark on the process of reviewing the anaesthetic curriculum we will ensure this work aligns to the new General Medical Council (GMC) Generic Professional Capabilities and Excellence by Design standards. 

It is unfortunate that the report does not reflect the discussions between UKSTSG and the Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine, where it was acknowledged that intensive care medicine is a specialty in its own right. However, as part of the review of the curriculum the RCoA will work closely with FICM, the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, the GMC and other stakeholders to meet the new standards, take forward credentialing in line with GMC requirements (once these have been clarified), and continue to develop a training programme which facilitates the highest standards of patient care, clinical practice and the sustainability of health services.

17 August 2017