Open letter to all SAS and trust grade doctors

Published: 07/08/2020

To all SAS and trust grade anaesthetists

As we now pause and reflect on our experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic over the past few months we would like to express our heart-felt thank you for the hard work done and professionalism shown by you.

We are aware that most anaesthetists had to rise to the challenge of a major upheaval to their professional lives. SAS and trust grade anaesthetists have acted up and down on rotas and many have been re-deployed to less familiar areas or new hospital sites. You have shown great flexibility and many of you joined on call rotas after years without out of hours work or have carried out more frequent resident out of hours and weekend work. We at the College are aware that you, as SAS and trust anaesthetists, make up over a fifth of our workforce and are key to keeping anaesthetic services afloat.

Doctors from ethnic minorities are over-represented within your group. We are aware of not only the demands placed by clinical workload, but also concerns many of you have about your own vulnerability and that of your loved ones to COVID-19. We would encourage you to engage with individual risk assessments and resulting strategies to mitigate those risks.

Findings of the three surveys conducted over the past few months provide clear evidence of the challenges faced and met, but also the amount of stress and anxiety experienced. We are committed to representing and supporting you during future challenges.

We hope you find opportunity to celebrate what has been achieved, get some rest and recuperation and have a chance to remember those we have lost. We reiterate our immense gratitude for everything you have done.

Best wishes,

Dr Kirstin May, Dr Lucy Williams and Professor Ravi Mahajan