'Children's health needs and senior doctors' availability must match up', warns RCPCH
Almost a third of newly qualified consultants moved away from their training regions due to a lack of suitable employment opportunities, and a third because they wanted to move to another region, according to the first ever survey of recently qualified trainees carried out by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH).
With a response rate of 81.8%, the survey of all paediatricians receiving their CCT or CESR in 2010 also shows that 89.4% now have consultant posts and 90.9% of all respondents have positions in the UK, easing trainee concerns about limited consultant opportunities being available post qualification.
The report also shows that only a relatively small proportion (4.7%) of newly qualified doctors are registered for community paediatrics, a figure that is concerning in an area of the specialty where the workforce has not grown as quickly and already contains a substantial number of older doctors.
The RCPCH is concerned that just over two-thirds (76.2%) of new consultants are on permanent contracts compared to 93.5% of the overall paediatric consultant workforce, raising issues of job security and short term contracts for newly qualified doctors.
Dr Carol Ewing, Workforce Planning Officer at the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, said:
'This is the first year we’ve gathered these statistics, so it’s difficult to tell if this is an ongoing trend. Whilst we are encouraged that the figures show doctors in this cohort have been initially successful in their post training career, there are concerns about the security of some roles and the imbalance in certain regions between numbers of trainees and consultant jobs. This may discourage trainees to enter the discipline.'
Other findings from the survey include:
Female doctors make fewer than half the number of job applications by men before obtaining their first post. A small proportion of new CCT holders (2.3%) have become SSASGs.
- A move towards consultant delivered care models (CDC) - face-to-face consultant led care for children up to 24 hours a day – with 28.5% new consultants undertaking resident shifts. The RCPCH has long argued for an increase in CDC models, which it says improves quality of care, ensures good handovers and improves communication with patients and their families, and meets the RCPCH Facing the Future standards for provision of acute care.
The RCPCH’s aim is to have enough senior doctors across the UK to provide consultant present delivery of service everywhere in acute paediatrics, community child health and our 17 specialties.
Dr Ewing added:
'By sharing the findings of this pioneering survey, together with those of future years, we are giving health service planners, commissioners, providers and NHS education/training leads the data they need to shape their services.'
This is the first year that the survey has been conducted, and the RCPCH workforce team are committed to:
Ensuring that training opportunities more closely match the workforce requirements in each region. We will continue to work collaboratively with RCPCH Education and Training and SSASG leads, and with external NHS organisations to achieve this
Making the report data widely available to workforce planning organisations
Repeating the survey later this year to see if findings are consistent year on year
Contacting those newly qualified consultants who didn't get jobs to see how the College can support them
- Developing new consultant leadership training.
Dr Simon Newell, Vice President, Training and Assessment at the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health said:
'This survey is a first step for the College in achieving the best possible match between how we train tomorrow’s paediatricians and the health needs of children across the UK.'
Click here to find out more and see the CCT Class of 2010 survey in full.
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