24th June 2016

BMA Calls to Adopt SAS Charter

The Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh (RCPE) had developed a new UK-wide charter to recognise and support Staff grades, Associate Specialists and Specialty (SAS) doctors’ professional needs in 2013.

The RCPE believed SAS doctor plays a vital role in NHS service delivery but their contribution has been undervalued and under recognised in the gone years. Thus, the NHS Foundation and Trusts needs to support them as an attractive career option in order to avoid loosing such doctors in hospital medicine.

A recent conference held in Belfast, where all home nation government officials approved for the new UK-wide charters for SAS doctors. The British Medical Association has urged NHS Trusts to adopt the charters to improve working conditions of SAS doctors.

SAS roles are non-training roles consisting four years of postgraduate training including 2 years in a relevant specialty. National governments of all four countries has approved for their own charter for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Dr. Amit Kochhar, chairman of the SAS committee said progress has been made in order to implement the charter through the local representatives, staff and employers in creating at least acceptance in Trusts.

Furthermore, Hani Mekhael an associate specialist in obstetrics and gynaecology in Devon said charters are hugely new to Trusts, thus are failing to give enough recognition. He asked all Trusts to respect and fully implement all provisions in the charter for a minimum.

He also accused managers in Trusts for a disheartening and frustrating attitude toward the charter, sometimes even trying to pretend that it doesn’t exist.

Rajesh Kumar, associate specialist in anaesthetics and pain management of Lancashire also spoke of the Charters as the best work produced in recent times. He added that the Charter deserves to be further implemented and advanced as it recognises importance of SAS doctors for a high quality safe care for patients. Also, it enables SAS doctors to realise their potential toward the job.

The Charters include job planning, support, development and involvement on organisational structures and recruitments. It tends to clarify roles and responsibilities of SAS doctors and consist a number of guiding principles to ensure patient safety and care while supporting professional needs of SAS doctors. It lays out detailed commitments for the employers of SAS doctors.

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