A new survey has revealed that the number of people in the clinical academic workforce has a considerable fall over the last five years.
The Medical Schools Council (MSC) conducted a survey of medical clinical academic staffing levels 2017. It found that the total number of staff had seen a 2.1 per cent drop since 2015 and a 4.2 per cent drop since 2010.
The survey findings raises concerns over the falling number of clinical academic staff in the UK medical schools. The survey findings also highlight the need for a rapid growth in the number of clinical academics in general practice in order to meeting the growing demands for primary care.
The decrease in staff number had occurred disproportionately at senior lecturer level, also known as Reader level, where there had been a 32.9 per cent reduction in staff numbers since 2000, part of a 14.3 per cent drop in numbers overall in the same timeframe.
The MSC survey covers areas such as the funding, gender, geographical spread and ethnicity of the clinical academic team. It revealed falls in clinical academic numbers in Pathology and Psychiatry, and increases in Medical Education and Emergency Medicine.
MSC said that the survey shows a steady increase of clinical academics in General Practice and these numbers would have to expand more rapidly if primary care was to keep up with sharply rising demand.
The chair of the MSC, Professor Jenny Higham said that Medical clinical academics are key to a health service which properly serves the nation. Medical schools have reported difficulties in recruiting to senior lecturer grade so MSC must investigate and remove any barriers for potential candidates involving the whole community of funders, employers and other bodies.