Investing in the development of SAS Doctors
The SAS contract reform of 2020 has brought new energy to the role of SAS doctors through the introduction of the ‘specialist’ grade. At Miad Healthcare, we believe that the introduction of the new specialist grade will provide an opportunity for planned and purposeful progression for highly experienced specialty doctors.
Staff grade, associate specialist and specialty doctors (SAS) are a highly skilled diverse group of doctors who form an increasingly important part of the healthcare team responsible for delivering safe and effective patient care. For the first time since 2014, new contracts for SAS doctors were re- negotiated in 2020.
The new contract has brought renewed focus to a population of experienced doctors with significant experience in specialist care, often within multidisciplinary teams – but who in the past, perhaps did not have the recognition and respect they deserved. Because these doctors are neither consultants nor in a formal training programme there has been, prior to the introduction of the new grade, a risk that SAS doctors felt poorly recognised and unsupported.
About the new contract for SAS doctors
In December 2020, negotiations were held with regards to two new contracts: a new Specialty Doctor contract and a new Specialist grade contract for SAS doctors in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. These were put to a referendum and BMA members in all three nations voted in favour of the new contracts.
A renewed focus on professional development
If the transition to new contracts and focus on development is well managed, the introduction of the role should help to recruit, motivate and retain senior doctors and contribute to SAS grades being a positive and fulfilling career choice.
Let’s look in detail at the career development opportunities that the creation of the new grade should encourage. Some of the benefits of the new contract, according to a presentation by NHS Employers, are:
- A clear career framework – which will give SAS doctors the recognition they deserve.
- Guidance for a new SAS advocate role – that will promote SAS doctors’ health and wellbeing.
- New safeguards to protect SAS doctors and their work-life balance.
- A new pay progression system – that will link progression to the development of skills, competencies and experience.
- The provision of suitable development opportunities – such as management, additional responsibilities, academia and research.
In response to the new SAS contract reform, our expert educators at Miad Healthcare have mapped training and development courses against the Generic Capabilities Framework for the Specialist Grade. We have almost 30 courses that are closely linked to the specialist grade competencies. Here is a small selection of some of the development opportunities we offer:
Personal and organisational development
Appraisal and revalidation
Safety and quality
Leadership and management
Getting the most from the new contract
As doctors transition to the new contract, there are new and more varied learning and development opportunities available to them and their Trusts. If you are a SAS Tutor, why not get in touch to find out more about courses that Miad Healthcare has designed to reflect the competency framework for the new specialist grade.
Whether you’re looking for training for appraisers, educational or clinical supervisors, or more holistic training around wellbeing or resilience, Miad Healthcare has a wide range of specialised courses that can be planned around the needs of your Trust.