Medacs Healthcare

FEB 19/2015

New report outlines changes to medical training

The Shape Of Training review has been published by the UK Group, which includes four UK Health Departments, Health Education England (HEE), National Education Scotland (NES), CoPMED, GMC, Medical Schools Council and the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges
Colleges. The recommendations, if introduced, could significantly change how medical professionals gain their qualifications.

Led by Professor Sir David Greenaway, the review was originally established in October 2013 but has since undergone a series of updates and advancements.

Aiming to understand how doctors are trained, and how this can be improved to meet the healthcare needs of the future, the review has made a number of recommendations about how the process could be updated.

Professor Greenaway’s review outlined 19 recommendations to the UK governments, suggesting how structural changes can be made to deliver high-quality care in the future. Off the back of this, the UK Shape of Training Steering Group (STSG) was assembled to make legislative recommendations at the request of health ministers.

UK health ministers broadly welcomed the suggestions and have approved development activity, which will explore medical training under the initiative. Specifically, the STSG has endorsed a number of specific proposals including keeping the areas of training that are working well and ensuring that any changes are consistent with the key principles from the Greenaway report.

The review also supports the idea that any significant changes to medical training such as alterations to curricula must reflect the UK basis of medical training and be approved by the General Medical Council (GMC).

According to the report, the next steps will focus on the following specific activities, with more efforts on describing how doctors’ training can be more generic to better meet the current and future needs of patients. 

Speaking about the latest report, president of the Royal College of Practitioners (RCP) Jane Dacre, said: "To train a good doctor who can provide generalist care together with specialist expertise requires adequate time. We are against any shortening of training, as this would affect the quality of the care our doctors can provide. 

She added that the RCP was "pleased" that the announcement does not suggest a reduction in the number of years needed to train a doctor.

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