BOA Responds to the GMC Training Survey

The GMC annual national training survey 2018 results were published last week following returns from over 70,000 trainees and trainers across the UK.

The views expressed on training posts, programmes and environments are ‘stark’ reflecting particularly heavy and intense service workloads and numerous rota gaps affecting both training opportunity and personal wellbeing.

Whilst the majority of trainees are ‘satisfied’, approximately 25-30% report a variety of issues significantly affecting their educational experience. Trainers are similarly disaffected with for example only half reporting adequate time in their job plans for training, excessive service pressures, low morale and the resulting impact on personal life.

Trauma and orthopaedic surgery is not significantly better or worse overall although there are pockets that are better off than some other specialties- particularly in the StR training grade for supervision and regional teaching. As in all surgery, the early years e.g. Core Training fairs less well.

The survey is accessed in a variety of groupings; ‘Specialty’ means all trainees in that Trust- Foundation Years (FY) to Specialty Training (ST). ‘Programme’ means all those in a particular programme e.g. FY or Core or ST. and they can be viewed within a Trust or Education Region.

The BOA is well aware of these issues from reports by our members, TPDs, SAC and BOTA,  and is actively working with the Colleges and other stakeholders to highlight them and reverse these trends by supporting trainers and trainees. It is very clear that without adequate time and opportunity for training then we won’t have a competent future workforce.

It is supporting the Improved Surgical Training initiative to address the issues in Core Training with pilots planned for 2020.

The ‘winter pressures’ effect on access to elective arthroplasty training has been dramatic with reports of a 30% reduction in cases recorded. This is demoralising for both trainers and trainees and the BOA is campaigning to protect patient access.

As BOTA has clearly demonstrated in its own survey, the effect of bullying, harassment and undermining is very destructive in the training environment. Whilst T&O is not alone in this, it will undoubtedly be reflected in the GMC survey too and we all need to continue to #Cutitout.

The BOA urges all those involved in training to review their unit results and perhaps investigate further any issues. You can be sure the Postgraduate Deans/Heads of Schools will be.

Mark Bowditch
Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon
BOA Council member
SAC Chair
Head of School of Surgery, East of England