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RCOG statement in response to the Shape of Training final report

News 29 October 2013

Today the Shape of Training: Securing the future of excellent patient care final report is published.

Led by Professor David Greenaway, the report looks at ways to ensure doctors are trained to the highest standards and able to meet the changing needs of patients.

It states that patients and the public need more doctors who are capable of providing general care in broad specialties across a range of different settings, driven by a growing number of people with multiple co-morbidities, an ageing population, health inequalities and increasing patient expectations. In addition, doctors are also needed who are trained in more specialised areas.

The report also looks at flexible working and says that medicine has to be a sustainable career with opportunities for doctors to change roles and specialties throughout their careers.

Amongst these significant changes, the report calls for full registration to be moved to the point of graduation from medical school, provided there are measures in place to demonstrate graduates are fit to practise at the end of medical school.

Dr Clare McKenzie, RCOG Vice President, Education, said:

“We welcome this forward looking report and the recommendations it makes. We know that the demographic is changing which impacts both obstetric and gynaecological care with the rise in obesity rates and in the number of older patients with co-morbidities.

“Doctors are dealing with an increasingly complex case mix of patients and training programmes need to prepare specialists to provide appropriate care.

“To combat this we advocate the importance of the life-course approach for women which promotes prevention rather than intervention and encourages a healthy lifestyle putting the individual at the centre of their care. However when care is needed we strongly support care provided by specialists working in networks.

“This new report also calls for a more flexible training structure which will meet the needs of the workforce who increasingly need to work differently including part-time working. More flexibility will also allow doctors to pursue academic research more easily which is essential to medical innovation and providing high quality care.

“We support the proposal of more generalised care but we also need specialists to deal with the more complicated cases. Our recent working party report Tomorrow’s Specialist parallels many of these recommendations and calls for a radical rethink of education and training enabling doctors to work flexibly and work in different locations, locally and in hospitals.”