Specialty Doctors, Staff Grade and Associate Specialist (SSAS) Doctors comprise a higher workforce percentage in palliative medicine (PM) than in other secondary care specialties (19–20% vs 9%).1,2,3 These grades are usually considered ”non-training” but employers are expected to provide educational development support.4 The APM annual census examines workforce and workload issues1 but this survey aimed to discover what educational support is available. SSAS doctors working in East and West Sussex (EWS) were surveyed about educational development opportunities, support to access these opportunities, appraisal and future career plans.Methods
Eighteen SSAS doctors in PM in EWS were invited to complete a short online survey asking questions about educational and development opportunities.Results
Eleven people (61%) responded to the survey, although one did not complete several questions. The main results are shown in Table 1 with figures for the rest of England shown where available.Discussion
This pilot survey (with 61% response rate) shows SSAS doctors in EWS are generally well supported with 90% allocated SPA time and study leave with expenses. They are educationally active doing Audit/Quality Improvement projects and teaching others. At least 2/10 plan to go the CESR/Article 14 route. Areas for improvement include more/better online resource access, and locally provided teaching. Of concern, only 2/10 had ‘protected’ SPA time (an important factor in maintaining adequate Continuing Personal Development). This small pilot study is to be extended across the region.