Early years postgraduate surgical training programmes in the UK are failing to meet national quality standards: An analysis from the ASiT/BOTA Lost Tribe prospective cohort study of 2,569 surgical trainees.
Writing group None., Project steering group None., ASiT/BOTA Lost Tribe Study Group None.
INTRODUCTION: This study aimed to assess training of Senior House Officer-grade equivalent doctors in postgraduate surgical training or service (SHO-DIPST) in surgical specialties across the United Kingdom (UK), against nationally agreed Joint Committee on Surgical Training Quality Indicators (JCST QIs). Specific recommendations are made, with a view to improving quality of training, workforce retention and recruitment to Higher Surgical Training. METHOD: Prospective, observational, multicentre study conducted by the Association of Surgeons in Training, using the UK National Research Collaborative model. Any centres in the UK providing acute surgical services were eligible. SHO-DIPST with a permanent contract, on out-of-hours 'on-call rota' were included across four, one-week data capture periods (September to October 2016, February to March 2017). Adherence to five quality indicators was reported using descriptive statistics. P-values were calculated using Student's t-test for continuous data, with a 5% level of significance. RESULTS: 2569 SHO-DIPST were included from all ten surgical specialties in 141 NHS trusts across all 16 Local Education and Training Boards in the UK. 960 SHO-DIPST were in registered 'training' posts (37.3%). The median number of SHO-DIPST per rota was 7.0 (IQR 5.0-9.0). Adherence to the five included JCST QIs ranged from 6.0 to 53.1%. Only four SHO-DIPST posts across the study population met all five JCST QIs (0.3%). The total number of training sessions was higher for those in registered training posts (p