A planning guide to help specialty doctors and associate specialists with their often complex work has been published jointly by the NHS Employers organisation, the British Medical Association and the devolved administrations.
The guidance aims to offer a cooperative approach to planning for specialty doctors and administrators. The guidance focuses on how to better professional development, how to plan as a multidisciplinary team and how the doctors and their consulting team members can work together.
Specialty (SAS) doctors and their employers are the focus of this guidance. Last year consultants and their employers were the focus of a similar guidance.
Job planning is key to the work of many specialty doctors who are at senior grades in the NHS.
Teamwork is essential for specialty doctors to treat complex cases with experience and specialised care. At the same time, many specialty doctors teach, train, carry out research and work to improve local services.
This new guidance spotlights the job planning process as a way to coordinate the work of each team member.
“Sound planning and employee engagement are fundamental elements of providing high quality patient care,¨ said Dean Royles, director of the NHS Employers organisation.
“SAS doctors work on some incredibly complex cases. Employers want to ensure they have the support and planning they need to do these demanding jobs well. This guidance helps do that.
“We know that SAS doctors are less likely than their colleagues to have appraisals but by improving the job planning process, we can help address this issue.
“We hope this guidance will help to support both employers and staff when they are setting out their priorities and objectives for the year ahead.”
The chairman of BMA’s staff, associate specialist and specialty doctor committee, Radhakrishna Shanbhag, said: “The guidance recognises that job planning is more than just a timetable and we hope it will help give SAS doctors the opportunity to develop their skills and progress in their careers.
“Many SAS doctors work at a senior level in the NHS often providing complex specialist care. The job planning guidance should help give them the opportunity to work with their employers to improve patient care.”