The Wales Deanery, Welsh Government and Welsh Health Boards and Trusts have introduced a pioneering Education Contract which means that junior doctors in Wales will be the first in the UK to get ring-fenced time for learning written into their working week.
The new Education Contract forms an agreement between the Trainee, the Local Education Provider (Health Board or Trust) and the Wales Deanery. The criteria and metrics for the Education Contract have been mapped against GMC approved specialty curricula and standards for medical education and training. The Education Contract details a commitment from the Local Education Provider to ensure trainees have access to the required number of outpatient clinics, theatre sessions, teaching sessions, ward rounds and other educational opportunities to meet training needs.
The Education Contract was introduced from 3 August 2016 for all trainees in Paediatrics, Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Core Surgical Training, Higher General Surgery and Trauma and Orthopaedics. By August 2017 trainees in the remaining specialties will be working to an Education Contract.
Professor Derek Gallen, Postgraduate Dean, The Wales Deanery says: “In order to ensure we can recruit and retain high quality trainee doctors in Wales there is a need to improve the quality of training on offer to trainees by investing in the educational environment. Specifically, we need to protect teaching time, provide opportunities to attend outpatient clinics and provide theatre time. The aim of this new contract is to lead to an improved culture across NHS Wales which supports learning, education and training. Wales already enjoys high satisfaction rates from trainee doctors, but this is part of our ethos of continuous development and improvement to ensure that Wales is a leader in postgraduate medical education and to guarantee that all trainees have the same high quality training.”
Health Secretary Vaughan Gething said: “We are leading the way in the UK with this commitment to improving educational opportunities for doctors. Wales is a fantastic place to train, work and live and I hope that many more trainees will forge their careers here.”
Dr Helen Baker, Associate Director for Secondary Care, The Wales Deanery says: “We are passionate about the delivery of high quality training to our junior doctors here at the Wales Deanery. One of our key aims is to improve both recruitment and retention of doctors in Wales. The fact that this new Education Contract, with its promise to ring-fence training time, is unique to Wales should help us attract and keep trainee doctors. It will enable us to guarantee that all of our trainees get the breadth and variety of experience in the curriculum to enable them to be the best possible doctors.”
Trainee GP doctor, Dr Daniel Baker supports the new education contract: “Training doesn’t just stop at medical school. Dealing with increasing complex medical conditions involves career-long learning and it is innovations like this which mean doctors can keep up to date and play their role in continuously improving our service to keep the NHS going.”