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Recognising the value of our SAS colleagues

As the healthcare landscape continues to evolve and adapt to new challenges, so does the structure of our medical workforce.

Within this period of change, it’s important to shine a spotlight on the invaluable contributions of our specialty and specialist (SAS) and locally-employed (LE) colleagues – recognising their indispensable work as part of the medical community.

Over the last 18 months, we’ve been working hard to support the growing numbers of SAS and LE doctors within the clinical oncology and clinical radiology workforce by aligning the work of the RCR to ensure we engage with them effectively. 

Our efforts have been primarily focused on developing an engagement strategy and setting out tangible actions and steps that the College can take. This includes enlisting SAS and LE doctors to help create a thriving professional network, promoting their contributions within the workforce and ensuring inclusion in workforce plans, supporting their educational and professional development, and advocating for parity of CCT and CESR.

Engagement day

We recently had the pleasure of hosting our first RCR SAS engagement day, bringing together a diverse group of doctors from across the UK. This event marked an important milestone for the College, as understanding the needs of this group is essential if we are to effectively influence medical leaders to recognise the value that SAS and LE doctors add  By building our professional network, we aim to create a space in which SAS doctors can learn from each other, enhance their confidence as experts and leaders and become each other’s best advocates.

We warmly welcomed the reflections our delegates offered on the challenges they have faced, and in many cases continue to do so, and their wish to share their learning and experience with colleagues, particularly those who are adjusting to life in the UK and the NHS for the first time. Another area discussed was the important role mentoring has to play, and we encourage SAS and LE doctors to sign up as mentors or mentees via the RCR’s new mentoring platform.

Progression opportunities

Of course, there is still much work for the College to do with clinical directors and heads of service to illuminate progression opportunities for SAS and LE doctors and promote the routine provision of these as part of job planning and professional development. We also need to explore further opportunities to support doctors pursuing the portfolio pathway (CESR), and we welcomed the suggestions put forward by delegates during the event.

Our immediate next step is to establish a steering group of SAS doctors to develop a work plan for the RCR’s SAS professional network. We’re greatly encouraged that so many of our delegates expressed an interest in getting involved in this initiative.  We’re excited to work together on the issues that matter to you most and shape our future activities. We’re right behind you.

If you’re an SAS or LE doctor interested in getting involved, please get in touch by emailing: [email protected].

SAS Engagement Day 2024

In January 2024 we welcomed SAS and Locally Employed doctors to the College. The day included interactive discussions on support for IMGs, training opportunities available and professional development. Watch highlights from the day below:

Article by:

Dr Vaishali Parulekar

RCR SAS Lead for Radiology

Dr Aleksandra Kuciejewska

RCR SAS Lead for Oncology