Speaking about the publication of the SAS Doctors guidance Kirstin May, Chair of the Academy SAS Committee said:

‘I welcome the new SAS doctor development- Summary of resources and further work document, jointly published by the British Medical Association, the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, Health Education England and NHS Employers. This important document complements the previously published SAS Charters and gives further guidance to help ensure this important group of doctors is helped to remain fit for practice and develop in their careers. SAS doctors are advised on how to develop and extend their professional roles. This will ensure a motivated and engaged workforce to best meet the need of patients. Boards, medical staffing and human resources departments and medical directors are advised on how to support their SAS workforce and optimize its skills and abilities. Case studies are included to illustrate examples of SAS doctors performing in extended roles, training programmes being developed specifically for SAS doctors.

The principles set out can also be applied to dentists as well as to other doctors who are not in training and whose appointment does not require them to be on the GMC specialist register, eg trust grade doctors.

The Academy is aware that this group of doctors provides approximately 20% of the medical hospital workforce and hence makes a vital contribution to patient care. SAS doctors are a diverse group with a wide range of skills and experience whose development will benefit patient safety. Every doctor should have the opportunity to work to his/her full potential. The SAS workforce should be considered as a possible route to support local workforce plans and resolve skills shortage issues. The Academy is committed to helping SAS doctors develop to have fulfilling careers and to meet the needs of the service and patient care in the future.’