Urology and vascular surgery included as part of surgical training pilot

A pilot training programme for surgical trainees is to expand to include urology and vascular surgery.

The Improving Surgical Training project (IST), which has been developed by The Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) and Health Education England (HEE), will be piloted in general surgery at likely more than 21 different Trusts from August  2018, and from August  2019, and will include urology and vascular surgery.

The IST pilot will trial improvements in the quality of training, provide trainees with a better balance between service delivery and training, allow professionalised trainers to dedicate more time to training, and help develop skills of the full surgical team. The emphasis on developing the wider workforce and not solely surgeons aims to allow trainees more time to train, as well as developing cross-professional and cross-speciality competencies.

Ian Eardley, RCS senior vice-president and chair of the Improving Surgical Training working group, said: “By widening the scope of the project to include urology and vascular surgery, we will now also be able to monitor the robustness of the training across specialty. Proper assessments of the programme are vital to ensuring the training is having the desired impact.”

Jonathan Boyle, chair of the specialty advisory committee for vascular surgery, added: “At a time when surgical careers are becoming less attractive, it is vital that we look at ways of improving training. The development of a ‘modern firm’ structure will result in these new trainees really feeling part of the surgical team, which is exactly what enthused me to follow a career in Vascular surgery.”


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