Excellent training is essential to provide excellent patient care. Doctors in training provide a significant level of core hospital services and care and are key in identifying concerns in service provision and standards of patient care. Our trainees will become future NHS leaders and the College is committed to supporting them throughout their careers. For example, the College launched the Time for Doctors campaign which included engagement with MSPs at the Scottish Parliament.

Charter for Medical Training

The Charter for Medical Training was developed by the College's Trainees & Members’ Committee in response to an erosion in the balance between the time that medical trainees (doctors training to become consultants) have for training and providing direct patient care, and their trainers (consultants) have for overseeing this training.

Successive independent inquiry reports and multiple surveys conducted by the Medical Royal Colleges indicated that this had become a major problem within the NHS throughout the whole of the UK, with trainee doctors often simply and inappropriately used to plug gaps in hospital rotas at the expense of their training.

The Charter recommends:

  • UK wide training standards, as regulated by the GMC, must be met throughout Scotland; development of Shape of Training should be conducted in Scotland with input from the College and implementation must be appropriately evaluated
  • Medical Royal Colleges need to be able to devise curriculum according to patient need, independent of government involvement.
  • Training and services are inherently linked and both must be supported in order to deliver high quality patient care.

Full adoption of the Charter provides this environment.

All medical units admitting acutely ill patients must be staffed by doctors in training at registrar level possessing the MRCP(UK) examination, or equivalent Staff, Associate Specialist and Specialty (SAS) grade doctors – with the possible exception of very small remote and rural units. A healthy working environment must also be ensured by, for example, a zero tolerance approach to bullying, harassment or undermining behaviour.