Modernisation plan revealed for junior doctors

for the biggest reform and modernisation of the junior doctor grade, to give
young doctors in training better career development opportunities, have been
published for consultation.

proposals are outlined in Unfinished Business, the report on the
Modernisation of the Senior House Officers (SHO) grade. The main aim of the
proposed reform is to introduce structured training for doctors at this stage
of their careers through closely managed training programmes.

proposals include:

a two-year foundation programme for doctors who wish to
enter higher specialist or GP training to develop and enhance core clinical
skills essential for all doctors. This is to be followed by a series of specialist
training programmes including one specifically for general practice

establishing a single training grade that would enable
doctors to move seamlessly through specialist training, subject to satisfactory

new and shorter higher specialist training programmes
so that doctors will be eligible to apply earlier for consultant posts. This
will see new consultants being trained to deliver the more ‘generalist’
front-line services, with opportunities for them to go on and undertake more
specialist training if they wish

improved opportunities for doctors in non-consultant
grades. There should be a close relationship between the training grades and
the non-consultant grades with greater opportunities to move between the two

report is published for a three-month consultation period, ending on 22
November 2002. Following consultation, the UK Health Ministers will publish
their proposals for SHO modernisation.

Paul Nelson




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