Uptake for psychiatric training posts in Wales at an all-time high for successive years

Wales news
18 August 2020

Over the last few years HEIW has established a number of initiatives to promote Wales as a great please to train and work, including introducing incentive packages which include funding for one sitting of Royal College examinations, increasing the opportunities and profile of hard to fill specialties through Foundation level taster experiences and regularly promoting specialties at Careers events for Foundation Trainees and Medical students.

The success of these initiatives is reflected in the 100 per cent fill rate of psychiatric training posts in Wales for the second year running, with the number of specialised training places on offer increasing from 21 in 2019 to 27 in 2020.

This is compared to just a 33 per cent fill rate in 2017, when only one in three posts were filled with 18 places on offer and six accepting.

In 2018, there were 22 places on offer with only 13 junior doctors accepting – a 59 per cent fill rate.

The figures reveal a significant improvement over the past 4 years, highlighting the increasing interest in psychiatric training in Wales.

Dr Maria Atkins, chair of the Royal College of Psychiatrists in Wales, said:

“Being a psychiatrist is a very rewarding career and this is exciting news for patients as well as the specialism.

“Psychiatry is simply a brilliant career choice, dealing with real life. In Wales we are world-leading in many aspects of mental health, so our trainees have the chance to become part of some ground-breaking research.

“Schemes like RCPsych’s UK wide Choose Psychiatry campaign have helped enormously as well as the Welsh government’s Train.Work.Live programme.

“But we must not be complacent. People will always need psychiatrists, it’s a fascinating career and we need to do all we can to continue to promote it as an excellent career choice for all junior doctors.”

Minister for Health and Social Services, Vaughan Gething, said:

“The Welsh Government is committed to delivering the workforce needed to deliver a modern, sustainable health and social services system as set-out in A Healthier Wales. We continue to support the expansion of GP training places in Wales and through our marketing campaigns we have now gained a reputation as an outstanding place for medical professionals to Train, Work and Live.”

After medical school, trainees undergo a two-year foundation training programme to bridge the gap between medical school and further specialist training. After Foundation School, junior doctors choose to follow either General or Specialist medicine.

The six-year specialist psychiatry training programme is the final step in the journey to become a consultant psychiatrist – the most senior doctor specialising in mental health.