Training in Addiction Psychiatry: Current Status and Future Prospects

This report looks into addictions psychiatry provision and how we can support and reinvigorate the decreasing number of training posts across the UK.

Commissioned and funded by HEE London, Training in Addiction Psychiatry: Current Status and Future Prospects was produced by a steering group of addiction specialists. It identifies issues around training that are arising across the UK, especially in England, and puts forward recommendations about how we can remedy the current situation.

Key findings 

  • The overall numbers of training posts, both core and higher, are low across the UK, and are declining in England
  • Four English regions have no core training posts in addiction psychiatry
  • Five English regions have no higher training posts in addiction psychiatry
  • The ways in training posts are funded is a perceived barrier to the provision and creation of training posts


  • Address the lack of structural safeguarding by introducing a requirement that core trainees will need to undertake Workplace Based Assessments (WBAs) in addictions psychiatry in order to progress through training
  • Develop and provide training courses for higher trainees and consultants who had no addictions experience during training, and for SAS (staff grade, associate specialist, speciality) doctors with addictions experience
  • Engage with and support SAS doctors to gain access to the specialist register via the Certificate of Eligibility for Specialist Registration (CESR)
  • Support the GMC credentialing of addiction psychiatry
  • Encourage centralised funding to support addiction psychiatry training posts in all regions
  • Consider using the financial models of training in public health, general practice and other specialities whose trainees are not principally employed by NHS trusts
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