RCPsych responds to the GMC's first ever survey of SAS and LE doctors

Statement / comment
13 January 2020

The General Medical Council (GMC) has published the initial results of its first ever survey of SAS and LE doctors – the one in six UK doctors who are not GPs, consultants nor in training roles. 

The survey found that 30% of SAS doctors and 23% of their LE counterparts had been bullied, undermined or harassed at work in the last year, either by colleagues or by patients and their families.

There are more than 40,000 doctors working in SAS and LE roles in the UK. Around 6,400 doctors took part in the survey, which ran between May and June 2019. Forty-nine per cent identified as a SAS doctor, 51% said they were working in an LE post.

Professor Wendy Burn, President, and Dr Monique Schelhase, Chair of the Specialty Doctors’ and Associate Specialist Committee, said: “The findings of this important survey are concerning as SAS doctors play an especially important role within mental health services.
“Both burnout and bullying need to be taken seriously and tackled head on if we are to retain these vital highly skilled staff.
“More needs to be done to recognise their significant contribution and to promote their career development.
“The College is supporting SAS careers through a range of initiatives, as part of our overall strategy on staff wellbeing.

“These include supporting the reopening of the Associate Specialist grade, the creation of an induction guide for new SAS doctors, providing training to support becoming a consultant and the development of a College strategy for SAS doctors.”


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