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North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust - 70 years of the NHS


Home > News > Army of SAS doctors from Cumbria join forces in Professional Development Programme

Army of SAS doctors from Cumbria join forces in Professional Development Programme

Posted on Wednesday 13th May 2015
sas doctors

Over 80 SAS doctors employed by Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust are joining forces to develop a single Continuous Professional Development programme that will benefit patients in Cumbria.

Staff Grade, Associate Specialist and Specialty (SAS) Doctors have at least four years’  post graduate experience and work in a specific field, such as psychiatry, obstetrics and gyneacology, end of life care and so on. Being an SAS doctor offers a satisfying and alternative career to GP and consultant posts.

Between both Trusts there are around 80 SAS doctors who are often critical in delivering the volume of quality care that the modern NHS demands.   The need to develop and engage this important group of staff in continuous professional development can be overlooked and so the group are jointly launching a shared annual program of professional development for our SAS doctors.  This program is based on the needs and requirements of our doctors, and will be jointly resourced and run by both trusts.

Dr Laura Hipple SAS tutor at North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust said “ I am delighted that we are able to launch a development programme with our SAS Colleagues in the Partnership Trust, with a joint venture that has crossed both Trust and Health Education Department boundaries, to maximise use of resources, learning and networking opportunities for all our SAS Doctors. Developing SAS Doctors to maximise their potential can benefit not only patient care and service development, but also job satisfaction and future recruitment to these posts in Cumbria.”

Dr Rajini Thomas SAS Tutor at Cumbria Partnership NHS Trust commented “The SAS path gathers a wealth of experience, maturity and professional expertise. With the evolution of the NHS and different ways of practice and delivery of health care SAS should be an evolving trend which is here to stay as a part of the future of NHS.  The breadth and depth of clinical work, professional  activities and accountability that  experienced  SAS doctors currently hold is no different from our consultant colleagues and  GP’s . This developing trend has come to being after years of contribution by SAS doctors and the recognition of their potential in providing an effective and competent service.”

Dr Chris Tiplady, Interim Director of Medical Education in North Cumbria University Hospital Trust said “I am really pleased to both support and see this work between our Trusts which will enhance the quality of care we offer across our region. The development and recruitment of our SAS doctors is crucial as we look at delivery of health care in the future. Training, good leadership and good clinical care are at the heart of our culture and it is only through programmes like this that people link up and achieve their full potential. I am looking forward to seeing how the courses develop and how this starts to influence patient care across Cumbria.”

Dr Sam Dearman Director of Medical Education said “I’ve worked with a number of SAS doctors in my career, they work really hard but can be sadly undervalued by the NHS.  I hope that this program helps to demonstrate that our trusts value our SAS doctors in Cumbria but also as a project it importantly demonstrates how at a time of challenge for the NHS we can still do things that really add value and improve care quality in the spirit of alliance, which is how services need to function.

The program will begin 29th June 2015 in Penrith at the Rheged Centre.