SAS ophthalmologist job plans need to encourage research

  • 13 Oct 2023
  • RCOphth

The Academic, Research and Innovation Subcommittee of The Royal College of Ophthalmologists would like to draw your attention to two documents issued recently, regarding guidance on Specialty and Specialist Doctor Ophthalmologists Job Plans.

These are:

Guidance-on-Specialist-Grade-Ophthalmologists-Job-Plans March 2022

Guidance on Specialty Doctor Ophthalmologists Job Plans Mar 2022

To encourage SAS doctors into research, the subcommittee supports the statement that RCOphth will not approve a full-time specialty or specialist doctor post which has less than 1.5 – 2.0 SPA for audit, CPD and appraisal (a minimum of 1 SPA if the post is less than 10 PAs). Additional SPAs should be allocated for teaching, research, assessment of trainees, clinical governance and service development. The minimal requirement for revalidation is at least 1.5 SPA.

The subcommittee feel that it is important for all trusts in the UK during the job planning process, to consider involving SAS doctors within clinical research, as they provide continuity of care to patients, are highly skilled and trainable, and often have their own ideas for projects and study. Improving job satisfaction with the appropriate recommended SPAs will help to retain these senior members of staff within your departments.

The RCOphth set out in 2022 its commitments to help all ophthalmologists participate in research in Ophthalmic Research by All,  available alongside other resources relating to research on our website. We also remind you that the GMC guidance is that ALL doctors should participate in research (see Normalising Research) and it is likely appraisal and revalidation will include this in the near future.