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Call for shake-up of NHS doctor training

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A report has called for a major shake-up of the way NHS doctors are trained.

The Shape of Training Review said due to the rapidly changing needs of patients, the industry must re-think training strategies for postgraduate medical education, to ensure doctors have the appropriate skills, competencies and aptitudes.

The review said due to demands on the NHS, higher patient expectations, a growing and ageing population and increased complex medical conditions, doctors must ensure they are capable of providing a broader range of care in their specialisms.

In November 2012, Shape of Training, the medical expert advisory group, urged all medical professionals to take part in an independent review of UK postgraduate medical education and training.

It also found more doctors will need to train in more specialised areas to meet local patient needs.

The review, led by Nottingham University vice chancellor Professor David Greenaway, said medicine has to be a sustainable career with opportunities to change roles and specialties throughout doctors' careers.

Report welcomed

Dean Royles, chief executive of the NHS Employers organisation, welcomed the report and agreed the way doctors are trained in the future needs to change.

"Employers generally favour the proposed move to a more broad-based training system," said Royles. "Medical careers and consequently pay and terms and conditions will need to change to reflect this, as will the way doctors' careers progress."

General Medical Council chairman Professor Peter Rubin also welcomed the report and said he is "confident" these recommendations will help to improve the way doctors are trained.

"The key is to ensure that we are able to make steady progress towards these reforms while maintaining some stability in a system that has already been subject to a great deal of change and pressure in recent years," said Rubin.