Relationships with surgeons in training

Issues regarding the relationships between consultant surgeons and non-consultant grade team members were identified in 45 out of 100 reviews.

Trainee surgeons and other non-consultant grade staff who support surgical care can offer valuable insights when assessing a service. 

Surgeons in training have worked in a variety of hospitals across a region and will be able to reflect on these experiences to form a clear perspective on the capabilities and areas for improvement of a service under review.  

It should also be the case that if a service is working well a trainee surgeon would be keen to return to the unit later in their training or seek to gain a substantive consultant appointment. A well-functioning service will be organised around the needs of patients while providing trainees with high-quality and supportive training opportunities. 

Evidence from our invited reviews demonstrates that where surgeons in training report a poor standard of teaching and learning, there is a strong possibility of issues with the delivery of safe surgical care. It is important to realise that where surgeons in training or other non-consultant grade clinical staff report poor quality interactions between those responsible for their training, this can also compromise safe surgical care.  

All healthcare organisations should have well-structured processes for ensuring that the views of surgeons in training and non-consultant staff can be gathered, assessed and used to deliver tangible changes to the ways in which services are delivered.