Sources of Data

As a College, we have a clear understanding of the central role of anaesthesia and anaesthetists in the future of healthcare. Our work is focused on delivering that vision, in the UK. To aid this vision we aim to gather timely, accurate and locally sourced data via regular workforce censuses and other data sources. These data will be used to influence the further development of the specialty, ensuring that workforce numbers and skills are delivered to meet the UK’s requirements.

The Centre for Workforce Intelligence (CfWI)
In 2015, the CfWI (whose functions have now transferred to Health Education England) undertook an in-depth review of anaesthesia and ICM in England.  The RCoA made a significant contribution to this report, along with a range of other expert stakeholders.  The report highlighted concerns that the demand for anaesthesia and intensive care medicine (ICM) services could outstrip supply over the next 20 years, noting a need for growth of 4.7 percent per annum in both specialties.  It also recognises an existing unmet need of 15 percent for anaesthetics and 25 percent for ICM.

Medical Workforce Census 2015
The 2015 RCoA Medical Workforce Census Report 2015 is the most comprehensive information we have reflecting the state of the UK-wide anaesthesia workforce on the ground.

CCT Choices Survey
In December 2015 the College undertook a study of those who obtained their CCT in the last three years.  The aim of the study was to find out ‘where CCT holders are now?’, their career aspirations, life choices and their movement within the UK and abroad.  The results of the study showed that the main factors as to why doctors chose their location and post was family, friends, better work life balance.  Similar factors also played a part in the reason why many chose to move abroad. 
Survey of core trainees’ choices

In July 2017, the College conducted a survey of core trainees across the UK to find out more about their career intentions once they finish core training. The survey, which received an overall 45% response rate, reported that only 40% intend to apply for specialty training, with 21% intending to take a break and 11% intending to go abroad. However only 4% intended to change specialty or pursue a different career. Of those who indicated that they intend to take a break, plans included applying for an additional year of core training or a fellow job in anaesthesia or in a related area such as simulation/research/teaching/academia.

Core trainees were also asked, were they planning to come back to anaesthesia training in the UK if they were planning to go abroad or take a break after completion of core training. Of the 181 Core trainees who responded and the question applied to, 56% planned to return, 35% were unsure and 8% did not plan to return.

It is encouraging from these results that many intend to return to specialty training after taking a break. However, of those who do leave, it is very difficult to ascertain whether they do actually return.

SAS Anaesthetists- Securing our Workforce
In 2016 the College conducted a survey to SAS doctors. The aim of the survey was to profile aspirations and career plans for this group of doctors and sustainability of service, recognising that a sizable proportion of clinical work (22% Census 2015) is delivered by SAS Doctors. 

The report which was published in June 2017, provides insight into the benefits and challenges of being an SAS anaesthetist, with training and workforce issues being of particular note.

Briefing: The anaesthetic, intensive care and critical care workforce

In December 2017 the College produced a Briefing document which outlines recommendations to inform a robust and sustainable approach to anaesthetic workforce planning, provision and wellbeing. From the analysis, a number of priorities emerge which impact on the safe delivery of high-quality, patient-centred care and inform our recommendations.

RCoA Workforce Data Pack 2018
In March the College was pleased to launch the second edition of RCoA Workforce Data Pack 2018. The information in this document has been collated form various sources and provides an analysis of the current anaesthesia workforce situation in the UK.  It is a resource to support our UK stakeholders in participating in and influencing local workforce plans.

The datapack provides a summary of evidence that supports the College’s case to HEE, devolved nations’ health authorities and other stakeholders for the need to increase core anaesthesia and/or ACCS (Anaesthesia) and specialty training supply.