SAS survey results

06 / 07 / 2020

In October 2019, NHS Employers invited NHS organisations to take part in a survey to better understand the challenges that organisations face in recruiting and retaining specialty and associate specialist (SAS) doctors. The results are published in this report highlights what support is required for the SAS workforce.

Key Findings

  • 85 per cent of respondents reported difficulties in recruiting SAS doctors, especially in specialities such as emergency medicine, general medicine, anaesthetics and paediatrics.
  • Employers cited career progression, pay and career development as the most common reasons for SAS doctors leaving their post.
  • 86 per cent of employers had taken steps to implement the SAS charter. The most challenging recommendations employers found to implement include coding of work to SAS doctors and involvement in organisational structures.
  • 54 per cent of organisations stated that a lack of recognition among SAS doctors was affecting morale and motivation.
  • 62 per cent of organisations are supporting SAS doctors to undertake their certificate of eligibility of specialist registration.
  • 95 per cent of employers were aware of the resources offered by both NHS Employers and the BMA to support the implementation of the SAS charter.


Please note - this survey was conducted in October 2019 and the report was planned to be published in March 2020. However publication was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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