Withdrawal of LAT posts in England


From 1 January 2016, locum appointments for training (LAT) posts, across all specialties, ended in England. No further LAT appointments to specialty training programmes will be made. This does not affect standalone, one-year foundation year 2 placements

The number of LATs appointed in 2015 decreased significantly in comparison with previous years, with one Royal College ceasing LATs within their specialty altogether. In 2014, a total of 724 LATs were advertised in England, which dropped to 392 posts a year later. A significant number of the LAT posts advertised were not appointed to. 

In 2014, NHS Employers contributed to a working group led by Health Education England to explore the use of LAT posts in England. The group recommended that LAT appointments should cease in England from 2016.

A task and finish group was set up to manage this process, and outlined a number of alternative strategies to LAT appointments.

1. An increase in trust grade appointments: trusts may wish to consider backfilling vacancies with trust or specialty and associate specialist (SAS) doctors recruited locally.

2. For a small number of specialties, postgraduate schools may increase training appointments within their existing funding but only when there is evidence to justify the increase in output of certificate of completion of training (CCT) holders, there are sufficient applicants and there is the training capacity to support it.

This option is not likely to be applicable in London, but in other areas will allow long established LAT resources to be rebalanced to deliver enhanced training capacity in those areas of England which may benefit from increased output of trained doctors.

3. Alternative workforce solutions should be explored locally to support the development of a multi-professional approach, where possible and appropriate.

4. Trusts may wish to consider other service models involving different grades of doctors, including additional consultant appointments.

See our specialty recruitment web pages for further information. 

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