What are SAS doctors?

Hospital doctors

Specialty and Associate Specialist (SAS) doctors are a diverse group with a wide range of skills, experience and specialties.

All doctors appointed into new SAS posts should be appointed as specialty doctors as this is currently the only open national contract for this grade. There are however a number of doctors that still remain on the terms and conditions for those grades which are now closed to new entrants. These doctors may be known as associate specialists, hospital practioners, clinical assistants, senior clinical medical officers and clinical medical officers.

Specialty doctors

The specialty doctor grade provides an opportunity for doctors to have a rewarding career with progression to the top of the grade over a number of years whilst gaining experience and extending and developing their skills base. Fundamental to the contract is that doctors will be required to undertake job planning and appraisal whilst developing a portfolio to record their progress in the job. Commencing with a number of annual increments, doctors will progress through two thresholds by evidencing that they have participated in job planning and appraisal and have developed whilst in the role. Incremental progression between threshold one and threshold two will be at two-yearly intervals and then at three-yearly intervals post threshold two. 

Closed grades 

For all new appointments, the Specialty Doctor grade has replaced the closed grades of staff grade, associate specialist (2008), associate specialist (pre-2008), clinical medical officer, hospital practitioner and clinical assistant.

Associate specialist (2008)

Doctors in the associate specialist (2008) grade are rewarded through similar arrangements to specialty doctors. The associate specialist (AS) grade is now closed to new entrants, although doctors on the old Associate Specialist contract (pre-2208) can elect to transfer to the 2008 AS terms and conditions.

Other closed grades

The terms and conditions for any doctors who remain in the other closed grades are set out within the Terms and Conditions of Service NHS Medical and Dental Staff (England) 2002

Trust grade doctors

The specialty doctor contract does not automatically cover trust grade doctors. We hope that the package will prove sufficiently attractive to both employers and these doctors, and that employers will choose to offer the contract to them.

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