Health CommitteeWritten evidence from Dr Tim Johnson, Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust (ETWP 45)

Maintaining postgraduate deaneries, or at least the current functions of the deaneries, is vital to ensure the continued high standards of medical education for our junior doctors

I am senior hospital consultant working in a teaching hospital and have been responsible for the local delivery of medical education to junior doctors for the last 10 years. During this time there have been challenging and radical changes to both medical education and careers which have been implemented mostly by the deaneries.

Their objective, of supervising the highest standards of trainee development, has been increasingly threatened by competing interests from service delivery within hospitals and there is every reason to assume that this pressure will continue to increase. I am acutely aware of the tension between hospital consultants spending their time delivering education and delivering care.

Deaneries have evolved to exert critical and independent pressure on trusts to ensure that they comply with the best educational practice by means of their inspections and reports as well as providing faculty development and much other support.

There is clearly a risk that the influence and excellence that has been promoted by the postgraduate deaneries will be lost if their function is subsumed within any organisational structure that is unable to focus specifically on the needs of junior doctors.

The influence on the provision of postgraduate education by the deaneries is enormous and should be safeguarded fully.

December 2011

Prepared 22nd May 2012