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Parliamentary Debates and Questions

S5W-21976: Alex Cole-Hamilton (Edinburgh Western)

Scottish Liberal Democrats

Date lodged: 7 March 2019

To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking to increase recruitment of ophthalmology trainees, in light of the recent Workforce Census for 2018, published by the Royal College of Ophthalmologists, which showed that there were 11 Deanery funded ophthalmology trainee posts unfilled in Scotland.

Answered by: Jeane Freeman 18 March 2019

The data published in the Royal College of Ophthalmologists Workforce Census 2018 does not accord with that published by NHS Education for Scotland (NES), who are responsible for medical trainee recruitment in Scotland.

The fill rate for vacancies in Ophthalmology at both Specialty Training year 1 level (ST1) and ST3 level, have been consistently 100% over each of the past five consecutive years, with the exception of one ST3 post in 2018 that did not fill out of 11 posts in total.

An annual process, managed by the SG Shape of Training Transition Group, considers medical specialty trainee supply and demand. The process takes account of a range of factors including medical profile workforce data (such as the number of trainees about to qualify and gain their Certification of Completion of Training and retirals) as well as responses from Health Boards, Specialty Training Boards, and others with an interest such as Royal Colleges. The Royal College of Ophthalmologists have not submitted a case for increasing Ophthalmology training numbers in Scotland during the recent consultation for 2019 trainee recruitment.