Aims In April 2011, the RCPCH published ‘Facing the Future: A review of Paediatric Services’ which emphasised the need for urgent service reconfiguration and the development of innovative models of service provision. These changes will impact upon the future consultant workforce (current trainees). We aimed to discover trainees’ expectations of their future roles and work environment.
Methods We distributed a web-based survey to all paediatric trainees in the Deanery (accounting for one third of paediatric trainees nationally). 72 (29%) were Level 1 trainees; 57 (23%) Level 2 trainees, 65 (26%) Level 3 trainees; 32 (13%) post-CCT trainees and 20 (8%) trainees who were on maternity leave, research or career breaks.
Results Innovative care models
16% of trainees would welcome a role in an out of hospital setting and felt that current training would be sufficient, 22% were not interested in such a role and 16% would be interested but felt they would need further training. 51% of trainees would appreciate spending time in an out of hospital setting during their training, with the majority (95%) happy to complete this training in a General Practice (GP) setting.
Regarding future consultant work patterns
41% of trainees expected to have more than one consultant post during their career; 19% anticipated staying in the same post for life. 5% of trainees intended to leave paediatric training imminently, most to start GP training.
Conclusions Amongst all levels of paediatric trainees there was an acceptance of the need for more consultant presence in the hospital, but many commented that this makes paediatrics a less attractive specialty for lifestyle reasons. Weeks of nights and resident on calls were almost unanimously unacceptable. The majority of trainees were very positive regarding innovative models of care provision.