A postal questionnaire was sent to 31 Specialist Registrar Training Programme Directors in general adult and old age psychiatry in England, Scotland and Wales to ascertain the recruitment position on their training scheme and their views on recruitment.
There was no recruitment to 24% of specialist registrar (SpR) posts. A 17% increase in national training numbers in general adult and old age psychiatry had occurred in the schemes surveyed during the past 2 years. An insufficient number of senior house officer (SHO) posts was identified by 42% of respondents and the unattractiveness of general adult psychiatry recorded by 58% of respondents as factors in under-recruitment.
Under-recruitment at consultant level in general adult and old age psychiatry is being replicated at specialist registrar level. Trainees are not being encouraged into higher psychiatric training by increasing specialist registrar national training numbers. Insufficient SHO posts and the perceived unattractiveness of general adult psychiatry appear as significant factors contributing to poor recruitment at SpR level.
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