Great improvements have taken place within higher training in psychiatry, influenced by the Calman report on specialist training (Department of Health, 1993) and the publication by the Royal College of Psychiatrists (2004) of its competency-based curriculum for specialist training. Alongside these developments have been huge changes in the way that psychiatric services are configured and increased difficulties in recruiting consultant staff (O'Connor & Vize, 2003). We believe a gap has arisen between higher training and the real-world needs of psychiatric services, which needs to be tackled. These concerns are not new (Deahl & Turner, 1998) but the problems in recruitment mean that an urgent review of higher training is necessary.
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