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CBS Response to the RCSEng UK Surgical Workforce Census 2023 Report

In response to the recently published RCSEng UK Surgical Workforce Census Report, Mark Henley - Consultant plastic surgeon and President of the Confederation of British Surgery, commented:

“In the current environment, it’s shocking yet not surprising that the majority of experienced consultants are choosing to retire early as there is a very real risk of burnout and a chronic perception of feeling undervalued – and this is a concern spanning all stages of training and experience.

“Moreover, past reorganisations within the Health Service meant to produce efficiencies for administration have resulted in transfer of that workload onto clinicians. Surgeons are desperate to operate; it’s fundamental to what we do! We would love to be focused on this provision, rather than fulfilling administrative needs.

“The importance of the surgical team as a whole needs to be recognised in maintaining and further developing best practice, and therefore patient safety as well as satisfaction. This support system is key to the training of the next generation of surgeons.

“It is testament to how hardworking professionals in surgery have been through these pressurised periods; with such a high proportion of them working beyond their hours and forgoing their allocated leave. This, however, is clearly untenable in the long term.

“At the Confederation of British Surgery we aim to provide independent support to the entire surgical team and their families.”


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