Recruitment of doctors to non-standard grades in the NHS: analysis of job advertisements and survey of advertisers

Sabina Dosani, Sara Schroter, Rhona MacDonald, Jackie Connor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVES: To estimate the proportion of advertised non-consultant hospital posts that do not conform to nationally recognised terms and conditions of service and to investigate why these posts exist, who fills them, and what the doctors in such jobs do.

DESIGN: Analysis of job advertisements and a cross sectional survey of advertisers.

SETTING: Job advertisements in one of the leading UK publications listing hospital doctor vacancies (BMJ Careers).

RESULTS: Nearly a quarter of non-consultant posts advertised in the two study periods (23% and 21%) were for non-standard grade posts. A questionnaire was sent to the medical staffing officer for each post. Of 430 questionnaires sent out 192 (45%) were returned. 98 trusts said they advertised non-standard grades because there was no more funding from the deanery for approved posts and 75 because service needs could not be met by doctors in training grades. In 132 posts (69%) the post holder would be required to do on-call work, and 50 advertisers (26%) required on-call duty for 1 in 5 or more frequently, which would conflict with the European Working Time Directive. 131 advertisers (68%) expected the posts to be filled by doctors from outside the European Economic Area.

CONCLUSIONS: Non-standard grade posts are mostly being created to meet service requirements when there is no more funding for standard training posts and are expected to be filled by doctors from overseas. Doctors in such posts can be more easily exploited and their careers hindered. The Department of Health's annual census should include non-standard grade doctors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)961-964
Number of pages4
Issue number7421
Publication statusPublished - 25 Oct 2003


  • Advertising as Topic
  • Foreign Medical Graduates
  • Humans
  • Job Description
  • Medical Staff, Hospital/education
  • Personnel Selection
  • Professional Practice
  • State Medicine
  • Teaching
  • United Kingdom

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