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Change ‘essential’ to ensure Wales’ future doctors get the training they need

30 May 2013

Providing the same services in so many hospitals across South Wales means Wales’ future doctors are not getting the training they need to meet future healthcare needs, Wales’ Postgraduate Dean for Medical education has warned.

Professor Derek Gallen’s comments follow the launch of a major consultation examining the future structure of some hospital services – consultant-led maternity and neonatal care, inpatient children’s services and emergency medicine (A&E) - across South Wales.  

Professor Derek Gallen, Cardiff University’s Postgraduate Dean of Medical and Dental Education, said: "The Wales Deanery fully supports the South Wales Programme's work to reconfigure services - changing the way we provide some hospital services is essential to help us improve the training experience and to attract doctors to Wales.

"We are in a downward spiral in terms of the recruitment and retention of trainee doctors in a number of specialties. This is a vitally important issue for the NHS because we get many of the doctors, consultants and GPs who work on the frontline from our training grades.

"In some areas, such as paediatrics, psychiatry and emergency medicine, recruitment is not just a Welsh problem - the whole of the UK is struggling. But the problem for Wales is that in those areas where there are UK difficulties, it's even worse for us because doctors don't want to come to work and train in small hospital units where they don't have as much support or protected education time.

"Providing the same services in so many hospitals means that the medical rotas are spread very thinly across South Wales and the educational experience is not sufficient for the curriculum - this means we are not training the best doctors for the future of healthcare in Wales."

The Wales Deanery is the body responsible for the recruitment of Foundation Doctors, Specialty and General and Dental Practitioner trainees throughout Wales.



For further information or interview Professor Gallen, please contact:

Chris Jones
Public Relations
Cardiff University
Tel: 029 20 874731

A video interview with Professor Gallen about the issues facing medical training in Wales is available at:

The South Wales Programme is about the future of consultant-led maternity services, neonatal care, inpatient children’s services and emergency medicine (A&E) for people living in South Wales and South Powys.

A public consultation about the options for these services was launched on May 23 and will run until July 19, 2013.

Full details about the consultation, the options and how to get involved, are available at

Cardiff University is recognised in independent government assessments as one of Britain’s leading teaching and research universities and is a member of the Russell Group of the UK’s most research intensive universities. Among its academic staff are two Nobel Laureates, including the winner of the 2007 Nobel Prize for Medicine, University Chancellor Professor Sir Martin Evans. Founded by Royal Charter in 1883, today the University combines impressive modern facilities and a dynamic approach to teaching and research. The University’s breadth of expertise encompasses: the College of Humanities and Social Sciences; the College of Biomedical and Life Sciences; and the College of Physical Sciences, along with a longstanding commitment to lifelong learning. Cardiff's three flagship Research Institutes are offering radical new approaches to neurosciences and mental health, cancer stem cells and sustainable places.