SAS Doctors refer to the Staff Grade, Associate Specialist and Specialty Doctor group.
In 2008, following a long period of negotiations, a new contract was voted in with a 60% majority, and was then offered on an optional basis from 1 April 2008 to doctors and dentists in the following grades:
- Staff Grades
- Associate Specialists
- Senior Clinical Medical Officers
- Clinical Assistants and Hospital Practitioners (but not GPs who were providing a primary care)
- Service in the secondary care setting or community hospitals
During the initial Assimilation exercise, SAS doctors and Dentists who did not express an interest in the new contract during the initial 12 weeks had two options:
- They were able to remain on their current contract indefinitely
- They had the ability to transfer to the new Specialty Doctor Contract at any point (although with no back dated pay to April 2008)
Following the completion of assimilation process, the post of staff grade and associate specialist have been closed to new entrants and has instead been replaced by the specialty doctor grade.
Choosing to be a SAS doctor or dentist is a positive choice for those who do not want the responsibilities or workload of a consultant post or are unable to complete the higher training programme for a variety of reasons, but wish to commit to a specialist area of practice.
The SAS doctors and dentists in OMFS are independent practitioners who either hold the licence to practice with GMC or are fully registered with GDC or both. Working as a SAS doctor can offer an ambitious career choice with an extensive clinical experience with time.
In addition to clinical responsibilities, SAS doctors are fully engaged with annual appraisal, job planning, and Continuous Professional Development (CPD) that maintains and develops their professional and personal skills leading to their involvement in further nonclinical and leadership roles during the senior years of their professional life.