Help shape our research!

We want to better understand how the data and research we publish is used and how we can improve it. Take a 5 minute survey to share your views!

The vital contribution of specialty and associate specialists and locally employed doctors

Specialty and associate specialists (SAS) and locally employed doctors (LEDs) make up a sizeable proportion of the medical profession in the UK. Despite more than 45,000 doctors working in this way, previous analysis has treated the group as a single entity.

In this insight paper, you can find out what our data tells us about doctors working in these roles, including the three distinct types of SAS doctors and LEDs. 

  • Those on a break from training.
  • Those who have recently registered in the UK.
  • Those who have been working in these roles for their entire career.

Key findings

  • An increasing number of doctors working in these roles are female UK graduates.
  • A greater proportion of SAS doctors and LEDs are aged under 30.
  • Doctors in these roles receive fewer complaints than specialists and GPs – 6%, compared to 12% and 18% respectively. More than half of these complaints result in us opening a full investigation. 

Next steps

With this research, we can start to consider how we can better support SAS doctors and LEDs. However, we need to collect more comprehensive, and system wide, data to fully understand the crucial roles that these doctors carry out, and the challenges they encounter. In spring 2019, we will launch a new survey for doctors working in these roles, so they can tell us about their unique experiences in the workplace. 

Why we’re sharing this data

We’re making our data more accessible to relevant organisations and individuals, to help inform further research and policy development. As well as our annual publication – The state of medical education and practice in the UK – we now produce more regular reports on specific themes and topics.

Specialty and associate specialists (SAS) and locally employed doctors (LEDs) insight paper