To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure surgical trainees can access training opportunities in order to progress their training.
In 2021/22, Health Education England invested more than £25 million to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on speciality medical training, including surgical training. This focused on ensuring sufficient educator time and working with surgeons to identify and place trainees in areas with biggest surgical backlog to maximise training opportunities. The continued development of surgical trainees is also supported by an e-learning programme, which increases access to learning and improves knowledge retention. Specific courses have been designed to aid the rapid acquisition of skills, with surgical trainees having access to cadaveric courses and surgical simulation training programmes to supplement the delivery of the practical curriculum.