Role created to bridge gap between trainees and senior managers is hailed a success

Authors: Abi Rimmer 

Publication date:  23 XI 2017

A scheme developed by the Royal College of Physicians to help junior doctors improve their clinical leadership skills has been hailed as a success.

An independent review of the college’s Future Hospital Programme said that the role of chief registrar, created as part of the programme, has helped to support trainees.[1] The programme was developed from the Future Hospital Commission and aims to improve care of patients by bringing specialist care closer to them.

The chief registrar role, first piloted in 2016, aims to give management experience to junior doctors who are nearing consultancy while working less than full time in their normal clinical roles.[2]

The University of Liverpool, which conducted the review of the programme, said that the chief registrar role was a “great RCP success, and an excellent way to build future clinical leaders.”

In its own report of the programme the Royal College of Physicians said that the chief registrar role had been “successful in engaging our trainees in quality improvement programmes” and would continue to be supported by the college.

It said that the role was launched at a time when trainees felt undervalued and morale was low. “The pilot demonstrated the value of the role of chief registrar for individuals, patients, their organisation, and the NHS, and the need for future clinical leaders to have structured leadership, improvement, and management training, while remaining engaged in the delivery of acute, front line care,” the college said.

In addition to the new role, the evaluation found that the programme had succeeded in a range of areas, including quality improvement. It said that the college’s approach of driving and supporting local projects for service delivery innovation was a success.

In its own report the college said that the programme’s successes included ensuring that the right doctors assessed acutely ill patients early and were as close to the hospital front door as possible. The programme also helped specialist medical care to extend into the community so that patients at home, or close to home, benefited from integrated specialist and community based care. Staff were also supported in delivering safe, compassionate care and were committed to improving quality under the programme, the college said.

Both the University of Liverpool’s report and the Royal College of Physicians’ own report are available on the college’s website [Link] .


  1. Royal College of Physicians. Delivering the future hospital. 2017. [Link] .
  2. Oxtoby K. Bridging the gap between junior doctors and senior managers: the RCP’s chief registrar scheme. 18 Jan 2017. BMJ Careers. [Link] .

Abi Rimmer The BMJ

Cite this as BMJ Careers ; doi: