Intended for healthcare professionals

Career Focus


BMJ 1996; 313 doi: (Published 17 August 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;313:S3-7054

Confusion continues about the transitional arrangements for the introduction of the new certificate of completion of specialist training (CCST). The position is straightforward for consultants: holders of substantive or honorary consultant posts are automatically entitled to receive the new CCST. However, many UK juniors applied to the General Medical Council for the old certificate of specialist training (CST) in the year before its abolition, possibly believing that “grandfather” rights might ensue when the new CCST came into force earlier this year. This will not be the case. The new Specialist Training Authority that issues the CCST has a large workload, a small staff, and is proceeding slowly with applications for fear that an error will lead to litigation. A series of fact sheets on the new arrangements are available from the General Medical Council, 172-202 Great Portland Street, London W1N 6JE.

Despite the catalogue of problems that can ensue in practices where the partners do not have a written partnership agreement, the BMA estimates that almost half of partnerships have either no written agreement or an outdated version. Disputes over financial matters, leave, and retirement in partnerships are common, and can be both emotionally painful and expensive. By clarifying such issues in advance, a written agreement helps avoid conflict, and, when it does arise, assists in its resolution. The General Medical Services Committee has recently updated its guidance for general practitioners making partnership agreements. Copies of the new document are available to members from local BMA offices.

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