SAS Doctors Recognised For Vital Role They Play

16th November 2022

Specialty Doctors/Dentists, Associate Specialists and Specialists, known as SAS Doctors/Dentists make up 25% of the permanent hospital medical workforce. These posts provide senior medical continuity of care for patients in specialties from Anaesthetics to Rheumatology across the Trust,  geographical stability and work-life balance for Doctors. SAS Doctors can be clinicians, leaders, educators, researchers, appraisers and service developers.

The South Eastern HSC Trust recently asked colleagues to nominate a SAS Doctor Star, to mark the first National SAS Celebration week which aimed to highlight the opportunities and benefits of a SAS career. The competition received an overwhelming response of over 100 nominations.

SAS Lead, Dr Joanne Younge explained,  “I would like to sincerely thank everyone who took the time and effort to nominate a SAS colleague, this has meant a great deal to each of the 53 doctors nominated. I am immensely proud of the excellent, and, often unrecognised contribution, all SAS staff make within the Trust and would like to thank them for this. Selecting a winner from all the nominees was nearly an impossible task, as all nominations strongly demonstrated the core Trust values of excellence, compassion, working together, openness and honesty.

“I am pleased to announce that the SAS Doctor Star winner with 18 separate nominations is Specialty Doctor in Cardiology, Dr Andrew Kerr who works in Lagan Valley Hospital.”

“Dr Kerr’s career demonstrates all the possible benefits of being a substantive SAS doctor. He is an integral and well respected, approachable senior medical staff member within a multi-disciplinary team. Andrew works well with and supports his colleagues he  strives for excellence with service improvements (e.g. same day service cardiac centre) and provides compassion for patients at the centre of his care, resulting in reduced hospital admissions and great patient feedback.

“Andrew is an Educational Supervisor and co-ordinates foundation training and teaching, represents the Trust at the NI BMA SAS committee and is Regional Manager of St. John Ambulance. As well as this, he has completed MSc Business Improvement which has enabled him to achieve a Neurology management role. He is well regarded by the whole multi-disciplinary team, demonstrating that grade is no barrier to leadership qualities and ability. To ensure we retain excellent SAS staff, such as Andrew, we need to recognise ability and offer opportunities for career progression. Specialist posts are currently being created as part of the new SAS (2021) contract to give more SAS Doctors the opportunity to develop their careers going forward.”

Andrew was nominated by Cardiac Physiologist, Gemma Kearney who added, “I wanted to nominate Dr Kerr to promote and highlight how SAS Doctors contribute to the smooth running of the Cardiac Investigations Department. He is always on hand for advice and help when we need it, ensuring patients receive the best possible care and treatment. His work is very much noticed and appreciated. We are very lucky to have him as part of our team.”

Andrew was very humbled to hear that he was the winner of this competition and responded by saying, “SAS celebration week has been a great opportunity to recognise the work SAS Doctors do across the Trust. It was very kind of Gemma to nominate me for the SAS Doctor Star competition, I am part of a great team in the Cardiac Investigation Department and I am glad that staff feel that I support them in any way that I can.”