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Find out more about the Workforce committee .

A Workforce committee was established to provide a platform for ensuring a support mechanism for vascular surgeons ('People') and vascular units ('Teams') under the auspices of the Vascular Society.

The committee works with the Royal Colleges and other professional bodies within the NHS and HSE to enhance working conditions for vascular surgeons throughout Great Britain & Ireland.

Workforce planning

Vascular surgery was recognised as a seperate speciality in the UK in 2013. Workforce planning has been absent within the NHS until the 'NHS People Plan' was published in July 20200.  The Vascular Society has therefore carried out tri-annual workforce surveys to understand the people and teams working to deliver vascular care, inequalities in care provision and rota gaps. The recommendations from workforce surverys have been incorporated into the recommendations of the Provision of Vascular Services.

Workforce Survery 2014

Workforce Survey 2018

Workforce Survey 2021

RCS England Workforce Census


The committee actively promotes strategies which assist in the recruitment of medical students and surgical trainees to the specialty. The need for this work has been highlighted by the 2023 VUNUM survey of exposure of medical students to vascular surgery published in the Annuals of the RCS Eng. 

VUNUM Survey 2023


Undergraduate surgical society's are recommended to build links with their local unit. Medical students can also access the recources developed by the Rouleaux Club and Vascular Society. The Committee has compiled a list of Medical Schools and their local vascular units.







Northern Ireland




Foundation and Core Trainees

Doctors in training are encouraged to explore vascular surgery as a career. Education in vascular disease is important given the high prevelence of cardiovascular disease in the UK. 

Educational resources

  • Introduction of Vascular Surgery
  • All you need to know about vascular surgery
  • ASPIRE Digital


The key to retention is that staff are both valued and looked after. This means that they are renumerated properly, have a sustainable work life balance, work in functiong teams and that the work enviroment is professional.


The society is committed to promoting the ideals of mentorship in vascular surgery. Development of a Mentorship programme is one of the major projects currently being undertaken by the society. Up to date information on this can be found in the Mentorship section in the Members area.


Bullying Undermining & Harassment

This has been rightly highlighted as an enormous problem within surgery. The VSGBI is committed to eradicating such behaviours and to this end has worked closely with the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh in developing a training module on conflict resolution and managing difficult behaviours. All members of the society are encouraged to undertake the RCSEd online module on BUH.

The key messages from the joint VS and Rouleaux survey published in the JVSGBI in 2022 were:

  • Bullying, undermining and harassment remain problems within UK vascular training.
  • There has been little improvement in the adverse behaviours towards trainees despite strategies put in place to address this in the last few years.
  • There needs to be a review of the strategies implemented to alleviate BUH in vascular surgery

Bullying, Undermining, and Harassment in Vascular Surgical Training in the UK: How Can it be Confronted? 2018

Bullying, undermining and harassment in vascular surgery training: a stubborn problem that damages the specialty 2022

Bullying and harassment: a disease for eradication (Editorial) 2022

RCS Edinburgh eModule

If you are experiencing bullying, harassment and/or undermining

Good Medical Practice

GMCs Good Medical Practice (GMC, 2024) states “You must treat colleagues with kindness, courtesy and respect", "You must help to create a culture that is respectful, fair, supportive, and compassionate by role modelling behaviours consistent with these values" and "You must not abuse, discriminate against, bully, or harass anyone based on their personal characteristics, or for any other reason. By ‘personal characteristics’ we mean someone’s appearance, lifestyle, culture, their social or economic status, or any of the characteristics protected by legislation – age, disability, gender reassignment, race, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation."

If you witness any of the behaviours described above (para 56 or 57) you should act, taking account of the specific circumstances. For example, you could:

  • Check in and offer support to anyone targeted or affected by the behaviour.
  • Let them know that you feel that the behaviour you witnessed is unacceptable.
  • Challenge the behaviour by speaking to the person responsible – either at the time, if safe to do so, or at an appropriate time and place.
  • Speak to a colleague and/or consider reporting the behaviour in line with your workplace policy and our more detailed GMC guidance on Raising and acting on concerns about patient safety.*
  • Before you report the behaviour you witnessed, try and make sure that the person who was targeted is aware of, and supports, your intention to report it.

The GMC recognises some people may find it harder than others to speak up but everyone has a responsibility – to themselves and their colleagues – to do something to prevent these behaviours continuing and contributing to a negative, unsafe environment.

personal employment grievances (often including bullying or undermining) are treated under separate grievance or dignity at work policies.

Legal Background

  • Employment Right Act 1996
  • Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998

You are entitled to legal protection if you have reasonable belief that something is wrong which may lead to patient harm

Evidence is good to support your concern, but it is not essential.

Always ask whether patient harm could be caused if a situation is left unchecked?

Seeking support


  • Speak to your friends, trusted colleagues, family members about what you are experiencing.
  • If you have a trusted senior mentor, they can offer to speak to the offender on your behalf.


RCS Edinburgh: Protecting yourself, Protecting your colleagues

Conflict resolution

Conflict resolution is a way to find a mutually acceptable solution to a disagreement. In the workplace the conflict may be personal, political, or emotional. It occasionally escalates to physically aggressive behaviour.

When such a dispute arises, action is needed to resolve the disagreement otherwise it will usually escalate, or worse a team fragments, communication fails and is no longer able to deliver safe care.

The following methods are available to resolve conflict:

  • Listening         
  • Negotiation    
  • De-escalation 
  • Mediation      

The Vascular Society has been working with RCS Ed. to develop a conflict resolution course.

Extended surgical team

The Vascular Society is committed to the delivery of excellence in patient centred care. The Elected Council recognises the significant challenges vascular services currently face; medical staff recruitment and retention; staff burnout; historically high waiting lists; and increasing demand from an aging population with complex disease.

Provision of Services for People with Vascular Disease 2021 states the view of the Vascular Society that there should be one vascular surgeon per 100,000 head of population. The Society remains committed to achieving this through improved recruitment and retention of both vascular trainees and existing consultants.

Medical Associate Professions (MAP) roles have been identified as part of the solution to workforce issues outlined in the NHS People Plan. MAPs are trained to perform certain roles normally performed by doctors. As a Council we recognise and value their contribution of Physicians Associates and Surgical Care Practitioners to patient care. They can support both consultants and trainees in managing their workload. Patient safety must be guaranteed by the definition of scope of practice, statutory registration and regulation, regular peer review and fitness to practice mechanisms.

The Vascular Society is of the view that the valuable contribution MAPs make to patient care should be complimentary to that delivered by vascular specialists rather than replacing it.

The Society will take a full and active part in the setting of standards for scope of practice, training, assessment and career progression for MAPs within vascular multi-disciplinary teams (MDTs). We will engage with MAPs, vascular trainees, SAS and locally employed doctors, Allied Healthcare Professionals, Faculty of Physician Associates (FoPA), and the four Surgical Royal Colleges, through the Extended Surgical Team Board, to develop MAP roles whilst ensuring that other staff groups within the vascular MDT, specifically vascular trainees, are not adversely affected.

As first steps, Ansy Egun (representing the Vascular Society) and Bridget Egan (representing RCSI Dublin) will join the intercollegiate working group on extended practice. Andrew Garnham will raise through the Federation of Surgical Speciality Associations and the Royal Surgical Colleges. Ciaran McDonnell will be writing to engage with colleagues who work with PAs and PAs in vascular surgery roles.

Membership surveys

Vascular services August 2020

Vascular services September 2020


Workforce Reports