The practice of flexible training is well established within a large number of surgical specialties. Ultimately, flexible training enables people to spread out their professional training in order to liberate time to take advantage of other opportunities, interests, demands or commitments in a manner that would be impossible were they to continue to train at full intensity. This has a ripple effect with multiple benefits; to the trainee themselves personally and professionally; to the speciality enabling retention of committed, motivated, and highly trained individuals; and also to the wider community through caring roles, work on research, in committees or in other health services globally.
Traditionally flexible training would not have been thought to be possible in an intense and demanding craft specialty such as neurosurgery. However, the combination of changes in working practice within the NHS; improvements in practical and working knowledge of how to support flexible training in craft specialties; and increasing awareness and recognition of the many benefits that flexible training can engender, has led to significant improvements in both its success and its acceptance.
As your training representatives we hope to learn more about how flexible training can be facilitated within neurosurgery specifically and support you as trainees in this, whatever your circumstance.