An expansion in specialist sports medics proposed as part of London’s 2012 Olympic bid is likely to be missed by a huge margin, according to a report.
The figures are contained in a Centre for Workforce Intelligence report, Shape of the Medical Workforce, which provides detailed demand and supply projections for each specialty.
One sub-report focuses on sports and exercise medicine consultants, who treat patients with problems such as knee injuries, as well as elite athletes.
It states: “In May 2009 the Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine had discussions with the 2012 Olympics working party where an estimate of 72 specialists was proposed in order to provide the first-class sport and exercise service that was promised as part of the London 2012 Olympic bid.”
But the centre found that as of 2010, instead of 72 specialists there were only three – or two full-time equivalents. This is predicted to rise to 36 by 2020.
Speaking on behalf of the faculty, Queen’s Medical Centre Nottingham consultant in sports and exercise medicine Nicholas Peirce said there were 30-40 specialists registered with the General Medical Council but not all had found work in the NHS.
He said there needed to be a consultant “in every trust in the country” but this would take time.