The Society is an independent, self-funded, charitable organization that is the only representative body for cardiothoracic surgery in Great Britain & Ireland. Its principal aim is to continuously improve the quality of healthcare for patients undergoing cardiothoracic surgery, as well as support all professionals involved in the delivery of care to these patients.
As a professional society, the SCTS provides a central resource to focus, share and develop issues relevant to the specialty. These issues are wide ranging to include clinical care, quality improvement, professional behaviours, resource management, education, training and research. The SCTS has an open line of communication for members to keep them informed about the current issues in the specialty and welcomes the opportunities for members to contact the Society for support.
Maximum membership gives the Society more strength in representation and negotiations and therefore greater input into national matters of interest, with the primary objective of delivering the best care possible for cardiothoracic surgery patients. It also provides opportunities for members to discuss clinical and other matters of common interest.
Specific benefits of membership include:
- SCTS Annual Meeting. Attractive membership attendance fee at the SCTS Annual Meeting, which includes a full scientific and social programme.
- SCTS University: Competitive fee at the SCTS University, which includes a contemporary educational programme with an international faculty. All members are also given a copy of the ‘Perspectives’ book, which contains details of selected presentations from the SCTS University.
- SCTS Annual Meeting Cardiothoracic Forum. Reduced attendance fee at the SCTS Annual Meeting Cardiothoracic Forum, giving access to an educational programme and scientific sessions specifically designed for nurses, surgical care practitioners, allied health professionals, database managers and clinical governance leads.
- SCTS Education Programme of Cardiothoracic Training Courses. Access to a wide variety of cardiothoracic surgical training courses on leadership, clinical skills, knowledge and professional development for consultants, nationally appointed surgical trainees, Trust Appointed Doctors, nurses and allied health professionals. The majority of these courses are provided free of charge to members.
- SCTS Education Cardiothoracic Surgery Engagement Events. Free attendance for medical students, 6th form students, foundation year doctors and core surgical trainees at SCTS cardiothoracic surgery engagement events, aimed at attracting students and junior doctors into the specialty.
- SCTS Education Portfolio of Travelling Fellowships. Access to financial scholarships to develop clinical practice, leadership & management skills or service improvement for all members, including consultants, nationally-appointed surgical trainees, Trust Appointed Doctors, nurses, allied health professionals and medical students.
- SCTS Website. Access to the Society’s website, which provides a useful source of relevant information for cardiothoracic surgical practitioners, including clinical information (such as guidelines, recent trials, best practice & service improvement projects, introduction of evolving technology and operative technique videos) and professional guidance (such as on job planning, revalidation, team working, good surgical practice, national selection, applying for a fellowship, cardiothoracic surgery curriculum and applying for research funding).
- Publications. Receipt of the SCTS Bulletin, which is published twice a year and contains news stories about the important developments in the cardiothoracic community in the United Kingdom and Ireland. In addition, SCTS members are offered reduced subscription to the Journal for Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery (JTCVS).
- National Audit Outcomes. Access to national cardiac, thoracic and congenital surgical outcomes, enabling self-regulation, benchmarking and monitoring of performance.
- Professional development. Members of the SCTS have the opportunity to get involved in the development of the specialty by becoming an SCTS Trustee, member of the SCTS various sub-committees or SCTS Board or Representatives (BORS) Unit Representative. In addition, the Society advertises positions on various external professional bodies, such as the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), Cardiothoracic Surgery Specialty Advisory Committee (SAC) and Cardiothoracic Surgery Clinical Reference Group (CRG).
- Pastoral and professional support. The SCTS offers a wealth of support for its members including:
- General advice for cardiothoracic surgical practitioners wanting to develop a clinical practice
- Support with specific requirements, such as those undertaking less than full time employment, returning to work after maternity / paternity leave or for practitioners experiencing difficulty at work.
- Mentorship of newly appointed consultants.
- Support for members applying for national clinical excellence awards (CEA)
- Confidential access to the SCTS lay representative with regard to matters around bullying and harassment.
In addition, members of the SCTS Executive sit on the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) Council, Federation of Specialist Society Associations (FSSA), Specialty Advisory Committee (SAC) and Intercollegiate Exam Board for Cardiothoracic Surgery to represent the interests of SCTS members.