CSAS is a service provided by the Royal College of Surgeons of England. Find out below whether it could help you and how to get in touch.

Q: Please tell us the background to your service – how did it get started?

A: The service grew from a perceived need to support for surgeons who had been suspended. Over time, its remit developed into a service providing support to any surgeon experiencing professional difficulties.

Q: What are the services you provide?

A: The CSAS surgeon-surgeon helpline is for any surgeon facing professional difficulties. The service offers a sympathetic listening ear and acts as an informed signpost to appropriate sources of advice and help.

Q: Who can you help and in what capacity?

A: Any surgeons in the UK who are able to contact us and the CSAS advisor by phone.

Q: What happens when someone contacts you?

A: The caller tells a College employee their contact details, speciality, location and, if they are happy to, an outline of their concern. The College then identifies a surgeon in the same specialty from a different geographical region and checks with the caller that they are happy to talk to this advisor. The advisor is then asked to contact the caller. Records of the caller’s contact details are kept with a log of the advisor they were assigned. Advisors are asked to complete a feedback sheet confirming that the caller’s concerns have been discussed. All records are treated as confidential.

Q: How do you ensure confidentiality?

A: Callers are not required to give any identifying information as long as they can be contacted. Advisors are fully briefed on the confidentiality of the service and how this should be maintained. Records are only accessible to those staff working directly on the service.

Q: What type of issues can you offer support and assistance with?

A: Any professional difficulties affecting surgeons in the UK. This might include problems with relationships at work, or how to handle a difficult situation. It cannot offer advice on clinical issues.

Q: What is the ‘Opportunities in Surgery’ initiative?

A: Opportunities in Surgery is an umbrella terms for a range of support services we provide for surgeons and potential surgeons including CSAS, Women in Surgery, surgical careers support, medical student services and the Affiliate scheme.

Q: How can people access the service?

A: Call 0207 869 6212 or find further information on our website’s Professional Support section. We also offer a comprehensive careers support service.