Anaesthesia: Higher Specialty Training - Role Description



Aims of Training

The School of Anesthesia (SWSA) aims to provide high quality training in anesthesia and intensive care medicine for Specialist and Specialty Registrars in line with the current guidelines issued by the Royal College of Anesthetists, London, UK.

Organisation of Training and Admission Criteria

The school aims to provide a high quality training programme. Admission is by open competitive interview. Candidates are expected to have completed a minimum of 2 years training, either as 21 months anaesthesia and 3 months ITU or as 18 months anaesthesia and 6 months ITU, and to have passed the Primary FRCA or equivalent. The school covers the South West Peninsula of England, and includes the hospitals in Plymouth, Truro, Torbay, Exeter, Barnstaple and Taunton. Trainees within Armed Forces training scheme are also incorporated.

Organisation of the 5 Year Training Programme

Two typical patterns of training are outlined below. The DGHs in the school include those at Torbay, Truro, Exeter and Taunton. Exact details of the rotation can be discussed with the Training Programme Director.

Option 1                 ST3                    ST4                     ST5                     ST6                     ST7

                            Plymouth             DGH                   DGH                    Year Out               Plymouth

Option 2                 ST3                    ST4                     ST5                     ST6                     ST7

                            DGH                   Plymouth              Plymouth             Year Out               DGH

StRs are encouraged to spend a year gaining additional experience either at home or abroad around their sixth year of training.

Plymouth, Derriford Hospital

This is a modern 1,300-bed hospital located on the southern edge of Dartmoor, 5 miles north of Plymouth. It has all the major surgical sub-specialities with the exception of major neonatal surgery. A new adult cardiac centre opened in November 1997 and performs over 1000 open-heart cases per year. There are a number of new developments, including a cancer centre, which opened in 1997. The Anaesthetic Department is well equipped with computer and library facilities. There is a well-developed acute pain service with two acute pain nurses, and there are management protocols for the management of all types of acute pain in both adults and children. The department also includes military anaesthetists who are fully integrated within the department. There is a modern Postgraduate Centre with a 200-seat lecture theatre. There are regular teaching programmes for both the Primary and Final FRCA. The academic unit of anaesthesia is incorporated within the department. All on call rotas are EWTD compliant and changes to these may occur in the future to improve training.

All StRs will rotate through the following sub-speciality modules:

  • Paediatric anaesthesia
  • Cardio-thoracic anaesthesia
  • Gynaecology & obstetrics
  • Neuroanaesthesia
  • Plastics & burns
  • University module
  • Pain Medicine
  • Day Case & ophthalmology
  • Fibre-optic intubation
  • Intensive Care Medicine
  • Administration
  • General & vascular anaesthesia
  • Trauma & orthopaedics

The module length is varied to fit in with the trainees needs. It is possible that StRs will not have completed all modules before sitting the final FRCA. This is recognised by the Royal College of Anaesthetists and reflected in the expectations of the examiners.

Final FRCA Teaching

The School aims to provide a high level of support and guidance for trainees preparing for the final FRCA examination. A day release course for the Final FRCA is held principally in Plymouth. All pre-FRCA StRs are expected to attend. Trainees from all hospitals within the SWSA area attend this course, which consists of a series of lectures and tutorials.

Clinical teaching

Comprehensive teaching on clinical topics will be given during supervised sessions in the operating theatre.

Other teaching

There are regular journal clubs and research meetings where critical appraisal of research is encouraged.

Simulation training is incorporated into both the core training and specialty training programmes for anaesthesia /ICM. Advanced crisis resource management courses, simulation instructor courses and theatre team training is run through the dedicated simulation suite and in clinical areas using mobile “in-situ” simulation. Potential faculty members are encouraged to become involved with undergraduate and postgraduate simulation training programmes.

Private study

The final FRCA examination requires thorough preparation and it will be necessary to spend a considerable amount of off duty time engaged in appropriate private study. Candidates will be provided with guidance and help during this time. Most hospitals of the SWSA have modern computer facilities including CD ROM/Internet access, which can be used to facilitate private learning and study.

Year 5-7 StRs will further develop their clinical skills and will take on additional clinical responsibilities and supervision of more junior colleagues. Further experience will be offered on a modular basis in all of the anaesthetic sub-specialities. The organisation of modules is dependent on the trainee's requirements and future career plans in anaesthesia and intensive care. In addition further experience will be offered in research, audit and management. It is probable that certain final year modules will be oversubscribed and they will therefore be allocated competitively. Available modules include:

Paediatric and Neonatal Anaesthesia

Trainees will gain further experience in Paediatric anaesthesia which will include children undergoing routine and emergency surgery. There is particular experience available in hypospadias repair, paediatric airway surgery and orthopaedics. Paediatric anaesthesia audit and research is well developed, and trainees are encouraged to take part.

Cardiothoracic Anaesthesia

During this module trainees will gain clinical experience in adult open heart procedures including coronary artery bypass grafting, valve replacement and aortic root reconstruction surgery. There will also be exposure to invasive cardiology and specialised cardiac investigations, including transoesophageal echocardiography. Training for anaesthesia in thoracic surgery is also done with a wide range of surgical procedures.


StRs will learn to manage elective and emergency neurosurgical patients and experience will also be gained in neurosurgical intensive care. Transfer of critically ill patients, neuroradiology, brain death testing and the management of organ donors are taught.

Pain Relief, Acute & Chronic

StRs will learn the  independent management of acute in hospital pain, including management of patients with complex presentations (cancer related pain, pain in drug addiction) .  StRs will have the opportunity to develop QI projects linked to management of in hospital pain, including provision of regional anaesthetic techniques. Trainees will learn aspects of motivational interviewing, have exposure to and learn interventional and psychological techniques, to achieve a level of competency compatible with support of an in hospital pain management service  at consultant level. Interested StRs will have the opportunity to progress to an ADVANCED Pain Medicine Training year.

The Regional Advisor for Pain Medicine ( RAPM) is Dr Suzanne Carty .  Interested trainees are encouraged to discuss any Higher or Advanced Pain Medicine training queries with the LPMES and the RAPM.

Intensive Care Medicine

The ICU has educational approval from the Intercollegiate Board in Intensive Care Medicine for training at all levels including advanced. A new purpose built intensive care unit opened in September 2008. Within the Critical Care area there are 28 beds nominally divided into Penrose ward (General ICU) and Pencarrow ward (Neurotrauma ICU). Over 1500 patients are admitted per annum. In addition to providing intensive care services for general medical, general surgical, vascular surgery, trauma and paediatric patients, the unit admits patients for the following sub regional services which are based at Derriford: neurosurgery, neurology, thoracic surgery, plastic surgery and renal transplantation. Approximately 50 paediatric patients are admitted to the unit per annum. There is a separate 4 bedded paediatric HDU adjacent to the paediatric wards. Post cardiac surgery critical care occurs in a separate newly opened cardiac critical care unit in the Terence Lewis Building.

Obstetric anaesthesia

Derriford hospital has a busy and active obstetric unit undertaking modern obstetric anaesthetic techniques. Trainees who wish to develop further skills in this area will be welcome and actively encouraged.

Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital

With approximately 950 beds, and over 30,000 anaesthetics administered per annum, the Royal Devon Exeter offers a broad clinical experience to StRs in anaesthesia. Experience is available in all anaesthetic specialities with the exception of cardiac, neuro and neonatal surgery. The department is staffed by 44 consultants, 6 non-consultant career grades, 11 StRs and 17 CT1-2s, 4 Physicians Assistants and 1 Critical Care Nurse Specialist.

Specialist modular training is offered in:

Paediatric anaesthesia (orthopaedic, ophthalmology, ENT, plastics, max fax, dental and general)


Vascular anaesthesia

Orthopaedic, trauma and regional anaesthesia

Plastics/head and neck reconstruction

Intensive care medicine

Pain management (including acute  and persistent pain management , spinal cord stimulation , specialist MDT  for CRPS and Pelvic pain, specialist cancer procedures , including  cordotomy). In addition to the above StRs can expect to be trained in anaesthesia for plastic and reconstructive, major head and neck, ophthalmology, general, urological, day surgery, obstetric and major gynaecological surgery.

The ICU at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital has 15 beds (including 1 dedicated paediatric bed) and admits >800 patients/ year. It is recognised by the IBTICM for Basic, Intermediate and Advanced training in Intensive Care Medicine. There is a weekly journal club and tutorial programme. Governance meetings and Morbidity/Mortality meetings are held every month. There is a formal induction, appraisal and assessment system in place.

'Complementary specialty' training in Medicine can be arranged locally if required (permission will need to be granted by the programme director).

There is a multidisciplinary Pain Management Service consisting of 5 Consultant Anaesthetists, two Clinical Nurse Specialists and a full range of allied professions


Weekly half-day tutorials are held in the Department for the Primary FRCA Examination. Five regional Primary FRCA study days are held in Exeter in the spring. The Final FRCA teaching takes place mainly in Plymouth on a day-release basis. There are also weekly morning meetings in the Department covering audit, journal presentations, and talks from local and visiting speakers. The Department of Anaesthesia has an active simulation group with ample opportunity to join training and mock examination simulations. A simulation fellow post is available for post fellowship StRs.

Research and audit activities are strongly encouraged with most StRs completing projects during their time in Exeter. There will be opportunities to participate in the Primary FRCA Teaching Programme. Senior StRs will be given the responsibility for organising the weekly work rota and on-call for trainees. StRs are encouraged to develop their areas of special interest (e.g. medical education) and time will be allocated to accommodate this.

Taunton, Musgrove Park Hospital

Musgrove Park Hospital is a medium sized DGH which provides the usual range of surgical experience. Although all areas of DGH surgery are covered, there are some specific areas of training which trainees may find beneficial, and these are highlighted below. A modular training system is in place which allows the StRs to have attachments in one of several specialties. Extended modules in specific sub-specialities may be available by negotiation. The modules include Intensive Care, Pain (both Chronic and Acute), Paediatrics, “Major” Surgery, Head and Neck/Ophthalmics and Obstetrics. The training in obstetrical anaesthesia, head and neck and ITU are currently optional modules.


The hospital has dedicated Paediatric Surgeons in General Surgery, Urology, and Orthopaedics. Most of the paediatric surgery is performed on specified paediatric lists, where experience in this speciality can be concentrated. There is ample experience for paediatric general surgical and urological anaesthesia where particular emphasis is placed on regional and local blocks. Oral and ENT surgery is performed on both day cases and inpatients. There are currently 4 paediatric anaesthetists.

Major Surgery

There is an active vascular surgical unit, whose work includes carotid endarterectomies and all other major vascular surgery. In the major general surgical category, there is experience available in gastro-intestinal surgery. There are three spinal surgeons performing scoliosis surgery.

Bariatric Surgery

Taunton is one of only two centres of excellence in this speciality outside of USA. There will be opportunity to learn the special requirements for anaesthesia in this large population as well the organisation and pre-operative assessment required to operate safely.


There is a multidisciplinary Pain Management team consisting of 1 Consultant Anaesthetist and 1 full time pain specialist, Psychologist, Clinical Nurse Specialists, Physiotherapist, Acupuncturists, and Occupational Therapist. The department supplies a sub-regional service for radio-frequency ablation In addition to the day to day running of the Acute Pain Service and Chronic Pain Service, technical experience is supplied in the management of cancer related pain and co-ordination in the home epidural/intrathecal service. Beside the busy clinical workload, research and audit is actively pursued by the 2 pain Consultants. Involvement in audit and research is encouraged.

Intensive Care

There is a 6 bedded Intensive Care Unit and 6 bedded High Dependency Unit supervised by 8 Consultant Anaesthetists with a special interest in Intensive Care. All the usual Intensive Care activities are performed including haemofiltration, various types of ventilation, and percutaneous tracheotomies.

The modular training is available for interested StRs and is recognised for intermediate training.

Regional anaesthesia and ultrasound

Taunton has one of the UK's leading experts in ultrasound guided nerve blocks and all StRs should have the opportunity to learn some of these techniques whilst on placement in this hospital.

There is the opportunity to develop management and teaching skills through involvement in organisation of rotas, primary teaching and teaching of medical students. In addition you can participate in PALS courses and simulation training for junior anaesthetists and foundation trainees. For those wanting to develop further management skills the department will support your attendance at board meetings, shadowing trust executives and suitable management courses. There are weekly departmental morning meetings, monthly publishing meetings and audit, and twice weekly ICU tutorials which we hope you will attend.

The Department benefits from good information technology facilities, a networked computer system, and research and audit projects will be strongly encouraged. It is expected that during the time StRs are in Taunton they will undertake at least one significant audit project per year. There is an excellent Postgraduate Medical Centre with various electronic learning facilities.

Torquay, Torbay Hospital

Torbay is a busy DGH which offers a range of anaesthetic training opportunities. The department comprises 29 consultants, 5 SAS, StRs and 7 CTs. StR training is arranged in 3 month modules including ICM, allowing trainees to complete intermediate level training whilst working at Torbay.

Torbay has a nationally recognised Day Surgery Unit which offers training and experience in ambulatory surgery techniques and management. The unit has a regular output of academic papers and trainees with an interest in day surgery are encouraged to participate in audits and research studies.

The Horizon Centre is a newly opened teaching facility with dedicated simulation facilities allowing for learning and teaching of simulation for medical students, junior doctors and allied health professionals. Trainees regularly join the teaching faculty for these courses.

Torbay is developing a comprehensive pre-assessment service for all elective surgery patients which includes cardio-pulmonary exercise (CPX) testing and risk stratification for all patients undergoing major vascular, orthopaedic and general surgery. Trainees on the vascular module gain experience in CPX testing.

Airway management is another area of interest in Torbay and the department runs a number of national courses on difficult airway management for anaesthetists and operating department assistants. Again trainee participation is encouraged.

Torbay has a well-established pain service, providing acute and persistent pain management in the inpatient and outpatient settings. Interested trainees have the opportunity to learn advanced pain management techniques, including ultrasound guided spinal procedures and MDT management of pain in patients with drug addiction.  The unit is considered for the provision of higher and advanced pain medicine training. 

Truro, Royal Cornwall Hospital

The Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust serves a population approaching 549,000 across three sites - the Royal Cornwall Hospital, Truro, West Cornwall Hospital, Penzance, and St Michael's Hospital, Hayle. During the summer months the population doubles in size as tourists come to take advantage of the Cornish Riviera. With approaching 1000 beds it is a large DGH that provides elective and emergency anaesthetic services for most of the major specialties except cardiothoracics, neuro and neonatal surgery.

There are 52 Consultant Anaesthetists including 8 full time intensivists, 5 pain consultants, 3 Associate Specialists, 2 Staff Grade doctors, 10 Registrars and 12 SHOs covering the service.

A modular training system is in place and trainees are allocated modules dependent on their learning needs. Specialist modular training is available in:

General, gynaecology and urology, including bariatric surgery.

Vascular anaesthesia

Pain Medicine





Maxfax and dental



Anaesthesia is provided for over 2700 children (12 years and under) each year undergoing general surgery, orthopaedic, ENT, dental, ophthalmology, oncology and MRI. RCHT is currently undertaking reorganisation in order to provide these services within dedicated paediatric theatres.

Head and Neck surgery

RCHT has a busy Head and Neck Cancer unit and we can provide training in anaesthesia for major head and neck procedures including laryngectomy, neck dissections and primary laser resection of laryngeal tumours. Management of the difficult airway including awake and asleep fibreoptic and jet ventilator techniques.


With over 4000 deliveries per year this unit provides excellent training in obstetric anaesthesia and analgesia, and in particular the care of the high risk parturient. Senior trainees are encouraged to attend multidisciplinary risk management meetings. The obstetric anaesthetists run a popular multidisciplinary simulator course which all trainees are encouraged to attend.

Intensive Care

The Intensive Care Unit has 10 level 3 beds and 1 dedicated paediatric bed, admitting 500-600 adult patients and 20-40 children each year. We are in the process of developing this into a 19 bed

combined level 2 and 3 unit. There is an established Outreach service and an Intensive Care follow up clinic. The unit provides training for Advanced Level Intensive Care medicine in addition to Intermediate training and CT and ST training modules.


The Pain  department at RCHT  works within a  seamless care model , with most members of the MDT skilled in both acute and persistent pain management.. Trainees  will learn all aspects of pain management including interventional and psychological techniques for management of acute and chronic pain patients. There is a regular spinal cord stimulation and intrathecal implant list and the unit works in close collaboration with the Palliative Care team, providing intrathecal analgesia and other cancer pain interventions. This unit provides Higher and Advanced Pain training.. 


Specialist training in ultra sound guided techniques for upper and lower limb blocks.


Senior trainees with an interest in management are able to pursue a management module, aiming to increase their experience and management portfolio prior to applying for a consultant post.


There is an active simulator group who provide simulator training for anaesthetic trainees, consultants and other medical professionals across the trust. We are fortunate in having a dedicated simulator suite complete with 3G and sim baby. Trainees are encouraged to get involved in this rapidly expanding area of medical education.


The department has an active teaching program. Trainees new to anaesthesia have a dedicated teaching program which includes weekly tutorials and simulator training. There are weekly half day tutorials in preparation for Primary FRCA and trainees are also expected to attend the Regional Primary teaching course provided in the spring at Exeter. RCHT runs an excellent OSCE study day each December which trainees are expected to attend.

Post primary trainees attend the Regional Final teaching at Derriford Hospital which takes place each fortnight.

There are weekly intensive care and anaesthetic journal clubs that all trainees are encouraged to attend.

North Devon District Hospital, Barnstaple

This hospital has 429 beds and is relatively new. There are five main operating theatres and three day surgery theatres. The hospital has a six bed combined ITU / HDU. The hospital undertakes all the main surgical specialities. Maternity services are provided in a separate but on-site unit which last year deals with around 1,800 deliveries annually. A CT and MRI scanner are on site. The postgraduate centre contains a well-stocked library.

The Dept of Anaesthesia provides services for 14,000 procedures per year. The anaesthetists also manage patients on the intensive care unit and supply a 24hr epidural service for the maternity unit.

The current staffing of the Anaesthetic dept is 16 Consultants, 3 Associate Specialists, 3 Staff Grades and 9 CT1-CT2 junior doctors. Regular educational and audit meetings are held within the dept and tutorials take place weekly during term time. Currently StRs do not rotate to Barnstaple.

The Pain department at NDDH has been reestablished in the last year and is providing training for CT1&2 trainees. With changes to trainee allocation , there is potential for the department to provide  intermediate and higher pain training in the future. The Local Pain Medicine Educational Supervisor  ( LPMES) is Dr David Beard.

Additional Educational Opportunities within the School

Post- Fellowship Training

After obtaining the FRCA advanced postgraduate education will be provided.

Local teaching

There will be local opportunities within the hospitals of the School of Anaesthesia to develop skills in administration, management, teaching, audit and, where appropriate, research projects. There will be opportunities for trainees to become familiar with the NHS management structure and to spend time with business and finance managers. Several post-fellowship study days are organised at various venues throughout the year.

National study days and courses

Attendance at study days and courses will be approved if relevant and appropriate.

Postgraduate programmes in Clinical Education

This is a day release course based in Plymouth which post FRCA trainees are encouraged to enrol on. This is run through the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry and modules completed will earn credits towards the awards of Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma and Masters in Clinical Education. In addition to the study days trainees will be expected to continue some private study and to prepare and present material to their trainers and peers. Modules include:

Application of Education Theory to Practice

Methodologies in Clinical Education

Scholarship and Leadership in Clinical Education

Clinical Education for Innovation and Quality Improvement

The MSc programme also includes a written dissertation on a topic of interest to the trainee. The dissertation may be a systematic review of a topical area or a formal research project.


Courses run through the School include:

Primary FRCA courses- MCQs clinical data interpretation and short answer questions, practice vivas and OSCE preparation. The lecturers on this course are invited from all of the hospitals of the South West School. A number of Consultants in the South West School currently examine in the Primary and Final Fellowship Examinations of the Royal College of Anesthetists.

Final FRCA Programme -

Day release course based in Plymouth targeted at the Final FRCA Programme.

Post Fellowship Study Programme -

Two day course run twice a year on topics relevant to senior registrars.

South West Regional Anesthesia (SOWRA) courses -

Annual meeting held in June each year with invited speakers and a half-day practical workshop. Additional two day course organised at Exeter each year with expert faculty from the region and beyond; USS guided techniques and landmark techniques taught with workshops, video demonstrations and evidence based lectures.

Devon Anaesthesia Finals Training -

Two day intensive viva course run in the preceding week to the RCoA vivas.

SW Association of Childrens Anesthetists -

Annual two day meeting for anesthetists with a special interest in paediatric anesthesia.

South of Devon Intensive Therapy meeting (SODIT) -

Annual two day meeting for consultants and trainees with a special interest in intensive care.

Simulation courses -

A variety of courses run through the Peninsula Simulation Network including Advanced Crisis Resource Management Courses, Management of Head injured patient (HEADSTART), Airway, Obstetric anesthesia, Managing Emergencies in Paediatric Anesthesia (MEPA) and Simulation Instructor Courses.

The School of Anesthesia and Peninsula Postgraduate Medical Education support courses and meetings in the region so that subsidies are available for trainees within the school.

Although the majority of StR training will be within the School area there are opportunities to attend other courses and meetings. Access to these is conditional on satisfactory progress within the training programme

Time Out of Programme - ST6 Trainees

ST6 trainees are encouraged to arrange a year of OOP during their 4th year. The training can be arranged within the school, outside the school, or in a different country. At this stage, trainees usually have more concrete plans about a speciality interest, and will endeavour to use the time available in the 4th year to gain experience in a chosen field.

Six-month attachments to the Bristol Children's Hospital are available in competition with the other StRs within the school.

The school has two Advanced ITU training posts, which currently rotate between Plymouth and Truro. These posts provide dedicated intensive care experience with 1 year of full-time experience in intensive care medicine, and allow trainees to take the Diploma in Intensive Care Medicine. Attachments to the regional Paediatric Intensive Care Unit in Bristol and to the Birmingham Liver Unit can be arranged during these posts.

The school provides one or two Advanced Pain Medicine training posts with training provided through Plymouth , Exeter , Truro and Torbay. Individual training and location needs of interested applicants can be accommodated. For further information please  contact Dr  Anna Weiss , Peninsula Regional Advisor in Pain Medicine  ( .

Off Rotation Training (ORT) can be arranged abroad.  Canada, Australia, and the USA are popular destinations. Overseas attachments are discretionary and will depend on satisfactory progress within the training programme.


There are good research opportunities throughout the hospitals within the School area. StRs are encouraged to identify areas of interest and to participate and, where appropriate, to initiate research projects. Research from the School is regularly presented at regional, national and international meetings and StRs are expected to present their work when opportunities arise.


All doctors are expected to participate in clinical audit. All departments hold regular audit meetings and StRs will be expected to actively participate in relevant audit projects.


StRs will receive formal teaching on management and organisation within the NHS. As they progress, they will be expected to participate in departmental organisation and to take responsibility for organising clinical and educational activities.

Teaching Skills

As StRs become more experienced they will be encouraged to take an active role in the teaching of junior trainees and medical students. The post FRCA training programme and MSc course includes formal instruction in methods of teaching and appraisal.

Morbidity and Mortality Meetings

Often held in association with clinical audit, these allow review of clinical episodes and dissemination of lessons learned from individual patients.

Journal Clubs

These are reviews of published research. StRs are expected to select appropriate material and to present it to their departments. Development of critical reading skills is emphasised in the formal teaching programme.

Information Technology

All the hospitals in the School area have access to library and computer facilities, Medline, Internet access and e-mail. Formal instruction in computer skills is included in the training programme. StRs are expected to make full use of these facilities throughout their training.

Specialist courses at other centres

A large range exists and may be attended if appropriate.

National Meetings within the South West School

Hospitals within the School regularly host meetings of national interest.

Peninsula Medical School

The Universities of Plymouth and Exeter took its first undergraduate students in October 2002. The School Headquarters are located at the Plymouth Science Park, beside Derriford Hospital, and Derriford Hospital will have both the status and facilities of a teaching hospital. The existing Plymouth Postgraduate Medical School, along with the equivalent in Exeter, have been subsumed into the new medical school and will teach medicine and the biomedical sciences at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. Clinical research within the hospital is co-ordinated by the Research and Development Committee, and honorary senior lecturers and lecturers work closely with the University academic staff to support the teaching and research framework.

Senior academic appointments have been made in medicine, surgery, anaesthetics, molecular medicine, primary health care, rehabilitation medicine and biomedical sciences. A multi-disciplinary approach is taken to teaching, with the development of a masters programme by academic and honorary academic staff. The Medical School will bring a substantial number of new clinical academic appointments to the region, delivering clinical teaching and research to all the acute hospitals in the South West.

The Plymouth Science Park currently provides accommodation for two new research laboratories funded by successful grant applications, and offers a well-equipped laboratory of molecular medicine. Further research laboratories, skills labs and classroom accommodation with up-to-date IT facilities will be provided at the Plymouth Science Park.

Hyperbaric Medicine Centre (HMC)

The Hyperbaric Medicine Centre is located in a new facility on the Science Park (150 metres from Derriford Hospital). The Hyperbaric Medicine Unit collaborates closely with the Intensive Care Unit to provide a clinical service for patients with burns, smoke inhalation, carbon monoxide poisoning, synergistic infections and vascular insufficiency.

British Antarctic Survey Medical Support Unit

All medical support for the British Antarctic Survey is provided by Plymouth. Doctors are trained for polar service and are supported by a telemedicine and advice service from UK. Collaborative research projects will be Plymouth based.

Phase 1 Clinical Trials Ltd and related companies

Plymouth has an active commercial clinical trials sector with a group of small private companies providing clinical research facilities, laboratory, organisational and support services to the pharmaceutical industry. Past and present members of the Anaesthesia Department have collaborated in commercial drug studies and obtained research experience, publications and insights into the pharmaceutical industry.

Additional School Information

Training in anaesthesia has become shorter and more structured, which increases the importance of individual components of the programme. The excellent teaching and clinical training on offer will take trainees from CT level to eligibility for a consultant appointment. In return, StRs are expected to be conscientious, punctual, and courteous. StRs must be prepared to be flexible and consider the needs of patients, colleagues and their department.

Assessment and Appraisal

Clinical and academic progress will be closely supervised throughout an StR's training. StRs are regularly appraised by their Educational Supervisor with feedback and discussion of progress. All StRs are also obliged to undergo an annual assessment (Annual Review of Competence Progression (ARCP)), where their portfolios will be examined, and all aspects of their training will be discussed.

School Board

This group meets regularly to plan and modify diverse aspects of the training programme. It comprises various consultants involved in training throughout the Peninsula, and has trainee representation.

Mentor System

All trainees within the School are allocated a mentor.

Peninsula Postgraduate Medical Education has set up a confidential mentoring programme for Doctors in training as an independent source of support outside of the assessment process. This can be used to help in personal and professional development. Full details can be found on this website.

Study and Annual Leave

Much study leave will be taken to attend the FRCA and post FRCA training programmes. Remaining study leave may be taken to attend other courses. Approval will depend on satisfactory progress, availability of funding and individual training needs and the timing of training modules. StRs may be able to take leave for private study before the FRCA.

StRs are allowed five weeks annual leave each year. Because of the short and intense nature of the training programme there are restrictions on the amount of time StRs may be absent from individual modules.

On-call Rotas

StRs will be expected to work their share of nights and weekends throughout their time as an StR. Various rotas including traditional on call, partial and full shift systems are used in different parts of the School according to the nature and intensity of the clinical programme. All parts of the rotation are EWTD compliant.

Please note that regulations relating to training may change from time to time and that the structure of the training scheme may be subject to alteration in order to respond to new guidelines, which may be issued by the Royal College of Anaesthetists and the Peninsula Postgraduate Medical Education. This document is for information only and does not form part of any contract or job plan.

For further information please contact:

Dr Mitesh Khakhar

Training Programme Director



General Information

This document forms part of the job description for Specialist Trainees working in the Peninsula Postgraduate Medical Education area.

The Terms and Conditions of Employment (including those related to leave and sick pay) are in accordance with the nationally agreed Terms and Conditions of Service of Hospital Medical and Dental Staff (England and Wales) and General Whitley Council Conditions of Service currently in force and as amended from time to time, and available here.

Appointments are superannuable unless you opt out of the scheme or are ineligible to join, and your remuneration will be subject to declaration of superannuable contributions in accordance with the National Health Services Superannuation Scheme.


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