Health Minister Robin Swann has announced the commissioning of four additional training places in the Intensive Care medical specialty training programme, commencing in September 2020.
The Intensive Care specialty has been in great demand throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and has needed significant support from anaesthetic teams and doctors from other specialties who have been redeployed into intensive care units to provide assistance.
Minister Swann said: “I am pleased to announce this expansion in the Intensive Care medical specialty training programme from this year. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need to ensure that the critical care service has enough consultant staff into the future. It will be necessary to cope with potential future increases in demand including those associated with demography, service developments and the ongoing risk of further surges in respiratory virus-related illness such as COVID-19.
“Securing the four additional training places will help address these challenges, and will ensure that we keep up with the rest of the UK, who also recently agreed to fund additional Intensive Care training places in light of the impact of COVID-19.”
Notes to editors:
- Medical speciality training in Northern Ireland is provided through the Northern Ireland Medical and Dental Training Agency (NIMDTA). Recruitment is run on a UK-wide basis, with applicants being able to indicate their preference for the Northern Ireland programme.
Intensive Care Medicine is a relatively new specialty, with a complex training structure involving experience in intensive care, anaesthetics, medicine (especially respiratory medicine and renal medicine). Clinical placements are also undertaken in paediatric ICU and cardiac intensive care.
Currently there are 19 doctors training in intensive care medicine in NI (the majority with a second specialty) - this is achieved with 5 training posts and the “borrowing” of posts from other specialties.
The four additional trainees will enter the programme in September 2020. They do so at a relatively senior level and therefore can be expected to begin to make a major contribution to service delivery within six months of joining.
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