September 23rd saw the most recent meeting of the UCLP Training Programme Managers Committee (TPMC) for Respiratory Medicine. UCLP Committees can never be accused of having exciting names!
Dr Bhowmik chaired the meeting, with attendees including a number of Respiratory Consultants, UCLP managers and the three trainee reps (miraculously all able to make the meeting at 4pm on a weekday).
A number ofissues were discussed, with the main points summarised here.
This year a high number of trainees requested OOPEs at dates close to changeover, resulting in 8 gaps in the rotation as of October. This poses problems for the Trusts affected, and so options for trying to prevent this situation were discussed. Other specialities take various approaches and their experience was drawn on to suggest possible solutions:
- curtail the number of OOPEs by placing a cap once the maximum number in any given year is hit
- enforce a hard 6 month notice requirement
The first option was felt by some to be arbitrary and may be cited as unfair if a given trainee happened to be unlucky if the year they applied there was an unusually high demand for OOPEs. The second option was felt to be fairer and is the approach that Gastro have taken, so trainees can only leave the programme in April or October. Concerns were raised that the second option could disadvantage trainees applying for MRC funding due to the timing of applications and the requirement to take up the grant within months. Further thought is required to make this option work for all.
The inter-deanery transfer application window is Oct 1st to 29th. All the required information and required documents are available on the Health Education London Shared Services (formerly London Deanery) website. This is now a national, rather than a locally co-ordinated process. This should make the process more transparent and fairer, but may lead to additional requirements for documentation, and less flexibility.
Trainees recently going through ARCP, and particularly PYA, found that they lacked evidence for some aspects of the curriculum. Current trainees are encouraged to make sure they have fully comprehensive ePortfolios. Specific areas for consideration include:
- Acute medicine patients – need to prove 1000 patients seen over the training programme. Expected to be an anonymised patient log with individual patient encounters logged, including the diagnosis. ACATs may cover some of the same patients, but a log is needed to prove the number of 1000. For those trainees nearing the end of training who are unable to retrospectively provide this evidence, they should use the RCP Firth calculator
- Clinics – trainees must have done 186 clinics over their training. Individual patient logs are not required but the numbers of patients in each clinic should be logged. These must be non-specialist clinics (ie not quaternary referral centre clinics)
- Lung transplantation – a course is not enough. Trainees should spend a week in a specialist centre
- Pulmonary hypertension – similarly, a course or training days is not enough. A week secondment is required
- Cystic fibrosis – 5 clinics and some MDT experience is suggested as the minimum exposure
- Other areas which trainees may have to make extra effort to cover include: safe sedation; pleural USS sign-off Level 1; occupational lung disease; integrated respiratory medicine; smoking cessation; HIV (clinics would be beneficial); developmental lung disease. Trainees are encouraged to discuss these needs with their educational supervisors.
Pharmaceutical company sponsorship of training days
The issue of pharmaceutical company sponsorship of training days was raised. Some believe that there should be a complete separation of education and pharmaceuticals as sponsored education is just marketing. Others believe that drug reps can provide information of relevance to trainees.
We would like to gather the opinions of Respiratory trainees so that we can make decisions regarding future training days so please express your thoughts on this matter via this very short poll:
Thanks. Please get in touch if you have any further questions. The next UCLP TPMC meeting will be on the 20th Jan. Please get in touch with any issues you would like us to raise.
Alex, LJ and Zaheer