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Hospital Trust


University College London Hospital opened in 2005. Services offered at UCLH include accident & emergency, hyper-acute stroke unit, cancer care, critical care, endocrinology, general surgery, ophthalmology, dermatology, general medicine, general neurology, rheumatology, orthopaedics, paediatric & adolescents, and urology. The latest CQC rating was overall “good“.

The hospital has a growing focus on cancer care. The very beautiful Macmillan Cancer Centre just behind the acute hospital building, opened in 2012, and there is ongoing building work with a new centre planned to open in 2019. UCL medical school is just down the road, offering plenty of opportunities to get involved in Undergraduate teaching.


Consultant speciality interests

  • Dr Joanna Porter – ILD, autoimmune disease, cryobiopsy
  • Prof Jerry Brown – Bronchiectasis, immune deficiency, pneumonia (Strep pneumoniae)
  • Dr Helen Booth – TB, Bronchoscopy/EBUS, sarcoidosis, general medicine
  • Prof Sam Janes – Lung cancer,Bronchoscopy/EBUS, stem cells
  • Dr Neal Navani – Lung cancer, Bronchoscopy/EBUS, clinical trials
  • Dr Fionnula Crummy – Sleep medicine
  • Dr Himender Makker – Sleep medicine (also works at North Mid)
  • Dr Christian Hasford – Allergy, complementary/integrated medicine, medically unexplained symptoms, acute medicine
  • Dr Toby Hillman – pleural disease, acute medicine, leadership and management
  • Dr Beth Sage (locum) – lung cancer, pleural disease
  • Dr Ricky Thakrar (locum) – lung cancer, interventional bronchoscopy
  • Dr Ronan Astin – sleep medicine, research (also works at Lane Fox Unit)


  • Weekly lung cancer MDT (but not attended by SpR)
  • Weekly radiology meeting
  • Monthly clinical meeting/journal club, which is a mortality and morbidity meeting at least once a year


  • The bronchoscopy set up is the best in London (according to a recent trainee) but unfortunately trainees find it difficult to get much experience of EBUS despite this hospital doing vast numbers. As a rotating trainee there is generally only one list you can attend for EBUS and in that list you will not “drive”. “If you want a job that will train you to be independent in EBUS go elsewhere.”
  • “A great opportunity is to attend interventional lists if you make the effort which are really interesting and you can get a small amount of hands on experience.”


  • You can feel a bit peripheral to the lung cancer service because the research fellows do a lot for the service. But the overall care is excellent and the MDT is an example of efficient, high quality practice that is worth seeing.
  • Up to 5 clinics a week but now generally a maximum of 4/week from a mixture of general respiratory/sarcoid; lung cancer; new patient clinic; sleep clinic; lung infections

Typical week

If you have information on a typical week as a UCLH SpR please get in touch. 

Pleural USS

There is a dedicated departmental USS machine. Both Dr Toby Hillman and Dr Beth Sage are Level 2 trained and can support sign off. 


If you have information on the SpR experience of the NIV service at UCLH please get in touch. 


  • Although the take is not busy (and the acute medicine consultants are friendly too) you do spend a third of your time doing acute medicine during which time you can’t take leave so this means all annual and study leave has to be taken on respiratory – a problem when trying to make the most of all the potential educational opportunities.
  • 16 week cycles with a 4 week block of acute medicine and 2 additional weekend. No Respiratory on calls.


  • There are many UCL medical students around with plenty of opportunities to get involved in formal and informal teaching in Respiratory and GIM.
  • There is usually a PACES course run for CMTs which you can also get involved in.


  • Nothing specific highlighted by trainees. 
  • UCLP provide training opportunities in QI, management, human factors etc which are easy to access

Specialist training opportunities

  • Whilst there are 3 SpRs, you are very often on your own doing Respiratory (as the others are on GIM or on leave) covering a lot of clinics and ward referrals which means it is difficult to go to certain specialist training opportunities due to clashes. You aren’t allocated to do the ILD clinic (it occurs the same time as other clinics you are needed for) or MDT and the only times you can reliably attend is by booking a day as leave.
  • There are also satellite transplant clinics which occur at UCLH, but again trainees do not find it easy to attend these.
  • There are opportunities to see cryobiopsy and specialist interventional bronchoscopy, but you will need to make the effort to arrange this.
  • It is recommended that you attend Dr Hasford’s clinic at the Homeopathic hospital (a great learning experience) as well as the COPD community clinics and MDTs.
  • It would be good to go to Dr Crummy’s clinic at Queens Square if you can arrange the time.
  • Overall this has the potential to be a really good job but you need to be proactive to get the most from it. Many have felt frustrated that they did a lot of general respiratory medicine during their time at this specialist centre.
  • Significant exposure to complex lung infection in immunocompromised patients (Haemato-oncology).


  • Many Consultants in the department are active in research and always looking for interested SpRs to contribute to projects and apply for OOPR. Have a look at our research pages for more information.
  • QIP opportunities are always available.

Stage of training best suited to this rotation

  • ST6/7

 Recent trainee comments:

“UCLH is an excellent job. I enjoyed it and learnt a lot there and would recommend it highly. There is a wide range of subspecialist interests, very friendly and supportive consultants, and a medical take that isn’t too busy. However you need to push and stand your ground to take advantage of everything that’s on offer.”

“This job can be particularly busy because they have not in general cancelled commitments regardless of the number of registrars on the wards. This may be changing but there is still lots of service provision which is a barrier to making the most of the opportunities present at UCLH.”

About drlj

Respiratory doctor in London


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