Latest News & Updates

HoSS Update Aug 2020

Tuesday 4th August 2020

Message from the Head of Specialty School for Anaesthesia & ICM

As August is now upon us and we mark the end of a training year for many trainees, I would like to express my sincere thanks to everyone who has done their utmost to deliver the best possible patient care during the last few months of the COVID-19 pandemic, and at the same time deliver high quality training in anaesthesia and ICM in Wales.

It was clear from the Summer ARCPs, that training opportunities may have been different, however they were very much present and trainees have benefitted from the variety of opportunities on offer, particularly within the non-clinical domains of their training.

Thank you all for taking the time to prepare for the summer ARCP season - we are learning to adapt to a new virtual ARCP process, which was made significantly easier by good LLP organisation and the quality of each ESSR.

The manner in which trainees have coped and adapted to the disruption caused by COVID with altered recruitment plans, exam cancellations and trainee redeployment is testament to their commitment and professionalism. The RCoA, FICM and FPM exam departments have made significant steps to provide a revised model for the exams and also the Recruitment Advisory Group for autumn recruitment, which I wish to share.


Anaesthesia - The revised written exam dates can be found via written exam and a video of the recent informative exam webinar for candidates can be accessed via exam webinar
In order to assist with online exam preparation, TestReach Tutorials are now available for candidates. Generic tutorials of the TestReach system are now available on the RCoA exam link above for candidates who wish to view the system prior to receiving a personal log in three weeks before the test date.
FICM - Updates on the October 2020 and January 2021 FICM exam are available via FICM exam
Pain Medicine - Updates on the Faculty of Pain Medicine exams are available via pain medicine exam

Recruitment Update for CT1 and ST3 Anaesthesia entry February 2021

For information on the February 2021 recruitment rounds, please read the applicant guidance's on the ANRO website under the Downloads section
The person specification for ST3 has changed in terms of the Primary FRCA examination: 'Primary MCQ only' is required by the time of application.
For ST3 entry the guidance also includes information for applicants not receiving a CLTC/CLEC due to COVID-19- please read this carefully.
Applications opened on Tuesday 28th July and will close at 4pm on Thursday 13th August.. A plan has been made for portfolio self-scores to be validated by recruiters this time, therefore trainees will be requested to upload all relevant documents to sharepoint from 2nd - 9th September.

The invite to a virtual interview will be made on Monday 28th September 2020.
Please note local interview slots are limited, so trainees must be prepared for opening at 9am.

The interview window will run from Monday 5th October to Tuesday 13th October 2020 - Date for Wales will be confirmed shortly.
Offers will be released on Monday 19th October 2020, with a Hold Deadline of 1pm Wednesday 21st October 2020 and Upgrade Deadline of 4pm Friday 23rd October 2020.
We will be offering Wales programmes for CT1 and ST3, with preferencing to follow offer acceptance.

Teaching and Induction

Through the efforts of many Consultants and trainees, a whole new package of narrated lectures to support School Induction, advanced training options and FRCA exam revision topics has been prepared through panopto and are now available on the School website via the study days and e-learning pages e-learning
A summary of all the available revised WSA teaching resources are attached.
Trainees will also be given direct access to panopto to view relevant material through their own log-ins from August. Please look at the lectures and feedback any comments.

GMC Survey

We thought it wouldn't happen but there's no year off for the GMC National Training Survey - an abbreviated survey is currently open for all trainees & trainers, and I would encourage you all to participate in the usual way before the deadline of August 12th.


As a School, we are doing what we can to also support trainees who continue to shield and ensure they can return to the workplace soon.
Good luck to everyone changing posts - any changeover in training placements and locations can be incredibly stressful. So, take care of your own wellbeing first and if you are struggling, then it's ok to say so and seek support through the many avenues available either within your local department or through professional support e.g. hhpwales or the following additional resources:

Courtesy of Dr Mark Stacey, Consultant Anaesthetist, Cardiff & Vale UHB via Resources

Courtesy of Dr Julie Highfield, Clinical Psychologist, Critical Care Unit, Cardiff and Vale UHB via ICS Wellbeing

Finally, I hope you take some time to enjoy a break over the summer period.

Best wishes,

Dr Sarah Harries
Head of Specialty School, Anaesthesia & ICM
Associate Dean, HEIW

PS For the latest updates from HEIW including direct communication to Trainee FAQs and guidance on the impact on training through changes in Recruitment, ARCPs and annual/study leave arrangements during COVID can be found on this link: Click here

Please check back regularly for updates