Latest News & Updates

HoSS Update Nov 2020

Monday 9th November 2020

Message from the Head of Specialty School for Anaesthesia & ICM

As COVID Wave 2 is now upon us and patients continue to flow into our ICUs, wards and maternity units, I would like to express my sincere thanks to everyone who continues to do their utmost to deliver the best possible patient care, and at the same time deliver high quality training in anaesthesia and ICM in Wales. The feedback from trainers across Wales has been universally positive on the adaptability of junior anaesthetists as they step up to this continuing challenge.

Elective surgery and anaesthesia remains reduced in content across Wales, but has continued throughout this wave in protected surgical units and the use of independent sector hospitals, to which all trainee anaesthetists should have access. Training opportunities may have been reduced +/- different, however it is encouraging to note that 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.

The dates for the Winter ARCP season and Summer ARCP dates are available on the ARCP webpages, together with revised ARCP checklists for 2021. Could you ensure that you are using the correct version for 2021 please? ARCPs will continue in absence and with a virtual ARCP panel, which we are all learning to adapt to.

HEIW have released a new update and direct communication to Trainee FAQs and guidance on the continuing impact on training through changes in Recruitment, ARCPs and annual/study leave arrangements during COVID. It can be found on this link: Click here

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 spring 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 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 August 2021

For information on the August 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.
The Application window has been brought forward for both CT1 and ST3 applications i.e. CT1 Applications open on November 5th and close at 4pm on December 1st, ST3 Applications open on November 26th and close at 4pm on December 17th. A plan has been made for portfolio self-scores to be validated by recruiters for ST3 applications in late January 2021. CT1 applicants for Anaesthesia or ACCS-Anaesthesia will be required to sit the Multi-Specialty Recruitment Assessment for the first time. More information is available on the ANRO website.

Invites to virtual interviews will be forwarded after short-listing.
Provisional interview dates for the Wales Selection Centre are:
CT1 - March 15th & 16th 2021
ST3 - April 14th & 15th 2021
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
Please feedback your thoughts on the available teaching material.

GMC Survey

We thought it wouldn't happen but there's no year off for the GMC National Training Survey. The results have been published for each Health Board in Wales and are available through the GMC website. The overall feedback for Anaesthesia and ICM in Wales is very positive.


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

Take Care,

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