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Council sought ‘sustainability plan’ for oral and maxillofacial surgery training

The Medical Council required the RCSI to develop a “sustainability plan” for its specialist training programme in oral and maxillofacial surgery, the Medical Independent (MI) has learned.

The plan was to be devised by the College in conjunction with HSE National Doctors Training and Planning, the Department of Health and Medical Council, according to minutes of the Council’s education and training committee meeting on 10 September.

“This would ensure sustainability of the speciality and include the financial sustainability of the continuance of the programme, which must also include risk assessment and contingency planning,” outlined the minutes, obtained by MI following a Freedom of Information request.

“This condition must be completed within six months of receipt of the final
report and reported to the education and training committee.”

RCSI

The Medical Council also advised that a memorandum of understanding should be developed between RCSI and the appropriate body/bodies in the UK training system regarding “placement in UK training sites, secure funding, governance of annual review of competence progression (ARCP) process and the process for trainees in need of support”.

This condition “must be completed within six months of receipt of the final
report and reported to the education and training committee”. In September 2019, the Council undertook an accreditation exercise involving eight surgical specialties. Seven training programmes were approved for five years with conditions, while oral and maxillofacial surgery was approved for one year with conditions.

In regard to neurosurgery training, the Council advised that the “specialty must undertake a review of the on-call system and provide a report to the Medical Council within six months”.

“Neurosurgery must undertake a review of compliance with the European Working Time Directive and provide a report to the Medical Council within six months that demonstrates a plan of action to achieve compliance within one year thereafter,” according to meeting minutes.

Conditions applicable to all the surgical specialties accredited included developing a formal mechanism to monitor graduate outcomes; developing a disability policy; and that all trainers must be appropriately trained for their roles and have specialist registration.

The specialties in the accreditation exercise were: Paediatric surgery; plastic, reconstructive and aesthetic surgery; otolaryngology; cardiothoracic surgery; urology; general surgery; neurosurgery; oral and maxillofacial surgery. MI awaited comment from RCSI at press time.

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