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‘Sustainability plan’ required for sports and exercise medicine programme

By Catherine Reilly - 23rd Jul 2023

sustainability plan

A “sustainability plan” must be developed for the specialty of sports and exercise medicine, a Medical Council accreditation report has instructed.

The programme was granted accreditation for two years with five conditions, according to the report that was approved by the Council’s education and training committee in March.

The sustainability plan must demonstrate budget, trainee numbers, and a plan for clinical rotations “on a broader national base”. It must be developed in conjunction with the RCPI Institute of Medicine, Irish surgical postgraduate training committee, RCSI, ICGP, and HSE National Doctors Training and Planning (NDTP).

The conditions of accreditation also included a requirement to develop “clear standards and criteria” for the recognition of competencies achieved in other relevant training programmes for candidates to the scheme.

The RCSI/RCPI Faculty of Sports and Exercise Medicine was commended for its “rigorous recruitment and selection process” and the calibre of administrative support. Trainees spoke “highly” of the Faculty and its trainers, according to the accreditation report.

However, overall, a robust governance structure for the programme was not demonstrated. “It was found that there is no official reporting structure into the management committees of or engaged governance inputs by either partner/parent bodies. These deficiencies constitute significant issues with the governance of the programme that need to be addressed.”

Prof Mick Molloy, Dean of the Faculty, informed the Medical Independent the final accreditation report was initiated in 2021, completed in April 2023, and approved by the Minister for Health in the same month. It was forwarded to the Faculty “in recent weeks for consideration and action where required”.

The Faculty was in the process of addressing the five conditions identified as priority areas for improvement.

“Recommendations have been made under nine specialist training standards to encourage improvement in the training programme,” he continued. “These are under active consideration by the various committees in the Faculty of Sports and Exercise Medicine and we look forward to engaging with the Medical Council, HSE, NDTP, allied health professional groups, the ICGP, RCSI, RCPI, the Faculty of Public Health Medicine, and the various training sites to enhance the standards and training of our future specialists in sports and exercise medicine….”

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