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The Welsh School of Anaesthesia has responsibility for the organisation and delivery of core and higher training in anaesthesia and intensive care medicine (ICM) in Wales. The training programmes are aligned  to the General Medical Council (GMC) requirements and approved by The Royal College of Anaesthetists  (RCoA) training curricula; the standards of which are set by the Conference of Postgraduate Medical Deans and underpinned by The Gold Guide for Training.  

Delivery of training is overseen by the Welsh School of Anaesthesia. The school is led by a Head of School, supported by a Deputy Head of School, Training Program Directors and a regional advisor who ensures local training delivery and reports back to the Royal College of Anaesthetists.

Training is divided into three stages; stage one, core level training, stage two and three higher level training.

Recruitment to anaesthesia is to CT1 and from August 2023, ST4.  Recruitment is overseen by the anaesthetic national recruitment office.

Entry into anaesthesia and ICM at core level can be done via the core anaesthesia programme (three years) or via the Acute Care Common Stem Programme (four years). Successful completion of core training results in the award of the stage one certificate. Whilst completion of the four year run-through higher training programme (ST4 - ST 7) results in the award of a Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT) and entry onto the specialist register.

Core training focuses on the knowledge and skills required to perform anaesthesia in fit, healthy patients independently. Within the three year programme, six months will be spent in intensive care. The Primary FRCA exam is completed prior to application for higher training

During higher training there is an emphasis on broad-based sub-specialty training, with plenty of opportunity to pursue special interest areas in ST6 and ST7, for those with particular career interests such as pain, paediatrics, obstetrics or cardiac anaesthesia. The full compliment of special interest areas are listed on the RCoA website. A wide variety of anaesthetic training opportunities are provided within all hospitals in Wales. The Welsh School of Anaesthesia has a proven track record providing excellent opportunities for training in research, simulation and education within the larger teaching hospitals. Trainees are encouraged to gain experience overseas or in other specialist centres in the UK as Out of Programme (OOP) experience and the school are fully supportive of trainees who wish to work flexibly on a Less than Full Time (LTFT) basis.

For all the latest news, please see the Welsh School of Anaesthesia or follow us on twitter @welshanaesthes.

A career in anaesthesia?

As one of the largest hospital specialities that answer is very varied. Here are some of the responses from our trainees and Consultants:

Intensive care medicine

Intensive care medicine (ICM) is a dynamic and exciting specialty, attracting doctors who are enthusiastic about providing care to the sickest patients in the hospital.

Structure of the programme

The intensive care medicine (ICM) CCT programme is broken down into three overarching stages.

Training scheme

Anaesthesia is a perfect access route into dual training with Intensive Care Medicine (ICM).Both curricular are highly structured and competency based and have a significant number of transferrable skills.