I hope you all are in good health. We can only imagine the challenges you all face in the ongoing crisis. The strain on you, your colleagues and families is very hard and all of us here in RCSI are so grateful for all you are doing. As your College and Training Body, we try to support you in a number of ways, but probably our most important role is to effectively communicate with you, listen to you queries and concerns and assist in solutions to accessing what you need to support your training. Over the past number of weeks we have endeavoured to provide access to information pertinent to your needs. We are very lucky to have the National Clinical Programmes in Surgery, T&O and Emergency Medicine as part of the college family. Our weekly webinars provide real time updates from our surgical leaders. We also engage with our sister colleges in the UK. Our President, Mr Kenneth Mealy, represents RCSI at the Medical Leaders Forum which meets weekly with the HSE and Department of Health.
You may have seen the latest update from JCST. This guidance is mainly UK based. However from an RCSI perspective please note the following
Following discussions between the Forum of Irish Post Graduate Training Bodies and HSE NDTP, all planned rotations for July 2020 will proceed. We are constantly taking into account all public health advice and if the current plan to proceed with rotations needs to be deferred or changed we will let you know immediately. However, as of now, rotations will proceed as normal. We are also examining ways of facilitating our bootcamp and induction for our new trainees and will communicate as soon as possible.
The intercollegiate bodies of JCIE, JCST and ICBSE are actively engaged in ensuring we can provide the necessary specialty and basic surgical examinations. It is likely that matters such as gathering size restriction and social distancing restrictions will be active for the number of months at least. This is being considered around the logistics of the examinations. All those who had booked on diets of the exam prior to the suspension and those who need to take the examinations this Autumn will be accommodated as we are looking to increase our capacity for exam candidates. Any changes will be communicated as early as possible. We are also engaged with the regulators in the UK and Ireland on these issues.
CAPA Assessments, TARs, WBAs and ARCPs
We shall continue with CAPA assessments but of course those due in the coming months will be done virtually using an online platform. Details of these will be communicated to you by the Surgical Training team. It is very important that you continue to document and log any activities. We are also completely aware that with the cessation of nearly all elective surgery that access to operative cases is very difficult and we will fully take all this into account. Some of you may be wondering how to complete mandatory courses but most have been cancelled. I want to assure you that we are constantly looking at alternative dates and additional capacity. Again, the ability to attend courses may be completely outside of your control and we understand.
Health and Wellbeing
Minding yourself is vitally important and we have a range of guidance and supports to assist. Details of these resources are available at the following link You should also not hesitate to contact any of us here in RCSI Surgical Affairs with any query or concern.
RCSI are very proud of all our trainees and trainers, members and fellows, who are delivering care to patients and remain dedicated to providing best possible care. You will have to adapt to new practices and approaches to providing surgical care in the midst of COVID 19 being around for quite some time. RCSI will work with all our specialties in relation to guidance, education and training needed to support these necessary changes. Please stay well and safe