Using a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Travelling Fellowship for critical care research – Applications open for 2018


by Joanne McPeake

In 2011, I was a Staff Nurse in critical care in Glasgow, and a Lecturer Practitioner at the University of Glasgow. I first heard about the Travelling Fellowships through a list of openings advertised by the university. I felt that this could be a fantastic opportunity for me so I decided to apply. I was elated when I found out my application had been successful. I discovered after the interview that about 1,000 people had applied, so I definitely didn’t expect to be chosen!

For my Fellowship, I went to the USA for four weeks. The broad aims of my project were to look at how to improve outcomes for patients recovering from a period of critical illness. I visited several Intensive Care Units (ICUs), exploring the use of various techniques to improve short and long-term outcomes for patients.

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In Search of the Intensive Care “Pessimist”


Peter Brindley Circle

By Peter Brindley

In spring I wrote in this venerable blog about travelling to India and hoping to see the elusive tiger 1.  In summer I subsequently came to Britain expecting to see nothing but ICU pessimists. I saw lots of Indian tigers; I met very few true British pessimists. Despite a UK summer that could be remembered for bombs, knives, fires and anger, your lovely country has endured, despite being injured.  Like much of the world, you have a political and healthcare system seemingly tailor-made to produce burnout and despondency. However, while many of you are “down”, you are definitely, and defiantly, not “out”. Continue reading “In Search of the Intensive Care “Pessimist””

The ARCP, – “if only i knew what i was supposed to do” – a tirade, and a request to my fellow trainees…


by Jamie Strachan

The Annual Review of Competency Progression (ARCP) season has just passed for many trainees in Intensive Care Medicine in the UK, and we are at the start of a new academic year.  Those that sail through with an outcome 1 (ready to progress to the next year) breathe a sigh of relief, but those with any other outcome, for example an outcome 5,  need to provide more evidence and may feel despondent – “I didn’t know I had to have that paperwork in that place”…

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The Medical Training Initiative – a personal perspective.

The Medical Training Initiative enables overseas graduates to come to the UK for experience in intensive care. In small and large units with posts and training capacity the scheme can be mutually beneficial. Dr David Odaba, currently working at the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle, gives us his view on the application process and the benefit of the experience he gained. – Jeremy Groves

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What is the Medical Training Initiative?


by Jon Sturman,

Clinical Director of Critical Care, North Cumbria.

MTI stands for Medical Training Initiative and is one way of allowing overseas doctors access to training in the UK. Applicants should have at least 3 years’ postgraduate clinical training and possess a postgraduate medical qualification – see MTI sections in the RCOA and RCP websites for more information on this. Application is facilitated by the Colleges to help with GMC registration and hospital trusts’ sponsorship on a tier 5 (2 year) visa.

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Critical Care Recovery – a new patient support website


by Dr Pam Ramsay

Post Doctoral Research Fellow, Edinburgh Medical School

Critical Care Recovery is a website to support patients and families in and after Intensive Care. The website can be customised for your own ICU or region. 

What’s the website for? This innovative website is a one-stop shop providing information, advice and support for ICU patients and their families. It’s the outcome of 10 years’ interview-based research with patients, and 5 years’ development, evaluation and quality improvement. It’s ideally placed to address a top research priority of the James Lind Alliance & ICS. To “support to help patients start living at home again”.

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Mediating conflict between health professionals, patients and families: It’s all about the human stuff.


Sarah Barclay, Founder/Director, The Medical Mediation Foundation.

Conflict between patients, families and health professionals is upsetting for all and can affect decision-making about medical care and treatment. All too often the warning signs are missed.  This can lead to a breakdown of relationships that may end up in court. Although recourse to the courts will lead to a decision, there are inevitably perceived to be winners and losers. Complex, often agonising dilemmas for families, patients and health professionals are portrayed (and felt) as battles.

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Hospital Politics

Reporters: M Beed, G Suntharalingam, P Brindley

As results came in, it became clear that asking hospital staff for their opinion had backfired. Ms May, from the orthopaedic wing of the party, has been accused of fighting a lacklustre campaign, and there are calls for her to resign as Chief Surgeon. Ms May has taken responsibility and has sought support from eight little-known staff Anaesthetists Continue reading “Hospital Politics”

The Manchester Attack – A personal view

The amazing responses of the of the NHS to the recent atrocities & fire in Manchester and London is a testament to the dedication of the critical care teams as well as other medical staff in those hospitals involved.  An overriding desire to help when adversity struck was the hallmark of their attitude.  The last five years in the NHS has been punctuated with feelings of doom at times – not enough money, not enough staff, too much poorly considered change etc, etc. It’s all too easy to forget why we entered our professions in the first place.  This blog by Dr Andrew Bently, Clinical Director of the University of South Manchester adult critical care unit might help jog our memories.

Gary Masterson, ICS President Continue reading “The Manchester Attack – A personal view”