Accept Cookies

Cookies: How we use information on our website:

We use cookies on our website to make it clear, useful and reliable. In order to achieve this and to provide certain personalised features we store a small amount of data about you. Find our more here. By navigating from the front page to other sections of our website, you are consenting to information being stored.

Anaesthetic & Intensive Care Medicine Training in Northern Ireland

The Northern Ireland School of Anaesthesia & Intensive Care Medicine is responsible for the educational development of trainees in Anaesthesia, Intensive Care Medicine and Pain Medicine within Northern Ireland and follow the RCoA curriculum.

Northern Ireland has a rich heritage in medical innovation and anaesthesia, being the birth place of the portable defibrillator and Sir Ivan Magill.

Training in Northern Ireland

Training in anaesthesia is a 7 year programme, or 8 years for ACCS anaesthesia.

It is an uncoupled programme with recruitment at CT1 for stage 1 and ST4 stage 2 and stage 3

Trainees work across all 5 Health and Social Care Trusts in Northern Ireland.

Rotations ensure adequate clinical exposure and experience to ensure fulfilment of all key capabilities and Generic Professional Capabilities required at each stage of the RCoA curriculum.

Trainees are supported by an experienced and enthusiastic faculty of College Tutors, Educational Supervisors and Clinical Supervisors in every hospital and each stage of training.

 Trainee Opportunities and Experiences

Trainees within Northern Ireland anaesthetic are expected to develop their clinical and professional ability throughout training and fulfil requirements of RCOA 2021 curriculum and complete FRCA exam. An excellent teaching programme for primary and final FRCA exam preparation is well established to aid exam success.

Simulation specialty specific courses are embedded in the education programme and mapped to the curriculum.

The school is supportive in the development of special interests, out of programme training, education, simulation, research and flexible training.

Educational opportunities for quality improvement, audit and teaching, presentations local, national and international are available and supported in each hospital. These opportunities allow trainee's to develop subspecialist interests and leadership in preparation for consultant roles.

Anaesthesia Training Hospitals in School of Anaesthesia

The Belfast Trust is the largest Health and Social Care Trust in the UK providing care to approximately 350,000 people within Belfast as well as the majority of the regional specialist services in Northern Ireland.

Trainees work across the Royal Group of Hospitals including Royal Victoria Hospital, Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children, Royal Jubilee Maternity Hospital, and also Belfast City Hospital and Musgrave Park Hospital.

The Royal Victoria Hospital is the largest hospital in Northern Ireland and is the region’s Major Trauma Centre. Trainees will gain experience here of Critical Care in the Regional Intensive Care Unit, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Vascular Surgery, Neurosurgery, Trauma & Orthopaedics, emergency surgery, major head and neck surgery, Ophthalmology, burns, Dental and Interventional Radiology.

Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children and is the only Paediatric Hospital in Northern Ireland with all specialties (except Cardiac Surgery)

Royal Jubilee Maternity has 500-600 deliveries per year and associated with the tertiary neonatal unit.

The Belfast City Hospital is a centre for major Elective Surgery including General Surgery, Hepatobiliary Surgery, Regional Renal Transplant Service, Urology, Gynaecology and is the regional Cancer Centre. It has an excellent PACU and Critical Unit that also supports Regional Haematology, Oncology and Renal Medicine. It leads in Perioperative medicine and Pain Medicine.

Musgrave Park Hospital is a centre for elective Orthopaedic work.

Fellowships in the Belfast Trust allow for completion of many Stage 3 Special Interest Areas including perioperative medicine, regional anaesthesia, anaesthesia for trauma, paediatrics, vascular, neurosurgery, obstetrics and airway.

The Northern Trust provides care to approximately 479,000 people and is the largest geographical Trust in Northern Ireland covering 1733 square miles.

Trainees will work in Antrim Area Hospital gaining experience in Critical Care, Anaesthesia for Obstetrics and Gynaecology, General Surgery, Ophthalmology and ENT. Anaesthesia for day case surgery includes rotation to Mid-Ulster Hospital and Whiteabbey Hospital within the Trust.

Specialist interest areas include training in Obstetrics and General Surgery.

The South Eastern Trust provides care for a population of approximately 350,000 patients.

The Ulster Hospital (UHD) is a rotation that provides training in Oral and Maxillo Facial (OMFS) and Plastic Surgery with excellent experience provided in airway management with fibreoptic intubation and post op tracheostomy care.

It also provides anaesthesia for many other acute services, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, General Surgery, Trauma and Orthopaedics.

Anaesthesia for Day case surgery includes rotation to Lagan Valley Hospital as part of the Ulster Hospital placement. UHD also supports specialist training in Pain Medicine. Specialist Interest Area training are possible in Obstetrics and Airway.

The Southern Trust provides care to approximately 380,000 patients.

Trainees will work in Craigavon Area Hospital, which provides a wide range of acute services including Critical Care, Perioperative Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, General Surgery, ENT, Trauma and Othopaedics with Regional Anaesthesia, Urology and Pain Medicine.

Specialist interest areas of training are available in Perioperative Medicine, Obstetrics and Regional Anaestheisa.

The Western Trust provides care for approximately for a population of 300,000 patients.

Altnagelvin provides a wide range of acute services including Critical Care, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, General Surgery, ENT, Orthopaedics, Maxillo-Facial Surgery, Urology and Pain Medicine. Special interest Area training is possible in Airway and Obstetrics.

Trainees will spend at least 6-12 months in the 7 year programme in Altnagelvin Area Hospital.

Trainee Support

School Board

Two trainees are elected for a 2 year term to sit on School Board meetings with School of Anaesthesia Head of School,  Deputy Head of School, TPD and College tutors.

These meetings are held 4 times per year. The Trainee reps are the voice for the trainee body. They maintain a continual line of communication between trainees and School of Anaesthesia.

The Northern Ireland Group of Anaesthetists ( NIGAT )

The NIGAT training group provides trainee representation within the School of Anaesthesia and RCOA Anaesthetist in training committee. Two trainees are elected for a 2 year term. The School appreciates the vital role trainees have in patient care within Northern Ireland. By providing a voice on the School Board, training can be responsive to the need of the trainees.

NIGAT also organises social events.

Mentoring for Success

Mentoring is such an important tool in helping trainees achieve their potential in training. Peer mentoring is a trainee led project, supported and facilitated by the Professional Support & Wellbeing department within NIMDTA.

In Anaesthesia, senior trainees have undergone training in mentoring. Every CT1 and CT2 at Stage 1 has a named mentor from a more senior anaesthetic colleague.

For further information or queries, please contact:

Related Pages:

Intensive Care Medicine

Royal College of Anaesthetists

Simulation in Anaesthesia

Succeed Fellowship

Welcome to the Northern Ireland School of Anaesthesia