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Dr Ian Steele reflects on a successful 20-year tenure as he announces retirement from NIMDTA

On Wednesday 12 October 2022, Dr Ian Steele completed his final day as Postgraduate Medical Dean and Director of Education for NIMDTA.

Ian was appointed as NIMDTA TPD for Geriatric Medicine in 2002 after having been a consultant for 5 years in the specialty. Ian continued in this role until 2007 where upon he was appointed as Deputy Head of School of Medicine and TPD for Core Medicine when the NIMDTA Specialty Schools were established. Subsequently, Ian was appointed as Associate Dean for Hospital Specialty Training and Quality Management in 2013. During this time he was also appointed to the role of Co-Editor of the Gold Guide in 2016 and became a member of COPMeD in 2017.

From May 2018, Ian began working full-time at NIMDTA after being appointed as Director of Professional Development in addition to the role of Associate Dean/Director of Hospital Specialty Training.

It was in October 2020, that Ian was then appointed as Postgraduate Medical Dean and Director of Education for NIMDTA.

Commenting on his final day, Dr Steele said,

“NIMDTA has been a ‘home’ for me for a large portion of my career and I will miss everyone deeply. My time with NIMDTA has been extremely rewarding, and I am thankful to have worked with a wonderful variety of talented and inspirational people throughout my tenure.

As outgoing PGD I am extremely proud of the relationships we have built and strengthened over the years with stakeholders such as all the Health Trusts across NI, the Department of Health NI, the local Universities and the other postgraduate education bodies within the UK.

It cannot be underestimated how much of a key role NIMDTA plays in the training of our doctors and dentists, and the impact we have on all their careers. For example, I am grateful to have been part of introducing amazing initiatives such as the NIMDTA ‘ADEPT’ Programme which allows doctors in training to be ‘within’ NIMDTA and see first-hand the work that goes into supporting our Trainees and driving projects that promote continual development and improvement.

I am immensely proud of the many challenges we have overcome over the years, with most notably our ability to maintain delivery of training throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. I am also proud that during my tenure I was able to make our voice heard loud and clear within medical and dental training education forums at local and national levels.

I am delighted that Dr Camille Harron has been appointed Interim PGD, and I have no doubt that she will successfully progress the work of NIMDTA in the coming weeks and months.

Thank you to everyone for their friendship and generosity over the years, and I wish all our team members all the very best for the future!”

Dr Camille Harron, Interim Postgraduate Medical Dean and Director of Education at NIMDTA said, “Ian has been a fantastic role model throughout his time at NIMDTA.  As Postgraduate Dean, he has provided decisive and insightful leadership through a period of significant challenges.  His expertise, wisdom and mentorship of colleagues on all matters related to postgraduate training has been greatly appreciated both locally and on a national level.  His influence will continue in the minds of those who have worked with and trained under him and in his new role within the HSCNI.  I wish him every future success and happiness.”

Mr Mark McCarey, Chief Executive at NIMDTA said, “I am personally indebted to Ian for the tremendous leadership that he has provided in his role through the most testing of times.  Pandemic disruption, leadership transition and significant changes to our brief have presented during this time.  Ian is gifted with a thoughtful and thorough manner, which have been invaluable to NIMDTA during this time. I would like to wish Ian every happiness in this new phase of life, and have no doubt that he will be successful at all that he turns his attention to.”

Mrs Denise Hughes, Senior Education Manager at NIMDTA said, “I would like thank Ian for his continued support and leadership to NIMDTA’s educators and education management staff throughout all his roles, in particular over the past few years as Postgraduate Dean. He has continued to be an advocate for trainees and training in Northern Ireland both on a regional and national basis.  On behalf of the training departments, I wish him well in his next chapter.’  

Statement on continued derogations in medical education and training

The General Medical Council (GMC), UK statutory education bodies (SEBs) and the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (AoMRC) have issued an updated statement in relation to the temporary derogations to medical education and training for the period of disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic – please see below:

Clinical Education Day 2022 – A welcome return to ‘in-person’ conferencing…”

(L-R) Professor Pascal McKeown, Head of School and Dean of Education School of Medicine, Denistry and Biomedical Sciences, Queens University; Professor Louise Dubras, Foundation Dean of the School of Medicine, University of Ulster; and Dr Ian Steele, Postgraduate Medical Dean and Director of Education, NIMDTA welcome Health Minister for Northern Ireland, Mr Robin Swann to deliver the Keynote Speech at this years’ Clinical Education Day.

NIMDTA, in partnership with its undergraduate colleagues from Queen’s University and University of Ulster, were delighted to host the annual ‘Clinical Education Day’ conference on Thursday 22 September 2022.

This year’s conference was titled ‘Training and Retaining our Workforce’ and the event was the first large ‘in-person’ conference organised by NIMDTA since 2019. It was clearly evident from ‘the buzz’ of conversations, smiles and handshakes, throughout the day that all delegates were very pleased to be in attendance.

The conference is targeted at the medical and dental professionals who provide leadership in undergraduate and postgraduate education of doctors and dentists in training in Northern Ireland.

Dr Ian Steele, Postgraduate Dean and Director of Education for NIMDTA said,

“We were delighted to attract such a high calibre of national and regional medical and dental leaders and educators to contribute to what was a varied, stimulating, informative and challenging programme. The aim of this conference is always to inform, equip and inspire Northern Ireland’s Medical and Dental Educators.

It was a privilege to have the Minister of Health Robert Swann deliver the Key Note Address and highlight our achievements including “maintaining the highest standards of clinical education and training despite the myriad of challenges presented by the pandemic… and grateful that, despite the immediate demands of service pressures aggravated by the unique challenges of the pandemic, we are pivotal in shaping individuals’ future career choices and in developing their long term commitment to our healthcare system in Northern Ireland.”

I was also delighted to attend extremely engaging and thought-provoking presentations from inspirational speakers throughout the day.

The event was also a fantastic opportunity to meet colleagues face-to-face and network throughout the day, and I look forward to further ‘in-person’ events.”

To view a copy of the event programme which includes full details on all the presentations and speakers at the event click HERE.

To view pictures, Speaker Comments and delegate reactions from the day, visit our Twitter page at: (5) NIMDTA (@_NIMDTA) / Twitter or search Twitter using the hashtag #ClinicalEducationDay2022

Health Minister for Northern Ireland, Mr Robin Swann delivers his Keynote speech to a capacity crowd during Clinical Education Day 2022

Health Minister for Northern Ireland, Mr Robin Swann delivers his Keynote speech to a capacity crowd during Clinical Education Day 2022

Planned Closure – Bank Holiday Monday 19 September 2022

Please note that NIMDTA offices will be closed on Monday 19 September 2022 following the announcement that King Charles III has declared this day a bank holiday for the Queen’s state funeral.

The King confirmed the Order during the ceremony in London proclaiming him Monarch, in order to allow the public to pay their respects and commemorate the Queen’s reign.

Any planned activity for this day will be rescheduled and colleagues notified accordingly.

NIMDTA will re-open again on Tuesday 20 September 2022.

For further information regarding the bank holiday announcement, please visit:

Bank holiday announced for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s State Funeral on Monday 19 September – GOV.UK (

Statement on behalf of NIMDTA

Mr Mark McCarey, Chief Executive and Dr Ian Steele, Postgraduate Medical Dean & Director of Education NIMDTA pay tribute to Queen Elizabeth II following news of her death on Thursday 8 September 2022.

“On behalf of NIMDTA we wish to express our profound sadness on the news that Her Majesty The Queen has died.

Her Majesty The Queen was truly inspirational and voiced unwavering support of the NHS on many occasions during her lifetime in public service.

We extend sincere condolences to The King and to all members of the Royal Family at this time.”

ENGAGE Clinical Leadership and Improvement Programme 2022/2023 – NOW OPEN!

As part of NIMDTA’s ‘VALUED strategy’, NIMDTA is delighted to invite Trainees to participate in its ENGAGE Clinical Leadership and Improvement Programme.

Dr Ian Steele, Postgraduate Medical Dean and Director of Education at NIMDTA said,

“The ‘ENGAGE Programme’ has been designed in conjunction with the HSC Leadership Centre and aims to challenge, develop and support doctors and dentists who are within six to 18 months of CCT in specialty training. It is designed to ensure that they are prepared to lead effectively so that they can influence, shape and improve the delivery of high quality patient-centred care.

The programme is completely funded by NIMDTA and participants will attend seven modules online organised on Monday evenings between October 2022 and June 2023. These modules will be delivered by consultants from the HSC Leadership Centre with input from senior clinical leaders and improvers from the HSC as well as external contributors.

Every year the ENGAGE Programme provides the opportunity for an inspiring showcase of

Quality Improvement Project presentations, and I look forward to meeting participants in due course.”

A full list of dates and times can be found on the programme below. Please review these carefully as attendance is crucial to the completion of the programme. Trainees will be required to attend at least 70% of all listed modules in order to successfully pass (including the Showcase Event in June 2023).

NIMDTA Clinical Leadership and Improvement Programme – ENGAGE 2022

Participants will also complete a Quality Improvement project. This may be a project that the participant has already started or needs to complete as part of their curriculum. This Quality Improvement project should not be viewed as additional work but rather the programme will act as a catalyst and support the completion of this initiative. Quality Improvement work will be displayed during a showcase event in June 2023 with the opportunity to compete for oral presentation prizes.

There are places for 45 participants in total. The programme is open to trainees in dentistry, general practice or hospital-based specialty training who have six to 18 months remaining until CCT at the time of the first module.

The programme is voluntary and will be delivered in the evenings.

Due to the potential for ongoing Covid-19 restrictions, all modules will take place online.

Places on the programme will be allocated to eligible applicants on a first come, first served basis. Interested applicants are encouraged to submit an application form as soon as possible.

If you are interested in participating in this programme, please complete the attached application form below and return to before 11.59pm on Friday 9th September 2022.

ENGAGE Programme Application Form 2022

To view winning QI Presentation from last year visit:

ENGAGE 2022 Newsletter – Northern Ireland Medical & Dental Training Agency (

Trainee Welcome Event 2022

NIMDTA representatives were delighted to formally welcome its new cohort of trainees during its annual ‘Trainee Welcome Event’ on Tuesday 16th August 2022.

The event was delivered via Zoom and provided all Specialty and GP trainee doctors, who are starting training in Northern Ireland, with a comprehensive overview of information on areas such as:

  • Settling into Northern Ireland
  • An Overview of GP and Hospital Specialty Training programmes
  • Professional Support and Wellbeing Services
  • Leadership Opportunities
  • Single Lead Employer Updates

Dr Ian Steele, Postgraduate Dean and Director of Education NIMDTA said,

“I am delighted to welcome the new cohort of Trainees to Northern Ireland and help settle them into the region. The Welcome Event provided a fantastic opportunity for Trainees to meet NIMDTA Senior Team members as well as representatives from high profile stakeholders such as the General Medical Council and British Medical Association. It was great to see high engagement from Trainees throughout the evening with lots of important queries being answered by our panel of experts. I would like to thank all those who attended.”

A recording of the event is available on the LMS portal for Trainees unable to attend and can be found within the Faculty Development Section.

As ever, NIMDTA values any comments or feedback from its Trainees to help improve the experience for anyone wishing to train in Northern Ireland. Therefore, if you are a new Trainee, please complete this short survey which should take no longer than two minutes to complete:

NIMDTA Welcomes New ADEPT Fellows for the training year 2022-2023

ADEPT Clinical Leadership Programme Fellows for training year 2022/2023 enjoy their induction in the HSC Leadership centre on Thursday 4 August 2022.(L-R) Dr Michael Breen, Dr Patrick Benshaw, Dr Ross Irvine, Dr James Irvine, Mr Connor McCann, Dr Michael McMahon, Mr Ryan Moffett, Dr Sarah Berry, and Mr Martin King . ADEPT Fellow Dr Mary-Beth Toner is included in this years cohort, but is not pictured.

NIMDTA was delighted to formally induct its 7th cohort of ADEPT Clinical Leadership Fellows at the HSC Leadership Centre, Belfast to commence the Clinical Leadership Programme on Thursday 4 August 2022.

Ten doctors from the training programmes in School of Surgery (General Surgery; Urology; Trauma & Orthopaedics), School of Medicine (Geriatric Medicine; Clinical Oncology), General Practice, School of Paediatrics and School of Psychiatry (Child and Adolescent; Learning Disability) will be undertaking a year out of their training programmes. The Fellows are placed in seven different host organisations (Belfast Health & Social Care Trust, Department of Health, Encompass, NIMDTA, Queen’s University Belfast, South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust, and Southern Health and Social Care Trust) and will work on leadership, service development and engagement projects under the supervision of senior leaders and managers. During this time ADEPT Fellows will attend formal leadership training including mentoring and coaching, and be provided with opportunities to network and learn with healthcare colleagues.

The induction provided ADEPT Fellows with preparation and guidance for their year and ahead, and included informative and insightful presentations from stakeholders such as the Health and Social Care Quality Improvement (HSCQI) Northern Ireland, Public Health Agency NI, The General Medical Council and the Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management.

Dr Ian Steele, Postgraduate Dean and Director of Education NIMDTA said,

“I am very pleased to welcome the new cohort of ADEPT Fellows and induct them into the start of their projects and the leadership programme. This years’ application process was very competitive and NIMDTA is delighted that the ADEPT Fellow appointments will be involved in a range of initiatives across NI. I am confident that the ADEPT Fellows will thrive in the Programme and be able to develop personally and professionally over the year and I look forward to hearing about the projects as they develop and ultimately the outcomes that each project will deliver.”

Dr Ian Steele, Postgraduate Dean and Director of Education, NIMDTA welcomes the 2022-2023 ADEPT Clinical Leadership Programme Fellows to their induction and networking event.

Angela Greer, Liaison Advisor, General Medical Council (GMC) said,

“I am delighted to be part of the induction for this years’ cohort of ADEPT Clinical Leadership Programme Fellows. The GMC completes a series of outreach work throughout the year in NI to help continually improve medical education and practice, and improve understanding of our guidance. Todays induction has provided an additional opportunity for me to advise directly how GMC processes work, promote our standards and how these play a part within all project work undertaken throughout the ADEPT Programme year. I wish all the ADEPT Fellows the very best for the year ahead and congratulations on their appointment to the programme.”

Mrs Angela Greer provides an engaging presentation on behalf of the GMC to the 2022-2023 ADEPT Clinical Leadership Programme Fellows.

The ADEPT Clinical Leadership programme was first launched during the 2015-2016 training year and is delivered in cooperation with partner host organisations in Northern Ireland. The Programme provides senior doctors in training an opportunity to take time out of programme for one year to work in an apprenticeship model with senior leaders in host organisations in Northern Ireland to develop organisational and leadership skills.

Mr Daniel Kavanagh, from the Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management (FMLM) joins the 2022-2023 ADEPT Clinical Leadership Programme Fellows via Zoom to welcome everyone and provides insight the Programme from a FMLM perspective.

The 2022-2023 ADEPT Clinical Leadership Programme Fellows enjoy opportunities to network during the induction day programme.


Meet the Fellows…

Dr Sarah Berry – ST4 Paediatrics

Project: Facilitating relocation of neonatal & maternity services into the new Maternity Hospital using Simulation

Host Organisation: Belfast Health & Social Care Trust


Dr Michael Breen – GPST2

Project: The Delivering Together Transformation Programme

Host Organisation: Dept of Health


Dr James Irvine – ST5 Geriatrics Medicine/GIM

Project: Developing Simulation Training in Hyperacute Stroke

Host Organisation: South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust


Dr Ross Irvine – ST6 Psychiatry (Child & Adolescent Psychiatry)

Project: Further Development and Implementation of the VALUED Strategy

Host Organisation: NIMDTA


Mr Martin King – ST4 General Surgery

Project: Tomorrows Training Developed Today

Host Organisation: Southern Health and Social Care Trust


Mr Connor McCann – ST6 Urology

Project: Improving the Quality of Training Placements

Host Organisation: NIMDTA


Dr Michael McMahon – ST6 Clinical Oncology

Project: Transforming Undergraduate Education through C25

Host Organisation: Queen’s University Belfast


Mr Ryan Moffett ST5 Trauma & Orthopaedics

Project: Simulation Training

Host Organisation: NIMDTA


Dr Patrick Benshaw – ST6 Psychiatry (of Learning Disability)

Project: The Academy

Host Organisation: Southern Health and Social Care Trust


Dr Mary-Beth Toner – ST5 Paediatrics

Project: Encompass Programme

Host Organisation: Encompass

Dental Training CPD Courses NOW OPEN for booking

The Dental Training Course Programme for September 2022 to March 2023 is available NOW and open for bookings.

Brid Hendron, Postgraduate Dental Dean NIMDTA said, “We are delighted once again to provide a comprehensive programme of dental training courses for the next academic year.

The Programme provides a wide range of courses to choose from, and covers everything from Hands-on surgery, Audit Guidance, Looking after your mental health, Safeguarding, IPC Refresh, and Medical Emergencies – to name but a few.
There is a fantastic mix of face to face and online training sessions within the Programme to give all attendees the opportunity to complete courses that contribute to General Dental Council (GDC) CPD accreditation.”

The importance of regular CPD cannot be under estimated. In July 2022 the General Dental Council Chief Operating Officer, Gurvinder Soomal, said:

“Keeping up with professional development is an essential part of being a healthcare professional but there are also immediate practical impacts of not making a compliant CPD statement for the individual and their dental team, as non-compliance can interrupt their ability to practice. It takes just a few minutes to check your CPD record to make sure you have done enough”

To view the full programme and book dental courses click on here.


General Dental Council calls for urgent focus on CPD renewal

The General Dental Council (GDC) is calling all dental care professionals (DCPs) to check their CPD record now to make sure enough hours have been completed to meet the minimum requirements for ongoing registration.


In addition to paying the annual retention fee and making their indemnity statement by 31 July, professionals need to make sure they make a compliant CPD statement on time, including having completed at least 10 hours of CPD over the last two years.

With more than 3,000 DCPs falling foul of at least one of the CPD rules last year, the GDC are keen to highlight the requirements.

There are three steps to completing annual renewal. For DCPs these are:

  • Pay the annual retention fee by 31 July.
  • Make their indemnity statement by 31 July.
  • Complete the required amount of CPD by 31 July and go on to make an annual or end of cycle CPD statement by 28 August.

Impact on practice…

GDC Chief Operating Officer, Gurvinder Soomal, said:

“The vast majority of dental care professionals complete all aspects of their registration renewal every year without any complications. But last year, more than 3,000 did not meet the requirements for CPD for reasons unrelated to COVID-19.

“Keeping up with professional development is an essential part of being a healthcare professional but there are also immediate practical impacts of not making a compliant CPD statement for the individual and their dental team, as non-compliance can interrupt their ability to practice. It takes just a few minutes to check your CPD record to make sure you have done enough – and if you find out now that you need to do more, you have enough time to put it right before the end of July.”

We are also reminding DCPs of the need to meet minimum CPD requirements following two years of flexibility – supporting those who may have found it difficult to access CPD during the pandemic.

Take Action NOW…

Visit the GDC annual renewal and CPD pages for further information