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Major boost for intensive care medicine training announced

23 April 2020

One hundred extra trainee places will be made available in intensive care medicine (ICM), Health Education England has announced today.

The additional places follow work with partners including the Department of Health and Social Care and will help to meet needs identified by the Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine.

The move will help to better meet the required regional distribution of these vital services. The new posts will also help to meet demographic changes that show a growing proportion of older, sicker patients in this country.

Professor Sheona MacLeod, Acting Director of Education and Quality and Executive Medical Director, Health Education England said:

I am delighted that we have been able to secure funding for additional trainees for this key profession. The current pandemic has highlighted how vital Intensive Care Medicine consultants and trainees are to the delivery of specialised patient care in intensive care units up and down the country.  Their training, which includes elements of acute medical care, emergency medicine and anaesthesia, means they have the experience and expertise to manage critically ill patients and the associated healthcare services.  

Wendy Reid, Acting Chief Executive, Health Education England said:

This is great news, I am really pleased that we have been able to work with colleagues from the Department of Health and Social Care to secure this key funding so quickly and support the frontline.  The  workload of Intensive Care Units is  increasing so this expansion in training numbers  is a great start and we hope that we will see more funding delivered in the future for this crucial speciality.

Intensive care medicine is a speciality that recruits at higher training level, which means doctors are already experienced in areas like medicine, anaesthesia and acute care. 

The investment in training will help sustain critical care and increase the ability to keep critical care beds open by increasing the appropriate medical staffing available.