Training Interface Posts in Hand Surgery
Hand Surgery is an “Interface Specialty” in that training can be provided by either or both of two parent specialties; Plastic Surgery and Trauma & Orthopaedic Surgery. Each discipline will provide its own perspective on the treatment of various conditions in hand surgery and its own balance of skills training.
Advanced trainees will have made a career decision that as a specialist they will wish to take a major interest in Hand Surgery or work purely as a hand surgeon. The inception of these posts was in 1992 and those trained in both specialties should be able to bring the best of both to the management of hand pathology. These prestigious posts represent the pinnacle of training in Hand Surgery in the U.K and should produce the leaders in Hand Surgery for the future.
Those undertaking an “Interface” Advanced Training Post would receive training in both parent specialties, typically in 4 monthly placements, broadening their exposure to all aspects of Hand Surgery, but also allowing focus on a particular area of interest. This would, in theory, produce a specialist who could work as a hand surgeon in the department of either parent specialty with better knowledge & experience, albeit with a different surgical skill set than determined by their parent speciality. Those in these posts should be encouraged to spend the majority of their time in their non parent specialty. The posts should provide a balance between training in both specialites and are expected to cover the whole syllabus theoretically and to be able to provide both bony and soft tissue hand training extensively in four of the six modules required for the Diploma. Those units where all areas are not covered practically are expected to assist their trainee in obtaining specialist knowledge outside of the unit but within the time of their training post appointment. The trainee will be encouraged to participate in hand meetings in UK and abroad and to work towards the Hand Diploma, although not to the detriment of acquiring practical skills in hand surgery.
The Advanced Training Posts in Hand Surgery are open to both T&O Surgery and Plastic Surgery in ST7-ST8. Candidates must hold a National Training Number in either Trauma & Orthopaedic Surgery or Plastic Surgery, and must have passed the full Intercollegiate Specialty Board Examination, FRCS(T&O) or FRCS(Plast), prior to taking up the post and have reached an adequate standard in their parent specialty. Trainees who are successful in obtaining one of these posts will carry their National Training Number with them. These posts count as “Out of Programme Training” (OOPT). They are pre-CCT posts and must be completed within the CCT date. If the CCT date falls within the tenure of the post then the CCT date can be extended to accommodate this with the approval of the local training programme director. One of the referees for these appointments must be the trainee’s current Training Programme Director (TPD). The OOPT form can be downloaded from the Deanery website and must be filled in by the trainee and the TPD.
There is currently funding for 10 appointments, each of which will be for 12 months full time or pro-rota for part-time (minimum 60% FTE). The successful candidates, who will be centrally appointed, will be asked to rank from the currently approved posts, with those ranked highest at interview being offered their highest choice unit available.
Other units will be considered for approval by the Hand TIG committee if they apply through the HAF process obtainable on the JCHST website, with the next deadline for applications being 31st August 2019. Currently one unit is limited to taking only trainees from their non-dominant specialty until a greater balance between the specialties within those training units is restored and demonstrated to the TIG committee. It must be noted that approval does not guarantee a fellow as there are a greater number of approved units than monies available to fund them.
There is a study leave allowance of £1000 for the year funded nationally but, additionally, BSSH will provide up to £1000 in addition for attendance at BSSH-organised courses and certain meetings (BSSH, FESSH and IFSSH). These monies cannot be used to fund the Hand Diploma per se.
All TIG fellows will be expected to attend the annual residential event for all TIG trainees which deals with subjects more generic in training. Successful candidates, who wish to, will be granted access to the Hand-e educational resource of ASSH and all have access to the e-LPRAS UK learning tools. The highest scoring candidate at the interview will also be awarded an ASSH travelling fellowship which includes attendance at ASSH meeting in the year of their fellowship.
At the end of the post, the candidate will receive a certificate of satisfactory completion of the TIG post or only of completion of term, if there are concerns re their performance during the post. Any concerns will be relayed to the local Training Programme Director but the award of CCT in the primary specialty will be their responsibility.
Anyone appointed who believes they will require a significant period of absence from the post, eg for maternity leave, or wishes to take up FTFT, is requested to inform the Deanery as well as their local department as early as possible to assist in workforce planning.
Advanced Training Posts
- Birmingham (2 posts)
- Derby (2 posts)
- Leeds (currently only recognised for orthopaedic surgery trainee)
- Manchester - Wythenshawe Hospital (2 posts)
- Norwich - Norfolk & Norwich Hospitals
- Oxford - Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre (2 posts)
- Sheffield - Sheffield Teaching Hospitals
- Wrightington (currently only recognised for plastic surgery trainee)
For further details of these posts, please contact the individual units. Details may also be available from the JCST.
Applications for the Interface Advanced Training Posts in Hand Surgery, to commence in 2021 will open in February 2020 and the interviews are expected to be on 30th March 2020 and all units hoping to host ATPs are expected to provide interviewers. Applications for 2021 through Health Education South West will be published when available.