Introduction The NPSA,1 supported by the BTS,2 recommends that chest drains for pleural effusions are placed using thoracic ultrasound (TUS). BTS pleural disease guidelines, currently under review, are likely to recommend the use of TUS. Royal College of Radiologists recommendations allow standardisation of TUS training, then assessment leading to Level-1 accreditation.3 The West Midlands Deanery, which comprises 13 Trusts providing 48 respiratory specialist training-posts, will require Level-1 competency in TUS as a CCT requirement. To achieve this there must be adequate training opportunities for trainees.
Methods and results We surveyed access to TUS training. Questionnaires were completed by 34 respiratory trainees from 11 Trusts (12 ST3, 9 ST4, 7 ST5, 1 ST6, 5 SpRs)-see Abstract P92 Table 1. Over half (53% (18/34)) were aware of Level-1 competency as a CCT requirement of which 33% (6/18) were unaware of criteria to achieve it. Most (91% (31/34)) expressed concern about gaining sufficient TUS training for which responsibility was felt to be the Deanery's (71% (24/34)), the Trust (26% (9/34)) and the trainees's (56% (19/34)). Most had access to an US in their current Trust.
Conclusion Much concern exists amongst respiratory trainees over TUS training and Level-1 accreditation. The majority (68% (23/34) of trainees had not been on a TUS course mostly due to lack of availability, and were performing TUS without formal training; some of these without appropriate supervision. This clearly shows the need for greater access to recognised training opportunities in TUS. This may require local Trusts, in conjunction with the Deanery, to be more proactive in providing these opportunities and not rely on the availability of limited national courses.
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