Background As survival in CF improves and the adult population continues to grow, there is an increasing need for the adequate training of chest physicians to care for this patient group. To reflect this, in 2010 the UK respiratory specialist training curriculum was strengthened, setting out guidance for the minimum requirements for CF training to achieve CCT . However, because the curriculum is already full we wished to assess whether the current training schemes in the UK can cope with this increased need. We have already canvassed the views of the trainees1, and now wished to assess the views of those tasked with organising this training.
Method We surveyed all 19 UK Training Program Directors (Adult Respiratory Medicine), asking about availability of CF experience and how this new guidance was being applied for their 596 trainees.
Results Only 12 Directors (63%) were aware of trainees with a special interest in CF (26, half currently gaining out-of-programme experience [OOPE]). Northern Ireland (NI) and SE Scotland had most trainees pursuing an interest in CF (22% and 20% respectively), where 75% of these were undertaking OOPE.
Only 1 centre (NI) had changed trainee allocation arrangements to accommodate the 2010 curriculum changes, but despite this trainees rotated to a specialist CF centre in only 12 Deaneries (63%), where the average training time was 3 months. About 180 trainees (30%) did not rotate to a specialist centre, and in these cases Directors reported that individuals were required to make their own arrangements (26%) or had organised day-release or training days (18%).
Conclusions This survey highlights that, despite the increasing numbers of adult CF patients and the need for suitable training for our future respiratory colleagues now reflected in the curriculum, a significant proportion of trainees in the UK still have limited exposure to CF during their training. Further representations have been made to the training authorities to reinforce the need for increased CF training.
CF Experience for Respiratory Trainees in the UK. Journal of Cystic Fibrosis 2012,11 (Suppl1), S127, 274.