Optimising programme design of regional competency based study days for paediatric trainees


  1. Seema Sukhani
  2. Melanie Menden
  3. Alex Brightwell
  4. Susie Minson
  5. Mando Watson


Postgraduate Education


London Specialty School of Paediatrics and Child Health


Postgraduate training in the UK has moved towards a competency based curriculum.

However, previous work has identified that some competencies are difficult to acquire at local level 1.

In response, the London School of Paediatrics developed a 2 year cycle of monthly regional study days to address such competencies.

Summary of Work

To optimise delivery, new changes introduced: 

  • Programme development overseen by a dedicated multi-professional team 
  • Inspiring and well renowned speakers - personally briefed
  • Introduction of afternoon workshops
  • Career information on each specialty

All study days were evaluated, focusing on learning outcomes, quality of speakers and application of skills.

Summary of Results

Attendance rates at the study days were high.

  • 98% reported the days addressed competencies that are difficult to achieve at local level
  • 78% felt the lectures were appropriately aimed at ST4-5
  • 83% perceived the workshops as useful and valued the opportunity to apply knowledge to cases
  • 95% expressed confidence in changing their own clinical practice 

Follow-up qualitative data has shown that trainees have successfully used the learning from the study days to change their own clinical practice and implement changes in their local workplace.


The London School of Paediatrics series of Study Days is unique in:

  • directly addressing the specific curriculum requirements of paediatric trainees in London 
  • providing trainees with the confidence to improve clinical practice both on a personal and organisational level
Take-home Messages

Competency based regional study days successfully support learning in the workplace by addressing specific areas of the curriculum.  

It empowers trainees to drive local changes in practice thereby improving local standards of care.


1. Ensuring postgraduate paediatric curriculum delivery: a novel approach

 R Hodgkinson, A Roueché, RE Klaber, F Cunnington, H Cass, M Watson


Working in Partnership with the Royal Society of Medicine





A rolling programme of lectures, delivered by leaders in their field. Topics are chosen to cover

competencies in the ST4/ST5 RCPCH curriculum that are difficult to achieve in the workplace.


Future dates as follows:


·Thursday 13 October 2011                 Critical Illness and Injury

·Tuesday 15 November 2011               Cardiology

·Wednesday 7 December 2011           Endocrinology

·Thursday 19 January 2012                 Evidence Based Medicine & Research Methodology

·Wednesday 8 February 2012             Haematology and Oncology

·Monday 2 April 2012                         Orthopaedics and Radiology

·Tuesday 24 April 2012                      Gastroenterology

·Wednesday 9 May 2012                   Neonatology




To book a place or for further information please go to:




Consultant/GP £90

London School of Paediatrics trainees £40

RSM Trainee £40

RSM Fellow £60

Trainee £50


Summary of Work
Summary of Results
Take-home Messages


Paediatric Curriculum Review

Black – local learning

Red – regional training (RSM days, LME evening, EBCH, Bereavement, etc.)

Blue – simulation

Yellow – courses likely to be included in partial ring fencing initiative (APLS, NLS, CPRR)

Green – external courses



Level 1

Level 2


know the causes of upper and lower gastro-intestinal bleeding

understand the potentially life-threatening nature of his presentation

be able to assess the severity of the condition

be able to institute appropriate emergency treatment

be familiar with the causes of acute liver failure

know the management of paracetamol poisoning

know the causes of malnutrition including organic and non-organic causes 

be familiar with the consequences of malnutrition

be able to assess nutritional status

be able to initiate investigations to establish the diagnosis and to detect nutritional deficiencies

 recognise features in the presentation which suggest serious pathology

 know the causes of acute liver failure

be able to assess the severity and complications of this condition

be able to initiate appropriate resuscitation and liaise early with the paediatric liver unit

be able to assess the fitness of the baby and the need to transfer to a specialist centre  



understand the basics of molecular genetics

know the basis of prenatal screening and diagnosis, the conditions for which they are used and the ethical dilemmas they pose

have an awareness of the use and non-directive nature of genetic counselling

have an understanding of the ethical dilemmas and the implications of pre-symptomatic or carrier testing in children

have experience of how geneticists work with fetal medicine specialists, neonatologists and paediatric surgeons

begin to participate in establishing and presenting the diagnosis to parents

be able to follow local and national protocols for the management of genetic disorders*

Haematology/ Oncology

be familiar with the indications and complications of bone marrow transplantation

be able to explain screening for the thalassaemia or sickle cell trait

be able to recognise and initiate management of sickle cell crisis

be able to recognise and treat haemarthrosis in a patient with haemophilia

be aware of the different types of leukaemia and of their prognoses

recognise and understand the clinical manifestations of leukaemia

be able to recognise the immediate dangers of leukemia to the newly presenting child

be aware of national trials and protocols

know the clinical features of Hodgkin's disease and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma

 be aware of staging and protocols for treatment*

know about the clinical presentation, treatment and prognosis of nephroblastoma and neuroblastoma

be aware of the clinical features and investigation findings of other solid tumours

be aware of staging and protocols for treatment

be able to recognise the presenting features  of these tumours


know the short- and long-term side-effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy and be able to explain the common ones

know about local policies for intrathecal cytotoxic therapy

be able to manage sickle cell crisis, including safe administration of fluid and analgesia

 be able to manage acute bleeding in haemophilia and von Willebrand's disease

be able to recogniseand treat haemarthrosis in a patient with haemophilia and be aware of the need to treat urgently, with appropriate advice

Know the different types of leukaemia and their prognoses

be able to recognise and initiate investigations to diagnose leukaemia

be able to follow local and national protocols in treating leukaemia and associated infections

know the features which suggest lymphadenopathy may be malignant and how it might be investigated

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