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Scottish Medical Training

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Speciality: Haematology

Programme Description
GMC Reference: SES/424

Why choose this programme

The South East Scotland Haematology training programme offers comprehensive training in all aspects of clinical and laboratory Haematology. The programme consists of a series of rotating attachments at approximately six-month intervals between the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh (4 ST attached at any one time), the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, incorporating transfusion medicine (3 ST), the Royal Hospital Children and Young People in Edinburgh (1 attachment), St John's Hospital, Livingston (1 attachment) and the Fife Hospitals (1 attachment). There are also attachments to the Edinburgh and South East Scotland Blood Transfusion Centre, for training in Transfusion Medicine.

The training timetable follows closely the training curriculum for Higher Specialist Training in Haematology. Thus, inbrief, during the first three years, after a period of induction, a broad general experience in Haematology is acquired under supervision and in the remaining years, the trainee will acquire greater independence with some scope for pursuing specialisation, particularly towards the end of training. There is a compulsory half day educational afternoon
once a month in addition to site specific training.

The Royal Infirmary is the Regional Haemophilia and Thrombosis Centre and provides clinical and laboratoryservices to the Royal Infirmary which supports a large Obstetric and cardiothoracic practise as well supra-regional services such as Liver transplantation. There are beds for admissions from the Haemophilia and Thrombosis Centre and for patients with red cell disorders. The Laboratory is comprehensive and provides regional facilities for Coagulation including molecular biology and Haemoglobinopathy screening.

The Western General is the main site for the investigation and management of Haematological malignancies and has a 25 bed unit which includes an autologous transplant facility with a plan to introduce CART. The Laboratory is comprehensive and provides regional facilities for Immunophenotyping and molecular diagnostics. There is an externally funded research programme in stem cell biology and leukaemia/lymphoma, which is integrated with the clinical service.

St John's and Fife provide exposure to District General Hospital setting. In St John’s ambulatory care, out-patient and laboratory facilities are available whereas Haematology in-patients are admitted to the Western General Hospital.The Laboratory is comprehensive and includes a Blood Transfusion Service. The Fife Hospitals provide broad experience in Clinical and Laboratory Haematology, including in-patient, out-patient and day case care.

Royal Hospital for Children and Young People provides a tertiary referral service for children with leukaemia, lymphoma and solid tumours in south east Scotland with 11 inpatient beds, day-care and outpatient facilities.  It also runs general Haematology, red cell disorder and haemophilia services and provides a laboratory and clinical liaison service for the hospital and the Neonatal Unit of the Royal Infirmary.

The Regional Transfusion Service is the principal collection and distribution facility for blood components within South East Scotland. It includes an immunology laboratory service with a tissue typing facility for transplantation. In addition to its regional activities, it provides blood banking facilities for the RIE and RHCYP and operates a unit for peripheral blood stem cell harvesting and red cell exchange.

Overall the training programme offers a very good comprehensive training in a stimulating environment and has a very good record within the MRCPath examinations.

Research, audit, teaching and management opportunities

There are high rates of clinical trial entry locally in all major NCRI studies in which trainees will participate.  Local research and audit initiatives are common and trainee participation is expected. Further postgraduate degrees are not essential to practice as a Haematologist but 10 - 15% of our trainees will undertake Out of Programme research for MD or PhD programmes.


There is a monthly regional teaching programme for StRs delivered by the Consultants and the trainees in collaboration.  Additionally we promote Scotland and UK delivered education sessions and local units provide regular weekly educational opportunities.

Edinburgh University medical students rotate through Haematology placements and there are regular opportunities to be involved in medical student teaching and teaching for junior medical and nursing staff.

The SE Scotland Haematology training programme delivers excellent subspecialty training with cross-region teaching and supports trainees to pursue audit and research opportunities both in and out of programme.   Our training programme has had a high FRCPath Haematology pass rate over the last 20 years and trainees have an excellent record of progressing to high quality consultant posts.  

Where is the training delivered?
Training is delivered across:

Royal Hospital for Children and Young People, 50 Little France Crescent, Edinburgh, EH16 4SF, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, St Johns Hospital, Livingston, Western General Hospital, Edinburgh, Borders General Hospital, Melrose

Western General Hospital, Edinburgh
Royal Infirmary Edinburgh, Edinburgh
Royal Hospital Hospital for Sick Children, Edinburgh
St John’s Hospital, Livingstone
Borders General Hospital, Melrose
Fife Hospitals Group, Fife
South East Scotland Regional Transfusion Centre (SNBTS) at Royal Infirmary Edinburgh

Contacts and Useful Links
Programme Type Deanery based or National: Deanery
Administration office West of Scotland
Lead Dean / Director Professor Alastair McLellan
Responsible Associate Postgraduate Dean or Assistant Director (GP) Dr Clive Goddard
Specialty or Sub-specialty Specialty or Sub-specialty: Specialty
Date of GMC recent approval August 2010
Associated Royal College - Faculty
Joint Royal Colleges of Physicians Training Board (web site)
Curriculum and Associated Assessment System
Programme Administrator: Named Programme Administrator: Christine Ferguson
Address: NHS Education for Scotland, 2 Central Quay, 89 Hydepark Street, Glasgow G3 8BW
Programme Director Programme Director Name: Dr Susan Baird
Address: Department of Paediatric Haematology, RHCYP Edinburgh.
Quality of Training Quality Management

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