Position Statement on the proposed training curricula in Infectious Diseases, Medical Microbiology and Medical Virology.

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Position Statement on the proposed training curricula in

Infectious Diseases,

Medical Microbiology and

Medical Virology.



BIA Council has taken a close interest in the development of
the

new infection
curricul
a

since the inception of the Infection Trai
ning Working Party under the
auspices of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges in 2007, and later the Infection
Training Group under the joint chairmanship of the Royal College of Pathologists and
the Joint Royal Colleges of Physicians Training Board.


All

members of Council are infection specialists in NHS hospitals, and have seen
at
first hand
considerable changes in the practice of specialists coming from differing
backgrounds, with greater ward
-
based ongoing clinical care being delivered by
medical micr
obiologists
,

and conversely infectious disease physicians undertaking
more ward
-
based consultations and infection prevention and control / antimicrobial
stewardship than may have been the case some years ago. Concurrently, with the
consolidation of laborat
ory services,
more

medical microbiologists are practising in
hospitals without on
-
site laboratories and their previous responsibility for day
-
to
-
day
laboratory oversight is increasingly being delivered by clinical and healthcare
scientists.
T
raining progra
mmes leading to dual certification in medical microbiology
with infectious diseases

are widely acknowledged to be a success
, and doctors
completing these programmes
possess skills that are highly regarded at consultant
appointments committees.


The various

iterations of the curricula in the infection specialties have been discussed
on numerous occasions at Council. Updates have been provided in several editions
of the Association’s Newsletter and comments invited from the general membership.
Formal consulta
tions across the whole membership were undertaken in
September
2010 and in June 2013. The proposals have also been considered at the
Association’s Trainees’ Committee at most of their meetings.


Judging from feedback received

from both mic
rob
iologists and
infectious disease
physicians
there is considerable support
from the membership of the BIA
for the
general approach
,

including the current proposed curricula
.
We are pleased that the
new curricula incorporate training leading to dual CCTs in
ID with microb
iology or
virology. The continued inclusion of dual accreditation in
ID and GIM w
i
ll
enable
continued participation of infectious disease specialists in acute and general medical
rotas.

H
owever
,

a few

concerns have been raised by members of the Association
.
Some
infectious disease physicians
and microbiologists
are concerned about the
potential dilution of academic training in the latest proposals. The inability to allow
entry from doctors with post
-
Foundation experience in, for instance, paediatrics,
surge
ry or general practice is disappointing.

In terms of delivery
there are fears that
some

regions may experience difficulties with the development of cer
tain elements of
the curriculum (although

the Curriculum Committee has given assurance that there is
suff
icient flexibility to enable the delivery of the programme across all parts of the
UK
).

A number of
important
transitional issues have been flagged up and we trust
that these will be addressed satisfactorily.


Council considers that the latest proposals ar
e workable and will benefit the delivery
of infection services now and in the foreseeable future in our health services.
W
ithin
the new
programme
, there is

the opportunity for training

to at least the same depth
and brea
d
th as currently,
along with greater

flexibility to
adapt
to changes in
professional
requirements

in the future
.

The British Infection Association continues to
have influence on the development of the training programme, and the Council of the
Association
unreservedly support
s

the aims and s
tructure of the new proposed
curricul
a
.



Note:

The British Infection Association has around 1,400 members, most of whom are
consultants or trainees in infectious diseases, medical microbiology and medical
virology in the UK. There is a considerable number

of members from other countries
and from other related specialties. We believe that almost all consultants and
trainees in medical microbiology and infectious diseases across all four nations of the
United Kingdom are members of the Association.



Albert
J Mifsud

Peter Moss

Interim Honorary Secretary &

President,

Workforce and Training Secretary



On behalf of Council of the British Infection Association

5
th

July, 2013.