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10 RCSI Annual Report 2012/13
The work of the Clinical Programmes under the leadership of Professor Frank Keane and Mr
Ken Mealy has continued throughout the year. In July 2013, the Minister for Health, Dr James
Reilly will launch the model for Acute Care Surgery following the successful launch previously
of the Elective Surgical Programme. A lot of work has gone in to the development of these
programmes and we will strongly urge the Minister to support their implementation which
we, in RCSI, feel will greatly enhance the quality of care for surgical patients.
The development of the National Office of Clinical Audit (NOCA) has been one of the very
positive spin-offs of our collaboration with the HSE. The NOCA office was inaugurated one
year ago and its governance board was established. There are several audit streams including
the Irish Audit of Surgical Mortality (IASM), the Joint Register, the Intensive Care Audit, and
the Trauma Audit and Research Network (TARN) Audit for trauma services. The IASM project
has experienced some delay due to legal issues around the confidentiality of the data. Until
the new Health Information Act in which we have requested privilege for contributors to
this audit programme is introduced, we would be unable to guarantee confidentiality to
contributing surgeons. The delay in the initiation of this important audit activity has not
deterred the enthusiasm and drive within the NOCA office and the other audit streams have
become a very strong focus of attention. The enthusiasm of Mr Ken Mealy, the Clinical Lead
for Audit, has been critical to progress to date in the establishment of the streams and will be
equally crucial to their ultimate success.
Medical Validation Ireland (MVIrl) is a new RCSI body which has won a contract with
Hamad Medical Corporation in Qatar to benchmark the qualifications and experience of
its Consultant Doctors against Irish standards. RCSI was successful in bidding against other
groups for this contract and this initiative is being delivered in collaboration with six other
Irish postgraduate training bodies. This marks the first occasion in which these bodies have
co-operatively responded to an international tender and will hopefully provide a template
for further overseas initiatives in the future. Mr Paul Nolan from the Department of Surgical
Affairs has led on this important opportunity for RCSI to develop further business contacts
in Qatar and we congratulate him on his success. A dedicated MVIrl Programme Office has
been established to manage this initiative.
Under the chairmanship of Professor Paul Redmond, a Court of Examiners has been
established. Examination and assessment are core activities of our participating surgeons in
the education, training and assessment of future generations of surgeons. It has long been
felt that examiners in the College are undervalued and, therefore, the establishment of the
Court is designed to acknowledge their contribution in order to increase recruitment and to
provide a forum through which they can voice opinions and feedback about the examination
process. The official launch of the Court of Examiners is expected in autumn of this year. In
the MRCSI examination, we have now moved from the oral and clinical exam to the OSCE
format. This brings us into alignment with our sister Colleges in the conduct of the MRCS
examination. With the format of MRCS now uniform throughout the four Royal Colleges, it
paves the way for the exam to possibly become fully intercollegiate in due course.
One of the most exciting intercollegiate activities of recent years has been the development
of the Joint Surgical Colleges Fellowship Examination (JSCFE). This examination is an
intercollegiate exit examination based on our own intercollegiate curriculum in the UK and
Ireland which will be delivered overseas. The first examination in General Surgery Part A has
taken place in May 2013, with another sitting of Part A planned for September. The Part B
Clinical and Oral examination will take place in Al Ain in the UAE in November 2013. It is
planned, thereafter, to deliver the examination in other specialties, including Trauma and
Orthopaedics and Neurosurgery.
At home, we continue to work closely with the Forum of Postgraduate Training Bodies where
RCSI can address shared issues and challenges in training. RCSI is very pleased that Mr Eunan
Friel is now taking up the post of Secretary to the Forum and we congratulate him on that
PrEsidEnt's rEViEw
Medical Validation Ireland (MVIrl)
is a new RCSI body which has won
a contract with Hamad Medical
Corporation in Qatar to benchmark
the qualifications and experience of
its Consultant Doctors against Irish