Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

Cross Border Collaboration as RCSI Celebrates Excellence in Medical Education at South West Acute Hospital Enniskillen

15 October 2014

Today RCSI in conjunction with Queen's University, Belfast celebrated cross border collaboration and excellence in medical education at the South West Acute Hospital in Enniskillen Co. Fermanagh.

Since the South West Acute Hospital in Enniskillen first opened in 2012, RCSI medicine students have been afforded the opportunity to undertake high quality experiential learning in a state of the art clinical setting under the tutelage of a highly experienced and dedicated multi-disciplinary team. RCSI students have been undertaking their clinical attachments in the South West Acute Hospital alongside students from Queen's University.

Speaking at the event to recognise medical education Professor Arnie Hill, Head of the RCSI School of Medicine said "I am delighted to be here today to celebrate this cross border educational collaboration which sees students from RCSI being trained alongside students from Queen's University. I believe it is important for RCSI students to experience a different healthcare system to the one in which they receive the majority of their training. It is an excellent opportunity for our students to be afforded the opportunity to experience the NHS as part of their core experiential learning in their medical degree programme."

"In the RCSI ‘Growth & Excellence' strategic plan, our first strategic goal is ‘Excellence in Education'. Central to this is the provision of a high quality learning environment for our students to receive their clinical training and this collaboration with the South West Acute Hospital is testament of that goal. The feedback from our students that have undertaken placements in the South West Acute Hospital has been outstanding and highlights the emphasis the hospital and staff place on teaching to create a rich learning experience for our students," Prof Hill continued.

Mr Mark Grannell, Clinical Director Medical Education, Western Trust said: "The Trust strives to offer excellence in medical education. For many years we have been successfully providing consultant led teaching to students from Queens University in Belfast in the disciplines of medicine and surgery. With the development of the new South West Acute Hospital in Enniskillen we had an opportunity to expand medical education to undergraduates from our colleagues in the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. This cross border partnership is unique to Northern Ireland as students from both North and South participate in Consultant led teaching. We offer students the opportunity to be taught in wards, enriching their overall experience. The Trust is delighted to celebrate this partnership which brings together 70 students in Surgery, Medicine and Paediatrics.

"I would like to thank all the Consultants who give their time to enrich the student experience, actively teaching in wards. This is real medical education in action and shows we have a body of doctors who care passionately about high quality healthcare and about the future of their profession."

South West Acute Hospital opened in June 2012. It is one of the most modern state of the art facilities in Europe and is the newest hospital on the island of Ireland. The hospital is equipped with 312 in-patient and day case beds and delivers services including acute medicine, surgery, older people and paediatric services; day and elective surgery, critical care, accident and emergency services, imaging and diagnostics and consultant-led maternity services.

Speaking at the event today was Mr Gerard Guckian, Western Health and Social Care Trust, Dr Ray Nethercott, South West Acute Hospital, Professor Pascal McKeown, Queen's University, Professor Arnie Hill, RCSI and Mr Mark Grannell, South West Acute Hospital.

RCSI is a not-for-profit health sciences institute which focuses on education and research to drive positive change in all areas of human health worldwide. RCSI is headquartered in Dublin and is a recognised College of the National University of Ireland. In 2010, RCSI was granted independent degree awarding status by the State, which enables the College to award degrees alongside its traditional powers to award licentiates.