Workforce, training and education
East of England

Pre-Hospital Emergency Medicine 

Pre-hospital Emergency Medicine is a truly multi-disciplinary area of medical practice. The role of the Doctor has changed over the years, and traditionally has been on a voluntary basis outside any formal training or career structure. For those interested in this area of medicine, there is now formal training available.

Led by the Intercollegiate Board for Training in Pre-hospital Emergency Medicine (IBTPHEM), this area of medicine is now approved by the GMC as a sub-specialty of Emergency Medicine,  Anaesthetics, Intensive Care Medicine and Acute Medicine.

The East of England has long supported the development of PHEM including piloting the very first training posts through Magpas Air Ambulance and Cambridge University Hospitals. We have an approved programme of PHEM sub-specialty training that appointed its first (and the first ever) trainee in August 2012.

Attractions of the Specialty

PHEM takes the world of emergency medicine and critical care to the patient in their own environment. This brings new challenges in both the way we approach the patient clinically and the way in which we have to deal with the environment or incident, or even the way in which we might get to the patient (land or air). Operating in difficult situations in small teams with critically ill patients demands a clinician that is clinically excellent, a good communicator and able to make difficult rational decisions.

The East of England has had doctor involvement in PHEM for almost 40 years and has been home to many of the major developments over the years. Now it is the lead Deanery for PHEM in the UK and aims to provide a high quality integrated training programme for trainees.

Training Programme

Trainees are employed by the Dept of Pre-hospital and Retrieval Medicine at Cambridge University Hospitals (also the regional Major Trauma Centre) and hosted by our partner providers –

  • Magpas Air Ambulance based near Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire
  • East Anglian Air Ambulance with bases in Cambridge and Norwich
  • Essex & Herts Air Ambulance at North Weald, Essex

with assistance from the East of England Ambulance Service.

We have a number of posts available most of which will rotate between the providers gaining different experiences with each. The training consists of:

  • attendance at the IBTPHEM National Induction Course - a residential course over a week at the National Fire Service College
  • a regional residential training course (covering pre-hospital specific areas such as emergency anaesthesia, sedation, rescue, safety etc)
  • an initial assessment of competence at the end of the training course
  • Consultant supervised operational experience operating by land and air to emergency incidents across the East of England
  • specialised training courses eg Silver Command training
  • monthly regional training days
  • case review days
  • attendance at the IBTPHEM Phase 2 residential course

The training posts may be available in schemes A, B or C (see the IBTPHEM guide for a description of these) depending upon preference, availability and parent specialty. For example, scheme A alternates between 2 weeks in PHEM and then 2 weeks in your base specialty, allowing for a continuing learning thread throughout your training. This has proved very popular and base specialty posts are at the regional Major Trauma Centre (Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge). The operational experience and training provided by PHEM will expose trainees to the whole spectrum of emergency presentations – medical to trauma in all age groups.

Why the East of England programme?

  • We have great experience in providing PHEM training
  • A commitment to provide high quality training not service provision
  • A large rural area and coastline provides exposure to challenging incidents
  • Day and night missions (including likely involvement in night HEMS missions)
  • Close links with the regional Major Trauma Centre in Cambridge
  • Close working with the regional Ambulance Service
  • Rotations between experienced organisations
  • ​Excellent feedback from previous PHEM trainees


We will be recruiting to our posts through the nationally co-ordinated recruitment for PHEM. Posts for August 2020 will be available through this process which starts in September 2019. Details will be on the IBTPHEM website along with the ‘Guide to Training’ which gives more details of training including the person specification.


If you are interested in PHEM training in the East of England, its worth getting in touch and finding out more. Observer shifts with organisations involved are often available and a useful way of finding out more. Contact the Training Programme Director for more details.

If you would like to find out more about PHEM training and our organisations involved, contact Dr Simon Lewis, Training Programme Director or the following:


PHEM Training Committee

Nam Tong

Head of School, EM

Health Education England, east of England

Simon Lewis

Chair; Training Programme Director PHEM

Health Education England, east of England

Rowan Burnstein

Head of School, Anaesthetics

Health Education England, east of England

Kamal Patel

TPD, Acute Medicine

Health Education England, east of England

Maria Smith

Dept of Pre-hospital and Retrieval Medicine

Cambridge University Hospitals

Rob Major

Training Lead

East Anglian Air Ambulance

Marcus Bailey

East of England Ambulance Service

East of England Ambulance Service

Matt O’Meara

Training Lead

Essex & Herts Air Ambulance

Rod Mackenzie

Intercollegiate Board for Training in PHEM


Alistair Steel

Deputy Medical Director

Magpas Air Ambulance

Anna Frost

Speciality Administrator

Health Education England, east of England

Lyle Moncur

Trainee Representative

East Anglian Air Ambulance

Ian Barton

Responsible Deputy Postgraduate Dean

Health Education England, east of England

Susan Knight

Regional Programme Lead

Health Education England, east of England

Helen Muncey

Quality and Commissioning

Health Education England, east of England

Friday, 30 November, 2018
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Friday, 30 November, 2018