Eastern Region Clinical Neurosciences Training Fellowships

In 2002, recognising the difficulties faced by doctors who have recently completed their general professional training in entering neurology, we introduced Eastern Region Clinical Neurosciences Training Fellowships. This scheme encourages new recruits to enter the clinical neurosciences and provides continuity across the clinical and research phases of their training. These innovative posts, starting at clinical grade ST3, are for doctors who have obtained the MRCP or equivalent and are committed to a career in neurology but have yet to start research and clinical training. The postgraduate dean, regional training committee and members of departments of neurology contributing to rotations in the East of England region are particularly keen to attract those with an interest in academic neurology who will benefit from continuity of employment and can build on their research exposure by working in the same environment during clinical training. However, our rotations provide diversity of clinical experience and specialist training by rotating through various combinations of three University hospitals and three regional neurosciences centres within or close to the Eastern region.

We provide our Clinical Neurosciences Training Fellows with a funded research training post, lasting three years, leading to a PhD and four years of clinical training, leading to CCT. The distribution of research and clinical training within the seven years is flexible, to allow for interrupted or consecutive research as considered most desirable by the Fellow and their supervisor. In exceptional cases, candidates already with a PhD may be considered for a Clinical Neurosciences Training Fellowship, on the understanding that three years of post-doctoral research will be undertaken.

Clinical neurology training in East Anglia consists of 12 posts from ST3 onwards. All rotate through Addenbrooke's Hospital for usually two of the four years. All trainees then spend time at two out of three of: the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Queen Square, London, and the regional neuroscience centre at Queen's Hospital, Romford (Formerly at Oldchurch, Romford). Most trainees' preferences for attachments at these hospitals can be accommodated, although it cannot be guaranteed that every trainee will go to the National Hospital in a substantive capacity; it may be possible to arrange supernumerary attachments.

In addition to these 12 posts, seven people are currently holding training numbers as Clinical Neurosciences Training Fellows but are doing research.

Alasdair Coles