The MacCraith Report (2013) recommends the continued development of post-CSCST fellowship capacity in Ireland in order to retain specialist medical expertise in the public health system in advance of appointment to Consultant posts.
High-quality fellowships may help to address consultant recruitment and retention challenges, not only by providing the necessary clinical experience, but also by demonstrating the HSE's commitment to investing in and developing world-class training programmes. Such fellowships will also appeal to trainees who do not wish to, or are unable to, travel abroad for fellowship training. Offering a post-CSCST fellowship which allows the fellow to remain in Ireland is likely to be attractive to many high-quality candidates who otherwise may opt to defer or forego fellowship training.
Post-CSCST Fellowships within Ireland offer an alternative to trainees now that our own specialist clinical expertise and services have matured and developed. These Fellowships provide opportunities for those doctors who have completed specialist training in Ireland to access high-quality training in a specialised area of clinical care. They are designed for doctors who need to acquire additional training or experience which was not available on their Higher Specialist Training programme. The additional training provided exposes graduates of the Irish postgraduate training programmes to subspecialties and advanced clinical skills.
The Aspire Post CSCST Fellowship programme has been in existence for a number of years however following an announcement from the Minister for Health in 2021 there are now 40 post CSCST fellowships permanently established across the acute, primary care and mental health specialties.
These 12 month posts offer:
- A structured educational experience designed to deliver the requirements of a particular subspecialty, not readily available within HST
- A supervisor with authority and accountability for the fellowship post
- Opportunities for audit and research
- An enhanced salary
The Aspire Post CSCST Fellowship process will be managed by the Post Graduate Training Bodies.
The process of identification of the Fellowships and subsequent recruitment will be managed through the Postgraduate Training Body with input from HSE NDTP and the National Clinical Advisory Group Leads (NCAGL’s) and National Clinical Programmes (NCP’s) as appropriate. Consideration should be given to recently approved and upcoming consultant posts in the selection of fellowships to align the fellowships with the demands of the health service.
As part of the selection process it is requested the Faculty will lead a process to:
- identify, assess and approve post CSCST fellowship posts in line with the allocations
- develop appropriate curriculum for each post CSCST fellowship
- recruit and appoint fellows for the approved post CSCST fellowship for a July 2023 start date