Welcome to the Haematology Home Page

Haematology is a unique speciality, covering both laboratory work and clinical medicine. It is the only speciality where you can be involved in every aspect of diagnosis as well as treatment. It offers a good work/life balance with on-calls being non-resident with a daily ward round. There are many different subspecialities within haematology, which are encompassed in the registrar training programme. These include:

Haemato-oncology:

  • Ranging from aggressive inpatient treatment of acute leukaemia and high grade lymphomas to outpatient management of chronic haematological malignancies
  • Many clinical procedures including bone marrow aspirate and trephine, lumbar punctures and intrathecal chemotherapy administration, and hickman line removal
  • Constant evolution of chemotherapy treatment and involvement in clinical trials
  • Smaller numbers of patients, providing more time to manage acutely unwell patients and for patient interaction
  • Reporting of blood films and bone marrow aspirates and trephines, with senior support
  • Opportunities for research

General Haematology

  • Management of non-malignant haematological disorders such as aplastic anaemia, autoimmune haemolytic anaemia, thrombotic thrombocytopaenic purpura and immune thrombocytopaenia
  • Working with other medical specialities to manage haematological complications of medical disorders

Bone Marrow Transplant

  • Exciting and complex field
  • Curative treatment for many haematological diseases
  • Management of acute and chronic transplant related effects
  • Ample opportunities for research
  • 3 month placement – on calls as part of the Bristol Haematology and Oncology Centre rota

Thrombosis and Haemostasis

  • Diagnosis and management of bleeding disorders including the haemophilias and platelet disorders
  • Investigation of patients with  venous thrombo-embolism
  • Advice to other specialities on the management of these disorders and complications of anti-coagulant therapy
  • Involvement with feto-maternal medicine including intrauterine management of haemophilias and pregnancy associated haematological disorders
  • Involvement in hospital VTE prophylaxis committees
  • 3 month placement plus day to day involvement in district general hospital placements
  • on calls as part of the Bristol Haematology and Oncology Centre rota during the 3 month placement

Transfusion

  • Working in the NHS Blood and Transplant centre in Filton – one of the major centres for transfusion in the UK
  • Involvement with investigation of allo-immune antibodies, tissue typing for bone marrow and solid organ transplants and other immunological studies
  • Learn more about ‘the bigger picture’, looking at local and nationwide blood management strategies
  • No on call commitments
  • Attending free transfusion medicine courses  -
    • Essential transfusion medicine as an ST3
    • Intermediate transfusion medicine prior to FRCPath Part 1
    • Transfusion Revision for FRCPath prior to FRCPath Part 2
    • Within hospitals, involvement in major haemorrhage, attending hospital transfusion committees and providing transfusion advice to other specialities

Paediatric Haematology

  • This is a 3 month placement as aspects of paediatric haematology are covered in the FRCPath
  • You will spend time in paediatric haematology outpatients, paediatric bone marrow transplant and in paediatric haemato-oncology settings
  • This is a supernumery role, with close support of the Paediatric Haematology Consultants plus their clinical fellows

Training in the South West

Haematology training in Severn is organised around Bristol. Trainees will spend approximately three years at the central teaching hospital, including their subspeciality rotations, and time at the North Bristol Hospitals (Frenchay and Southmead) and two years (usually as two one-year attachments) at District General Hospitals. These include:

 

  • Royal United Hospital, in Bath
  • Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust: Cheltenham & Gloucester(6 months in each hospital)
  • Great Western Hospital, Swindon

It is possible to live in or near Bristol and commute to the district generals during your placements.

The clinical teams are friendly and supportive, and the working environment enjoyable. For further details please see the section entitled ‘Training in the region’, or contact one of the current registrars (via the ‘Contact Us’ details, left).

For an overview on the 5 year training program, please see link to flowchart.

The Severn Training Scheme

Severn Postgraduate Medical Education's (PGME) Haematology Rotation is a 5-year programme, which aims to provide training of the highest quality. The rotation has a good reputation with a high pass rate for the FRCPath examination and subsequent consultant appointments.

The rotation is organised as a series of 3 month slots, allocated primarily on the basis of training needs, but where possible taking into account geographical preferences. We plan the rotation on an annual basis after the autumn RITAs/ARCP, keeping the rotation flexible and ensuring that individual needs can be met.

There is an opportunity for trainees with paediatric experience to undertake subspeciality paediatric haematology training, spending 2 ½ to 3years in general adult haematology and 2-2 ½ years in paediatric haematology at The Children’s’ Hospital (BRI)

Teaching/ Courses/ Study Time

  • All of the aforementioned placements have a study half day incorporated in their weekly timetables.
  • Formal teaching sessions, journal clubs, presentations and laboratory teaching occur regularly within all placements.
  • There are 6 regional training days each year, and lecturers are encouraged to make their presentations available on this website for future reference (see section on “Training Days”).
  • Trainees are welcome to attend haematology training days in Peninsula PGME.
  • Severn PGME runs a rolling Generic Skills Training Programme with subjects ranging from Clinical Governance through to teaching other Healthcare professionals (see section on “Courses”). These are free to Severn trainees and part of your mandatory training – you should aim to do 2 a year.
  • There are numerous national and international haematology study days and meetings, together with exam focussed courses (see section on “ Courses”). The Avon Blood Club and the BSH have bursaries to support attendance at these meetings.

The Exam

The thought of doing more exams at the end of core medical training can seem off-putting. Most medical specialities now have an exit exam, so they are unavoidable. The FRCPath exam is in two parts:

  • Part one: A 3 hour 4 essay paper with questions on haemato-oncology, coagulation, transfusion and general haematology plus a 3 hour 125 MCQ paper
  • Part two: spread over 3 days, including morphology exam and short answer papers in haemato-oncology, general haematology, coagulation and transfusion plus a viva

You cannot sit the FRCPath Part 1 until you have had at least 18 months clinical experience in haematology. Candidates are encouraged to take it when they feel ready to do so, and by the end of ST5. There is a lot of support available from your consultants, many of whom will provide teaching and set mock essays – just ask. There are also lots of courses available.

FRCPath Part 2 can be taken 12 months after passing the part 1. Again, consultants will help with mock vivas and morphology exams, and you should not attempt it before you feel ready to do so. If you are planning to do an OOPE in your ST6 year, it is advisable to take both exams before going into research.

Out of Programme Experience (OOPE)

Out of programme experience can be incorporated into training. Previous registrars have undertaken fellowships abroad or full time academic research.

The Severn Haematology Training Scheme provides excellent breadth of experience courtesy of the varied posts within the programme. Consultants are supportive and approachable.