The Thames Valley Neurology training programme offers a broad range of high-quality experience to prepare doctors comprehensively for their future consultant post. It is five years in duration, starting at ST4 (after completion of IMT3). The Training Programme Director is Dr Lucy Matthews. Queries about the training programme are welcome, and can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
Neurologists deal with common conditions such as stroke, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease. Neurology training will provide you with a strong diagnostic skill set, as well as capabilities in the rapidly expanding management landscape of the wide range of neurological conditions. Neurology is a dual training programme, and on successful completion, you will also accredit in Internal Medicine. The Thames Valley Neurology training programme also offers ample opportunities to develop academic skills and career paths.
Our Neurology programme includes both regional neurology centre and district general hospital experience. The primary base for Neurology training is the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, where most of the neurology registrar on-call commitments will be located. A further opportunity for tertiary centre experience is through a six-month attachment to the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in London. District General Hospital experience in clinical neurology may involve attachments at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading, Milton Keynes University Hospital, Northampton General Hospital or the Great Western Hospital in Swindon. Further opportunities for peripheral clinics in general neurology and Parkinson’s disease are located at the Horton Hospital, Banbury, and Amersham Hospital.
Newly starting registrars at ST4 level will generally commence their training either at the John Radcliffe Hospital, the Royal Berkshire Hospital or Milton Keynes University Hospital.
Stroke Medicine experience is gained through a six-month attachment divided equally between the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford and the Royal Berkshire Hospital, Reading. Further experience in stroke thrombolysis will be gained during neurology attachments to the Royal Berkshire Hospital and the National Hospital (UCLH), and there are also flexible opportunities for extra training at other district general hospitals.
General Internal Medicine training, which comprises one year of the total programmed five years, is located at Milton Keynes University Hospital, where for the duration of your attachment you will be on the medical registrar on-call rota.
John Radcliffe Hospital
The West Wing of the John Radcliffe Hospital opened in 2007 and houses the neuroscience disciplines of Neurology, Neurophysiology, Neurosurgery, Neuroradiology, Neuropathology, Neuropsychology and Neurocritical Care. The Rehabilitation Service is at the Oxford Centre for Enablement, Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre, Oxford.
The regional neurological service at the John Radcliffe comprises NHS consultants (predominantly Oxford or District Hospital based) and the Oxford University Department of Clinical Neurology. These departments are closely integrated. The service encompasses a wide range of sub-specialities including cerebrovascular disease, dementia, headache, movement disorders (including a joint movement disorder surgery team), epilepsy (including a joint epilepsy surgery team), peripheral neuropathy, myasthenia gravis, muscle diseases, and multiple sclerosis. The service includes nationally commissioned (NSCAG) services for congenital myasthenia, neurofibromatosis II and neuromyelitis optica. Within the Department there are currently 18 beds, including two video-telemetry beds, with a further 12 being available on a day-case basis.
There is extensive neuroscience research activity within the NHS and University Department, that includes functional MRI, a neuroscience group investigating ion-channel immunology and molecular genetics, neuropathological research, a stroke group, a collaborative muscle group, MS trials and research, epilepsy research and a major established Parkinson’s disease research program. Additionally, many interactions exist between other university department and clinical groups within and outside Oxford.
National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery (NHNN)
The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery (NHNN) in London is a leading centre for the diagnosis, treatment and care of patients with a wide range of conditions such as epilepsy, MS, Alzheimer’s, stroke and head injuries. With its neighbour, the Institute of Neurology, it is a major international centre for research and training.
Most (but not all) Oxford program trainees will rotate through the NHNN spending 6 months working with two or three of the subspecialty teams. The trainee works Mon-Fri in London and is part of the neurology registrar on-call rota at UCLH.
Milton Keynes University Hospital
Milton Keynes University Hospital is a medium size hospital with approximately 550 inpatient beds and provides a broad range of general medical and surgical services, including A&E, for over 300,000 people every year.
The specialty trainee works Monday to Thursday in MKUH, with two new outpatient clinics per week with a mixture of routine and urgent new slots. There are opportunities to attend specialist PD, MS, epilepsy and peripheral nerve clinics, and the trainee will attend monthly botulinum toxin injection clinics for focal dystonia. Further training opportunities include a weekly medical grand round, neurorehabilitation visits, stroke MDT and monthly neuroradiology meetings. There is ample opportunity for liaison neurology experience. Fridays are based at the John Radcliffe Hospital.
Northampton General Hospital
Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust is a large (750 beds) district hospital providing a full range of acute services. The registrar programme at NGH runs from Monday to Thursday and is designed to be flexible and to meet the needs of the trainee. Fridays are based at the John Radcliffe Hospital. Fixed sessions include one new and one follow up neurology clinic a week, regular ward referrals, a medical student teaching session and a weekly grand round (neurology is on the case presentation/image of the week rota). Neurophysiology training is flexible and can be extensive if required (there is a consultant clinical neurophysiologist and 3 qualified technicians). Other flexible experience includes excellent stroke facilities run through the stroke physicians (including thrombolysis), neurorehabilitation, botox clinics, first fit clinics, and headache clinics.
Royal Berkshire Hospital
The Royal Berkshire Hospital (650 beds) serves people across the West of Berkshire and South Oxfordshire with a population of about 550,000.
The neurology specialty trainee works Monday – Thursday in Reading; they take part in a neurorehabilitation and general neurology clinics each week. They work with the consultants to provide a liaison neurology service and in particular rapid neurological opinions for patients admitted to the Clinical Decision Unit. They are part of the thrombolysis team and work with the stroke specialty trainee on the stroke unit.
Great Western Hospital
The Great Western Hospital in Swindon has recently been added to the neurology programme as a training location, supervised by outgoing Training Programme Director Dr Stephan Hinze. Experience includes neurophysiology, liaison neurology and new patient general neurology clinics. Registrars will work in the Great Western Hospital Monday to Thursday, with Fridays based at the John Radcliffe Hospital.
Stroke training will be provided over 6 months with 3 months each at the tertiary stroke unit at the John Radcliffe Hospital and at the hyper acute stroke unit at the Royal Berkshire hospital.
There is an active post-graduate education programme with a weekly grand round on Friday mornings incorporating two case presentations and regular teaching sessions including neuropathology presentations, talks by visiting lecturers, presentations of research, and clinical governance/audit sessions. These mornings are attended by neurology trainees in all the JRH and DGH posts.
A monthly neurology specialty trainee teaching half day is organised jointly with the Wessex training programme, the venue alternates between Oxford and Southampton.
Trainees will also attend formal regional IMT teaching.
Other local and regional opportunities include simulator training, deanery courses, a wide range of journal clubs, MDT meetings and neuroradiology meetings.
Study leave to attend national teaching courses is very much encouraged, and the rotas in Neurology and Medicine are sufficiently flexible to allow this.