Summer Update 2020

Monday, 8 June, 2020

Critical Care Capacity expansion and COVID 19:

The critical care representative organisations (ICSI/JFICMI/CCP/CAI/AAGBI and IACCN) have written an open letter to all political parties to seek an increase in critical care capacity in Ireland sufficient to bring us up to the European average of 12 critical care beds per 100,000 of population (we currently have 5.2/100,000). This has been positively received and an Taoiseach has written in reply to state that he will seek inclusion of ICU bed expansion in the new program for government.

The JFICMI is in the process of completing a specialty review of the medical workforce requirements for current and future (expected expanded) critical care capacity. This is being led by Dr Brian Marsh on behalf of the JFICMI and Roisin Morris of the NDTP (National Doctors Training and Planning, HSE).

The JFICMI has also submitted a business plan for an additional 6 de novo Special Interest Year (SIY) training positions to cater for an increasing requirement and demand for Intensive Care Medicine (ICM) training.

 COVID Education:

The Joint Faculty was asked at the start of the COVID19 pandemic by the Health Service Executive (HSE) to provide a teaching module for care of critically ill patients with COVID 19. Members of the board completed this process at the start of the pandemic `and there is a useful powerpoint presentation on the website (under COVID 19)  which gives an expert overview and provides a detailed, practical guide to specific elements of COVID 19 patient management e.g.  CPAP, Proning, Intubation, Suction, Surgery, CPR etc.  The presentation is also included on the College of Anaesthesiologists of Ireland (CAI) website.

 Specialist Register:

There has been a steady stream of applicants for the ICM section of the Irish Medical Council (IMC) register. There are currently 17 doctors registered in the section with many more applications in the pipeline. The JFICMI and CAI have agreed that the assessment fee waiver will be continued for a further year until April 30th 2021.


The FJFCIMI exam schedule has been reorganised to take account of the COVID restrictions with the written postponed until August 21st and the Clinical/Viva postponed until October 2nd. There will also be a temporary change to format of the clinical part of the exam to conform with public health advice.The pre-exam course is planned for 22nd-24th July. The JFICMI will not be running the EDIC exam in Dublin this year  on behalf of the ESICM due to the travel restrictions.



The JFICMI has extended recognition for training: CAI trainees who have completed 18 months on call in an ICU with full JFICMI accreditation may have an additional 2 months of ICM modular training time allocated to their training portfolio.


The JFICMI has also introduced limited accreditation category for smaller ICUs who have 200-400 level 3 admissions per year and who do not have a separate ICU consultant rota but are compliant with all other elements of the standards document and have a “2 + 2” (consultant + trainee) anaesthesia / critical care rota in place.


Board Developments:

At the March Board meeting Prof Ger Curley (Critical Care Trials Group) and Dr Sinead McArdle (Emergency Medicine) were co-opted to the board to represent the CCTG and Emergency Medicine trainees respectively.

Nomination date for Board elections were extended due to COVID19 pandemic. There will be 2 vacancies on the board to fill.


Ad Eundem Fellowship applications

The Board recently approved the expansion of the credentials committee by two members (Drs Ruth-Aoibheann O’Leary and Jennifer Hastings) and it also approved an updating of the criteria for Ad Eundem Fellowship applications. The new Ad Eundem criteria allow for further training periods and/or for the sitting of the FJFICMI exam, if deemed appropriate by the evaluation / validation process.  There is also a new  application fee.

 Honorary Fellowship:

The JFICMI has decided to offer an honorary fellowship to Dr Ross Freebairn.   Dr Freebairn is an international leader in ICM education and has visited Ireland on many occasions to spearhead and assist with the rollout of the BASIC and Advanced BASIC training programs. This was unanimously endorsed by the board and is planned for 2021.


The next board meeting of the JFICMI will be on the 18th June 2020.  Communications with the Board is via the secretariat or its various committees or via your elected representatives (including the two Trainee representatives) on the Board.