#MyBSE | Creating a bespoke echocardiography training programme

Published 15/03/2023

Mr Ivo Andrade, Highly Specialised Cardiac Physiologist at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT) shares their experience of setting up a training programme for echocardiographers for Healthcare Science Week 2023.

Current trainees(L-R): Chris Johnson, Laeticia Parker, Azeem Ghani,
Neve Moore, Olivia Powell and Lauren Munford

MFT was one of two institutions to host the very first cohort of the Echocardiography Training Programme (ETP) trainees in 2020. At the end of the programme, and after discussions with all stakeholders, the overall sentiment within MFT was that the training could be adapted to better fit the reality of our department as all the trainees from our pilot cohort had achieved a high level of competence in adult TTE within the 18-month pilot programme, but none of them were quite ready to attempt the final stages of BSE accreditation. Consequently, the leadership and training team within the MFT echocardiography department began working on creating an in-house training programme.

Training posts were advertised on NHS Jobs and we received upwards of 150 applications, of which 36 were interviewed, and 6 successfully recruited. From September 2022, the candidates have been employed by MFT on a 23-month fixed-term contract (75% of AfC Band 6) and will complete the PGCert in Echocardiography at Manchester Metropolitan University.

The successful candidates have embarked on a vocational training programme where a minimum of 75% of their time will be devoted to performing and reporting adult transthoracic echocardiograms. A lecture calendar has been devised which will cover the BSE syllabus in preparation for the BSE Adult TTE theory examination in March 2023. The lectures will be delivered by expert cardiac physiologists and consultants across MFT and follow a hybrid structure, with the online element being offered out to other Trusts in Greater Manchester in order that their trainees may also benefit.

The expected outcome of this programme is to successfully train a new cohort of echocardiographers, equipped to respond to challenges in all areas of care within the NHS and contribute to excellent service delivery within Greater Manchester and beyond.

Read the full article in ECHO 121