Neurology - Mersey




Training Programme Director

Dr Michael Bonello -



Neurology training in the Mersey region is based at the Walton Centre, which is the only independent Clinical Neuroscience Trust in the UK. Our posts are all based at the Walton Centre for their duration but most of the rotating subspecialty postings involve one day a week attending DGH clinics under the supervision of consultant colleagues.


As well as General Neurology, the various posts provide experience of specialist practice in movement disorders, epilepsy, stroke, neuromuscular, neuroimmunology, acute neurology and neurodegenerative disease. There is also opportunity to gain experience in neurorehabilitation, neurosurgery, neurointensive care, neuropaediatrics, pain medicine, neuropsychology and neurophysiology.



All specialty registrars training from 4th August 2010 onwards follow the 5 year 2010 curriculum. The curriculum defines the competencies required for the award of a certificate of completion of training (CCT) in Neurology. Details of the curriculum can be found at:


The 2010 neurology curriculum provides a clear distinction between parts of the syllabus that have mandatory assessments and those that have recommended assessments. Trainees will be required to show evidence of satisfactory assessments from all mandatory parts of the syllabus for attainment of a CCT in neurology.



Trainees are responsible for ensuring that all workplace based assessments (WPBA) are recorded in their e-portfolio as per the curriculum requirements. Trainees should ensure there is evidence of appropriate meetings with their supervisor and evidence of reflective practice. Various elements within the e-portfolio can be linked with the curriculum to provide evidence that competencies are being gained. Trainees are advised to ensure they have completed their e-portfolios in accordance with the decision aid in the curriculum prior to their ARCP.


Educational supervisors

Each trainee is allocated an educational supervisor and supervision meetings are held regularly. They are an opportunity to complete e-portfolio documentation. Any concerns regarding your training should be discussed initially with your educational supervisor.


Regional training days

We run a successful programme of regional training days in the North West. These rotate through three neurosciences sites (Walton, Preston and Manchester) every month. A register of attendance at these training days will be collated for the STC Chair prior to the ARCP as suggested in the 2010 Curriculum.


Out of programme (OOP) experience/research

Trainees who have not undertaken neuroscience research previously are encouraged to arrange OOP research. This can be done locally at various universities in the North West or elsewhere within the UK. As indicated in the Gold Guide, time out of programme will not normally be agreed until a trainee has been in a training programme for at least one year.


Approval for out of programme experience will depend on various factors. Trainees planning to go out of programme are strongly advised to discuss their plans with their educational supervisor and the TPD as early as possible.



The GMC’s Good Medical Practice document indicates that as a doctor, you should be willing to contribute towards the teaching and training of other doctors and students. You will be involved in medical student teaching and may also be asked to be involved in MRCP PACES teaching. Trainees are encouraged to become actively involved in teaching and training.

All trainees at ST4/5 level are encouraged to complete Edge Hill University’s Postgraduate Certificate in Workplace Based Postgraduate Medical Education. Funding for Module 1 is currently provided by the North West Deanery. Further details are found at:


Audit and Quality Improvement

Audit meetings occur regularly at both centres. Trainees are encouraged to participate in local and national audits as well as help in developing Quality Improvement projects. A minimum of 2 audits must be completed during your training as per the ARCP decision aid.


Annual review of competence progression (ARCP)

Details of the current requirements for progression at the ARCP can be found in the Decision Aid on page 42 of the 2010 curriculum. Trainees should be aware that it is their responsibility to ensure that workplace-based assessments and their ePortfolio are complete well in advance of the ARCP.


Study Leave

Trainees wishing to attend conferences, courses or other educational activities can apply for study leave. Each trainee has an annual study leave budget. Any unused funding cannot be carried forward to subsequent years. Requests for study leave must be approved by your supervisor, rota coordinator and the training programme director. Details on how to apply for study leave can be found at:


Specialty Certificate Examination (SCE) in Neurology

All trainees are now expected to pass the SCE in neurology during the course of their training. The examination is based around the current neurology curriculum. Trainees should attempt the examination at an appropriate time in their training as indicated in the ARCP Decision Aid. Full details of the examination and application procedure are found on the Royal College of Physician’s website. Payment of fees for the examination is not provided by the deanery.