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Paediatric Emergency Medicine

A nurse taking an infant's temperature.Health Education England, Wessex is recognised by the Royal College of Emergency Medicine (RCEM) for sub-specialty training in Paediatric Emergency Medicine (PEM) and provides a well-respected training programme. 

Our PEM training posts provide a wealth of clinical experience in a variety of environments and aims to help you achieve all the competencies required from the RCEM's curriculum. 

Normally, two posts are available for 12 months, each providing excellent training. One programme is based entirely at University Hospital Southampton; the other is based for nine months at Queen Alexandra Hospital, Portsmouth and three months at University Hospital Southampton for PICU.

The post will consist of

  •  Three months within the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at University Hospital Southampton
  •  Three months of ward based general paediatrics
  •  Six months within the Paediatric Emergency Department.

The order of posts in the rotation will vary between trainees. The posts fully participate in a 24 hour week day and weekend rota within the departments.

Where we provide training

Queen Alexandra Hospital, Portsmouth, Emergency Department

QA is a large DGH on the South coast serving a mostly urban population with more rural areas to the north of the county. It is also the largest ministry of defence hospital unit (MDHU) in the country, with strong military links especially within the ED.

The ED also provides radio medical advice to British shipping vessels worldwide. The ED is the busiest within Wessex seeing over 110,000 patients per year, including over 22000 paediatric patients per year.

There is 24/7 middle grade presence supported by an enthusiastic and hands on consultant body and experienced nursing staff. The team includes two Consultants with sub specialty training in PEM, one Consultant Nurse with sub specialty training in PEM and 1.5 Consultant Paediatricians with special interest in PEM. All the12 ED consultants in the department have passionate enthusiasm and commitment to paediatric emergency medicine.

The hospital has recently undergone a major redevelopment, including the paediatric ED.  The paediatric ED is a purpose built area consisting of one HDU cubicle, five majors bays & one majors cubicle, four minors cubicles, a dedicated procedures room and an observed play area.

The paediatric Emergency Department sees a huge variety of conditions including medical, surgical and trauma in children aged between zero and 17 yrs. All acute inpatient specialities are onsite with ED access 24 hours, except for Neurosurgery (Southampton), tertiary burns (Salisbury) and paediatric general surgery for under five years of age (Southampton).

Currently all self presenting and most ambulance children attend the ED. Acute paediatrics from primary care are seen in the children’s assessment unit in the paediatric department. The trust is currently evaluating a single point of access for all children via the paediatric ED.  The paediatrics ED also manages patients with the ‘COAST’ ambulatory paediatrics service.


Queen Alexandra Hospital, Portsmouth, Paediatric Department

The general Paediatric is a dynamic and friendly department seeing 8500 acute medical children (referred from the ED and primary care) per year. The department has a dedicated children’s assessment unit and has 42 in patient beds.

There is a full and active outpatient department with clinics across all paediatric specialities.  The team includes 13 paediatric consultants with special interests in all aspects of paediatrics, managing patients from zero to 16. In addition, there is a tertiary neonatal unit whom also provide Wessex’s 24-hour neonatal retrieval service. QA is an important centre for many specialty training programmes within Wessex including recognised training programmes in general paediatrics and neonatology.


University Hospital Southampton Paediatric Intensive Care unit

UHS is a teaching hospital and is the lead centre for Paediatric Intensive Care in south central England with a catchment area that includes Hampshire, Wiltshire, Dorset, Surrey, Isle of Wight, and the Channel Islands. In addition, they accept referrals from further afield if no PICU bed is available in that region. 

This outstanding unit has 13 beds and treat over 900+ patients per year admitting children with both medical and surgical problems ranging in age from birth to 18 years. A number of sub-specialty services are available on the unit including cardiac, neuro, spinal and neonatal surgery as well as the full range of medical sub-specialties. The unit also provides a 24-hour retrieval service.

University Hospital Southampton Emergency Department

The Children’s Emergency Department (CED) at UHS sees in excess of 20 thousand attendances per annum. This is out of a total of around 100 thousand attendances for the ED as a whole. The CED consists of a six-bayed unit open 24/7.

Trainees are supported by four paediatric consultants, two with previous grid training, whose clinical time is devoted to the CED as well as three EM consultants with PEM training. In addition there are another 16 EM consultants, and an Associate Specialist, who cover this area when a PEM consultant is not on duty.

The CED is also supported by a number of CT3 and GPVTS and other trainee doctors. There is a children’s nurse present on each nursing shift in the CED.

UHS CED will provide a wide range of PEM presentations and the close consultant support and supervision will provide an excellent training and learning environment.

UHS is also the regional Major Trauma Centre (MTC) receiving approximately 700 cases per annum, of whom, 10% are children.

University Hospital Southampton General Paediatrics

This will be based around the Paediatric Assessment Unit (PAU) situated on the paediatric floor of the hospital. The PAU is supervised by paediatric consultants and sees in excess of six thousand children per annum, predominantly GP referrals but also from the CED. There will also be opportunities to attend general or specialist clinics whilst neonatal experience is available at the nearby Neonatal Unit on the Princess Anne Hospital site.

The breadth and volume of patients at both hospitals allows excellent clinical experience and will enable trainees to achieve all of the competencies for paediatric EM physicians. 

Trainees will enjoy working in a wide variety of environments during the year and will be able to focus their learning on specific areas of the curriculum as they rotate through the posts.

  • General Paediatrics ward based three months 
  • General medical and some aspects of surgery (ward rounds, Paediatric Assessment Unit (PAU)), OPD, case conferences, CAMHS assessments, NNU, labour, postnatal wards, radiology)
  • PICU Southampton three months
  • Acute life support, stabilisation and resuscitation, metabolic medicine, neurosurgery & spinal injuries, multiple trauma, some aspects of paediatric surgery
  • Paediatric Emergency Department six months, all aspects of curriculum (Paeds ED, ED review clinics).


Other opportunities for trainees

In additional to direct clinical PEM experience, you will also have opportunities to be involved in PEM and other management projects appropriate for a senior EM trainee in preparation for a future consultant post. You will be encouraged to attend the well-respected WREMTA training days.

What to do next

Applicants are welcomed from higher specialist trainees in Emergency Medicine from within Health Education England, Wessex and also from all other UK local offices. Wessex posts do not come with a national training number so applicants currently on a training programme must bring their NTN with them. Posts are advertised on the NHS jobs website, with interviews held locally within Wessex.

Further useful information

Royal College of Emergency Medicine Website

School Contacts

Job Title Name Contact Details

Lead Clinician

Dr Joanna Rowlinson

Telephone: 02392 286000 x 6367


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