Medical oncology



Curriculum - Medical oncology training (2017)

Curriculum - Medical oncology training (2021)

JRCPTB Specialty Overview and Recruitment -

Standard operative procedure for allocation of placements



Training Program Director

Dr Joanne Cliff


The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre
CH63 4JY

Tel: 0151 556 5000


General description of the rotation

The Specialty Training Scheme in Medical Oncology is based in Clatterbridge Cancer Centre, which is one of the largest networked cancer centres in the UK. Clatterbridge provides non-surgical cancer treatment for the populations of Merseyside and North Cheshire. Postgraduate doctor/s in training rotate at six monthly intervals through disease specific groups. Doctor/s are based in the cancer centre but also attend clinics and multidisciplinary team meetings in cancer units in University and District Hospitals in the Merseyside and North Cheshire Cancer Network.


Educational Opportunities

On the Mersey rotation, doctor/s have a half day per week protected time for education, during which a structured program (organised by the TPD in collaboration with doctor/s) is delivered. This includes:

  • Introduction to Oncology course – first month of training
  • Weekly lecture/workshop delivered by an internal or external speaker. This covers the clinical and non-clinical aspects of the curriculum in a two year rolling program
  • Bi-weekly Journal club – organised by doctor/s with consultants attending to facilitate discussion.


Doctor/s currently also receive training in Cancer Pharmacology, Cancer Cell and Molecular Biology , Genetics and Research Methods/Statistics by distance learning.


Research and Audit

Consultants (both academic and NHS) are active in recruiting patients to clinical trials. Doctor/s will have the opportunity to see patients treated on a wide range of research protocols and gain experience in clinical research. In addition, there is an Academic Oncology Unit based between the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre and the University of Liverpool with funded research fellowships. The majority of doctor/s develop research projects leading to time out of program working towards a higher degree.


Clatterbridge has an active audit department and doctor/s are supported in completing 1-2 audits per year. Doctor/s regularly present the results of audits at local and regional meetings and are encouraged to submit for presentation at national and internal meetings.



Medical oncology doctor/s help organise teaching sessions for medical students, foundation, GP and CMT doctor/s in Clatterbridge Cancer Centre. In addition, doctor/s organise oncology teaching sessions for Foundation trainees throughout the region.




North Western

Training Programme Director

Dr Laura Horsley


Dr Laura Cove-Smith


The Christie Hospital
550 Wilmslow Road
M20 4BX


General Description of the Rotation

The main site for the Medical Oncology training programme in the NorthWestern Deanery is The Christie Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester: the largest stand-alone cancer centre in Europe, with an international reputation for its cancer care. Rotations are undertaken across Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Cheshire and Cumbria at The Christie Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, The Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust or University Hospitals of Morcombe Bay NHS Foundation Trust. Rotations at the Christie Hospital are within consultant teams based at the main hospital site focused on specific disease groups but also undertaking outreach clinics and acute oncology sessions at hospitals within Greater Manchester and Cheshire. During their time in The Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust or University Hospitals of Morcombe Bay NHS Foundation Trust  postgraduate doctor/s in training (currently a period of 8months, usually undertaken in the ST3 year) doctor/s will typically work across multiple disease groups and have the opportunity, to work closely with clinical oncology colleagues and develop skills in acute oncology.

In recent years a small number of expansion posts have been created with the NorthWestern Deanery which are predominantly based at The Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation and the University Hospitals of Morcombe Bay NHS Foundation Trust. Doctor/s allocated these posts will spend 3 years on rotations between The Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust  and University Hospitals of Morcombe Bay NHS Foundation Trust and 12months of their training programme at The Christie Hospital.

Allocation to either - The Christie Hospital NHS Foundation Trust-based or The Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust/ University Hospitals of Morcombe Bay NHS Foundation Trust based posts will be based on ranking from national recruitment, with highest ranking applicants being offered choice of posts after formal acceptance of the training number.


Educational Opportunities

The North West rotation has a structured educational programme (mandatory) as well as offering a unique educational opportunity as part of the service.

The Structured educational programme, which all doctor/s are mandated to attend, involves:

  • Biological Basis of Cancer Course (to be completed in the 1st/ 2nd year of training).
  • Biological Basis of Cancer Course Statistics Course (to be completed in the 1st/ 2ndyear of training).
  • Journal Club (once weekly).
  • Regional teaching (bi- monthly) (Jointly with Clinical oncology and Mersey Deanery)
  • Self learning/ development half days (once weekly) – productivity from this session is measured in the Research/education departmental (with consultants and other team members) half days (6 monthly).


Research Opportunities

The Christie Hospital sits next door to and works closely with the CRUK Manchester Institute and the Manchester Cancer Research Centre (linked to Manchester University). There are several active research groups with regular opportunities to undertake laboratory and translational research projects as MD or PhD. Opportunities to undertake periods of clinical research are also available particularly within the ECMC early phase clinical trials unit. The Majority of the Northwest doctor/s do their PhDs through these programmes.

Within the rotation, there are many opportunities to undertake research projects which the doctor/s can utilise to optimise their academic interests.

The Programme also recruits NIHR ACFs and ACLs for those doctor/s wanting to become clinical scientists.  The doctor/s are supported by Academic supervisors.



In all three sites, the Medical Oncology Departments are very audit active and supported by large audit teams. It is expected that each doctor/s should do 1-2 audits through the designated audit teams per year.



The doctor/s work closely with the Christie School of Oncology in promoting and contributing to the education of other groups of health care professionals. There is an active/busy through put of medical students through all three sites. Doctor/s are expected to contribute to their teaching at a local and regional level. It is also expected that each doctor/s has had an opportunity to present research or other projects at regional/ national/ international level at least once in their training career.


Medical Oncology