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Neurosurgery (2015)

Overview and objectives of the Neurosurgery curriculum

Neurosurgery encompasses the diagnosis, assessment and surgical management of disorders of the nervous system. The specialty developed in the first half of the twentieth century through the treatment of cranial trauma and intracranial mass lesions. Subsequent advances in microsurgical techniques, non-invasive imaging, neuro-anaesthesia, intensive care, image-guided surgery, and the introduction of sophisticated radio-oncological and interventional treatments have changed and widened the scope of neurosurgical practice. The British Neurosurgical Training Programme reflects developments taking place in the clinical neurosciences and the requirements of service delivery.

Neurosurgery Diagram

Neurosurgical Services

Neurosurgical services in the United Kingdom are provided from regional neuroscience centres serving populations of between 1 and 3.5 million. Most regional centres offer a comprehensive range of adult services. Rare and complex disorders are managed at a supra-regional level in units with specialist expertise.

Consultant Neurosurgical Practice

Newly appointed NHS consultants must be competent to manage unselected emergency and urgent admissions to a regional neurosurgical unit. They will be capable of taking full responsibility for the continuing care of patients in a neurosurgical unit. In particular they will be proficient in all aspects of the clinical and emergency operative management of patients presenting with the essential neurosurgical conditions.

They will have acquired the skills, knowledge and professional attributes to participate in the provision of specialist elective services with appropriate support and mentoring. They will have demonstrated the potential to lead a clinical team and to undertake increasingly advanced practice with post-CCT professional development in one or more of the special interest areas of neurosurgery. The major areas of special interest practice in neurosurgery are:

  • Paediatric Neurosurgery
  • Neuro-oncology
  • Functional Neurosurgery
  • Neurovascular Surgery
  • Skull Base Surgery
  • Spinal Surgery
  • Traumatology