There are three main routes in which to train in paediatric neurodisability

  • Undertaking neurodisability grid training: this would tend to lead to a career as a Neurodisability Paediatrician.
  • Undertaking community child health grid training: neurodisability is one of the core skill areas of a consultant in community child health, along with safeguarding and health promotion responsibilities. It is possible to develop an interest in neurodisability, or areas within neurodisability, as a CCH trainee - see below for further information.
  • Undertaking general paediatric training and developing an interest in children with neurodisability and medical complexity through the neurodisability SPIN module: this would tend to lead to a career as a general paediatrician with special expertise in neurodisability.

Here is the typical training pathway:

GRID training in paediatric neurodisability

Currently, trainees complete 5 years of run through paediatric training (ST1-5) and then apply centrally for GRID training in paediatric neurodisability, which encompasses Level 3 Paediatric Training (ST6-8). Those successfully completing GRID training will receive a Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT) in paediatrics and a sub-specialty entry onto the GMC register in paediatric neurodisability.

Most trainees apply for grid at ST5 level (applications typically open in September) with a view to entering grid training at ST6 the following year. It is possible to have relevant neurodisability training prior to GRID entry approved and enter at a later stage in training, but trainees must be able to demonstrate that pre-grid training has been equivalent and formal CSAC approval is required - please see RCPCH website for further information.

Neurodisability training time is 36 months WTE. This usually consists of 24 months WTE neurodisability, which also includes approximately 3 months WTE of CAMHS, plus 12 months WTE of paediatric neurology. How these placements are run varies across the different deaneries. It is possible to competency progress if appropriate, with a minimum training time in total of 24 months WTE; this would need to be discussed at ARCP and progression evidenced.

If you are interested in applying to paediatric neurodisability grid training, please see the careers information sheets for medical students/foundation doctors and paediatric trainees ST1-5 for ideas of ways to get involved in neurodisability and practical ways to gain relevant experience at different stages of your training, prior to the GRID application process.

Developing neurodisability as a special interest as a GRID trainee in Community Child Health

Neurodisability is one of the core skill areas of a consultant in Community Child Health. As a Community Child Health trainee, you may choose to develop a special interest in neurodisability, or within an area of neurodisability. This is generally done informally, through exposure to local learning opportunities. While undertaking GRID training, it is not possible to undertake the SPIN module in neurodisability, although it is possible to undertake this SPIN module after completion of a GRID CCT.

The job description of a Consultant in Community Child Health with an interest in neurodisability will vary according to local set up, but may include:

  • Lead for CDC, ASD, ADHD or other neurodevelopmental conditions
  • Designated medical officer for SEND
  • Delivery of specialist services, such as a spasticity service
  • Delivery of neurodisability training/education
  • Engagement in neurodisability research

The above would be in addition to the other duties such as safeguarding work, the care of looked after children, management responsibilities, etc.

Further information about the responsibilities of a community child health paediatrician can be found in the Covering all Bases report (BACCH, RCPCH).

Developing an interest in neurodisability as a ST6-8 trainee in General Paediatrics – SPIN module in neurodisability

Level 3 general paediatric trainees are able to apply for a SPIN module in paediatric neurodisability. This is additional training and experience in neurodisability, in which a 12-18 month placement is completed. This would tend to lead to a career as a general paediatrician with a special expertise in neurodisability.

This SPIN module is currently being reviewed, to have a greater focus on medical complexity and managing children with complex needs; further information will be on the RCPCH website once this update is completed.
Other SPIN modules related to paediatric neurodisability include epilepsy, child mental health and palliative care. For further information, please click here.

Paediatric Neurodisability Diploma

This BACD endorsed Paediatric Disability Distance Learning Course includes twelve subject units, delivered in four clinical modules, covering the many aspects of paediatric disability. It complements the RCPCH Paediatric Neurodisability Level 3 training programme, as well as Level 3 Community Child Health training for those with a particular interest in neurodisability.

Research as part of paediatric neurodisability training

For those wishing to have a greater academic and research focus during training or gain experience of clinical research in paediatric neurodisability, please contact the BACD Strategic Research Group to discuss potential opportunities for this. 

British Academy of Childhood Disability is registered in England and Wales under charity number 1177868
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