Programme Overview


The post aims to deliver the highest quality of training in Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics (CPT), across the core CPT modules and all 4 of the advanced CPT modules in parallel with excellent training in general internal medicine (GIM). As CPT training may lead to a variety of consultant positions, so training is tailored to the requirements of the individual trainee in conjunction with your Educational Supervisors (ES) and Training Programme Director (TPD). By the end of the training programme trainees should have an in-depth knowledge across a range of pharmacological subjects, have developed a broad range of skills and be able to employ them to address healthcare problems and be highly employable.

Areas of particular interest include;

Clinical Toxicology: The toxicology team are responsible for the care of adult patients admitted to the Royal Victoria Infirmary with drug overdose or poisoning. The Royal Victoria Infirmary also hosts the Newcastle Unit of the National Poisons Information Service (NPIS) commissioned by Public Health England on behalf of UK Health Departments, one of 4 such units providing advanced toxicology advice to healthcare workers in across the UK, 24 hours a day, 365 days per year. The unit Director is Professor Simon Thomas and other consultants include Dr Ruben Thanacoody and Dr Simon Hill. NPIS activity is a rich source of data for research purposes and trainees are encouraged to develop skills in dealing with large data sets to understand and address healthcare issues. For example Newcastle leads on understanding the harms associated with recreational drug use, including Novel Psychoactive Substances.

Teratology: The RVI hosts the UK Teratology Information Service (UKTIS), commissioned by Public Health England on behalf of UK Health Departments, who provide a national service on all aspects of the toxicity of drugs and chemicals in pregnancy. A key role of UKTIS is to collect pregnancy outcome data from women who have been exposed to drugs and chemicals in pregnancy.  This surveillance provides prospective data on the incidence of fetal complications.

Prescribing: The RVI hosts the Northern and Yorkshire Regional Drug & Therapeutics Centre (RDTC). In the ever changing environment of the modern NHS, provision of high quality information and expert advice is key to the commissioning and delivery of safe, clinically excellent and cost effective healthcare. The work includes prescribing support, medicines information services and yellow card monitoring of adverse drug effects. In addition Clinical Pharmacologists are involved in the Trust’s formulary sub-committee and the Area Prescribing Committee, in NICE technical appraisals and in National Pharmacovigilance.

Stroke Medicine: The RVI has an Acute Stroke Unit staffed by a multi-disciplinary team of experts in the field of stroke medicine who provide dedicated and specialist stroke care,  offering rapid and early diagnosis following a suspected stroke using advanced, modern technology including CT scanners and commencing the right treatment as quickly as possible to help rapid recovery. Stroke medicine specialist training can be undertaken through competitive application to a 1 year training programme.

Hypertension: The Clinical Pharmacology team run a weekly specialist hypertension clinic, looking particularly to identify and manage secondary causes of hypertension or that which is difficult to control. Professor Simon Thomas and Dr Sandy Dyker provide this service for the Trust.

Clinical and basic science research: Research is an integral part of clinical pharmacology training and there is plenty of time allocated for research activity. Specialty trainees are encouraged to develop an appropriate research interest consistent with the research interests of the unit. The clinical pharmacology team is based within the Medical Toxicology Centre. This is a NHS trust and Newcastle University shared space where clinically meaningful cutting edge research can occur. We are currently designated as an NIHR Health Protection Research Unit (for chemical and radiation threats and hazards), a centre of excellence in multidisciplinary health protection research in conjunction with Public Health England. Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics is located within the Institute of Cellular Medicine at Newcastle University aiming to deliver advances in the understanding of human disease and to translate that knowledge to improved diagnostics and therapeutics for patient benefit. Trainees are encouraged to apply for funding to allow them to spend some time out of training to complete a higher degree such as an MD or PhD. The research interests of the Unit include:

1.         Pharmacoepidemiology (including pharmacovigilance)

2.         Cerebrovascular pharmacology

3.         Cardiovascular pharmacology (including hypertension)

4.         Pharmacogenetics

5.         Clinical Pharmacology in the elderly

6.         Clinical Toxicology (including Teratology)

7.         Novel Psychoactive substances

Clinical education: Within the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS foundation Trust, Newcastle University and NPIS the Clinical Pharmacology team are actively involved in the delivery of education to a wide range of learners, in both the undergraduate and postgraduate stages. A significant number of our trainees have undertaken postgraduate training in clinical education within the period of their programme.

Programme Information

This is a five year training programme in Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics with General Internal Medicine. It is delivered in parallel such that in any of the 5 years half of the time will be devoted to GIM and half to CPT. In a typical year therefore a trainee can expect;

  • 250 working days (minus bank holidays and weekends)
  • Up to 34 days annual leave
  • Up to 30 days study leave
  • 40 days/nights on call for medicine
  • 80 days on ward 30 (50% CPT: 50% GIM)
  • 66 days CPT only

Training Structure

1* General medicine on call Ward 30 CPT Core Module
2* General medicine on call Ward 30 CPT Core Module
3 General medicine on call Ward 30 CPT Core Module
4 General medicine on call Ward 30 CPT Advanced Module
5 General medicine on call Ward 30 CPT Advanced Module
50% GIM  50% CPT


* Year 1 or 2 includes an attachment to a district general hospital for GIM training

Progression through training

Progression to the next year of training will always be dependent on a successful ARCP outcome. It is expected that specialty trainees will gather sufficient evidence & maintain an up to date eportfolio throughout the duration of their training.

Dual accreditation with General Internal Medicine (GIM)

This programme offers dual accreditation with General Internal Medicine (GIM). All trainees will be recruited onto the dual accrediting programme.  

Information for Current Trainees

Access essential information on regulations, study leave, certification, assessment and the curriculum.

Information for trainers and educators

Development and guidance on becoming a trainer, standards for trainers, essential documentation for clinical and educational supervision including guidance for GP trainers,  Trust and out-of-hours supervisors, plus news about the latest courses and conferences.


Potential Applicant

Visit our Recruitment website to find out what it's like to be a GP trainee in the north east and north Cumbria.