Development of hyperbaric, diving and tunnelling medicine diplomas under the aegis of FOM

Author: Nicholas Cooper

Key points in diving and hyperbaric medicine encountered during my 2014 Winston Churchill Memorial Travelling Fellowship are described. Tensions between hyperbaric service providers and their sources of finance (especially governmental) were noted ; likewise in the Australian Federal Government’s favouring less detailed international medical standards (ISO) for divers over the current Australian AS standards . The availability of training and educational resources the Southern Hemisphere was the reason for going there. Problems of distance between patient and treatment location were examined, as was New Zealand’s reduction in diving casualties through proaction and prevention. The University of Stellenbosch’s primacy in web-based courses on diving and hyperbaric medicine has led to their sponsorship by the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS) for medical practitioners requiring a Certificate of Added Qualification (CAQ), and also Stellenbosch hyperbaric materials for hyperbaric nurse and hyperbaric technician training. All of these will contribute to training and examination standards for specialist Diplomas in Diving, Hyperbaric and Tunnelling Medicine of the UK Faculty of Occupational Medicine (FOM), whose holders will intend to register with the General Medical Council in the sub-specialty concerned. Ways and means are shown towards core and specific Diploma syllabi, plus an outline of means of assessment.