West Midlands Surgical Training Centre


 Manchester Emergency Surgical Skills Course

We offer this excellent ‘hands on’ course at the state of the art
Manchester Surgical Skills and Simulation Centre

Please note: This course is only suitable for practitioners who would be expected to perform these emergency procedures in their current practice.

We will refuse candidates who are not eligible.

If you are uncertain regarding eligibility, please use the contact page.

Course Introduction

This one day course provides candidates with the knowledge and practical experience (using human cadavers) to perform emergency surgical procedures in the emergency department or pre-hospital setting. The course covers the emergency surgical skills of surgical cricothyroidotomy; lateral canthotomy; open and tube thoracostomy; emergency thoracotomy and humeral intra-osseous vascular access.

The course has been awarded 6 CPD points from the Royal College of Emergency Medicine.

Introduction: As an EM or PHEM doctor how do you train for urgent life-threatening interventions that cannot wait for specialised help but are rarely encountered in your supervised training? This is a problem highlighted by the College of Emergency Medicine.

Emergency surgical skills are listed on the curriculum but are very difficult to obtain competence and confidence in before, or even after, your CCT. This course provides the knowledge and surgical skills to perform life-saving procedures in the emergency department or pre-hospital setting. The course is instructed by doctors with comprehensive experience of performing these procedures with the basic equipment, surgical skills and minimal assistance that you are likely to find in your clinical practice. By the end of the course the candidate should have the appropriate experience and confidence to perform challenging procedures for the correct indication without hesitation.

What the course involves:

This is a one day course which covers the emergency surgical skills of surgical cricothyroidotomy; lateral canthotomy; open and tube thoracostomy; emergency thoracotomy and intra-osseous vascular access.
For each procedure the relevant anatomy will be presented by a Professor of Anatomy using human surface anatomy and cadaveric specimens.

The theory including the indications, complications, post-procedural care and tips for trouble-shooting will be covered in lecture format. There will then be a demonstration in real time followed by practical experience using whole human cadaveric specimens, under instructor supervision. Finally real cases will be discussed to put the theory and practical difficulties into context.

Suitable for: doctors in Emergency Medicine or Pre-hospital Emergency Medicine at ST3 level and above (or equivalent) including Consultants.

There are a limited number of places for Emergency Department nurses and Paramedics who will have the opportunity to observe the full course and assist the medical teams as if in a real life situation. These places have less hands-on experience but candidates will have the opportunity to perform autonomous surgical cricothyroidotomy, thoracostomy and EZ-IO humeral access.

Help and Guidance

The MESS course is aimed at doctors working in Emergency Medicine at ST3 or above level, and including Consultants. The training is also applicable to pre-hospital practitioners. If you are a pre-hospital doctor or paramedic you may also wish to take a look at the PHEM ESS course which is designed specifically for the pre-hospital setting.

If you are outside of this criteria but you think the course is appropriate for you to attend please enquire via our CONTACT US page. We may ask for an email from your line manager or Educational Supervisor confirming that the course is appropriate for you to attend.

What happens if book onto course and I am told that I am unsuitable?

It is your responsibility to ensure you fall within the relevant course. If your experience is below the required level we reserve the right to withdraw you from the course without compensation.

Certificates are issued approximately 2 weeks (often sooner) after your course via PDF.

This allows you time to complete the online evaluation; which closes after 1 week of your course.

Certificates of attendance will not be issued after this time.

Certificates are not provided to course observers or to delegates who have not completed the course.

Have you changed email? Has the centre got your correct contact details?

If you did not complete online feedback within 1 week of the course (and thus did not trigger the certificate process) you will not receive a certificate.

Unfortunately if more than 1 week has elapsed and you have not submitted feedback, duplicates will not be available.

If within this time frame please request a duplicate via our contact us page.

After any course you should complete feedback, your evaluation as a participant is an essential course requirement, enabling us to maintain the quality of courses we offer and help to improve future sessions

All feedback is conducted anonymously; names are only used to validate the responses

You should complete online feedback as soon as possible after your course and within 1 week of the end of the course when the online feedback will close.

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Using our secure online booking system


On behalf of the Manchester Emergency Surgical Skills team, we wish to extend our thanks for your commitment to making our educational event so successful.

Your generous contribution to our training events, be it financial or with equipment contribution has helped ensure our vision for world class training has become a reality.

Course Details

Cost: £600.00 for Doctors &
£250.00 for Nurses/Paramedics
Duration: One Day
Course Lead: Dr Caroline Leech
Location: Manchester Surgical Skills and Simulation Centre
The University of Manchester,
Stopford Building, Oxford Road,
Manchester, Greater Manchester,
M13 9PT

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Meet The Faculty

West Midlands Surgical Training Centre

Dr Caroline Leech

Caroline is a Consultant in Emergency Medicine at UHCW in Coventry. She founded this course in 2009 after identifying that it was very difficult for her colleagues to train for procedures rarely encountered in clinical practice. Her emergency surgical skills experience comes from working in many emergency departments as well pre-hospital work with the Warwickshire & Northamptonshire Air Ambulance and London HEMS. Caroline is currently the West Midlands Training Programme Director for Pre Hospital Emergency Medicine and the Regional Examinations Advisor for the Diploma of Immediate Care examination.