The launch of the first RCSEng Accredited Centre in Northern Ireland


Prestigious accolade means local surgical trainees and consultants can now be educated at home without having to incur the cost of travelling outside NI.

We, Kingsbridge Training Academy, have been recognised as the first centre of excellence in surgery-related educational provision in Northern Ireland by the Royal College of Surgeons of England (RCSEng).

This endorsement will enhance our ability to meet the growing demand from surgeons across the UK and Ireland, for a full suite of worldclass healthcare training.

Initially established in 2009, the Training Academy was developed to provide courses to healthcare professionals locally, enabling them to develop within their career and minimise the time they need away from their clinical work.

Sarah Jane Hilland, General Manager of KTA explains,” This unique accreditation from RCS means that Kingsbridge Training Academy can now jointly maximise our educational partnership in a way that will benefit healthcare professionals, especially local surgical trainees, and consultants, who currently have added expenses by travelling to different geographic locations.

“As part of our continuous development programme over the next 3 years we will be providing a full range of surgical and ‘softer skills’ training courses which are currently being offered by RCS of England using seminars and webinars related to topics that will support local professionals throughout their surgical career, allowing them to continue their progression much more efficiently.

“As a well-established training provider, Kingsbridge Training Academy, has a proven track record in course delivery and management. From mandatory skills training like to professional development courses, their education team uses a multifaceted approach with an emphasis on maximizing the transference of knowledge and learned skills back into the workplace”, said Sarah Jane.

“Our commitment to providing high quality courses delivered by experienced professionals with a longstanding interest and commitment to training and education, means that all members of our faculty are deemed highly competent by their peers and have the unique quality of developing and implementing clinical and training initiatives,” says Fiona Dowds, Head of Kingsbridge Training Academy.

Mr Chris Hoo, Consultant Oncoplastic Breast Surgeon, has been actively involved in the Training Academy since its establishment nearly 15 years ago both as a trainee himself and now as a highly respected Consultant who is a clinical trainer for KTA.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to build upon the excellent portfolio of training courses we have been developing over the years. To achieve this status within the field of surgical training is not only great news for those availing of the courses provided, but for those delivering them. A true partnership with the Royal College of Surgeons of England will advance everyone’s knowledge and ultimately deliver worldclass mentoring and teaching from our Belfast hub.”

According to Professor Mark Taylor, current Director for RCS in Northern Ireland, securing this accreditation is a real coup, and testament to the commitment and professionalism shown by both the management team at Kingsbridge Training Academy (KTA) and the practitioners who deliver the courses.

“I remember fondly when I was involved myself at the start, in helping the team back then to get the Training Academy established.  I haven’t been directly involved for many years, but I am very proud to see how far they have come, and I am delighted that the leap of faith taken to set up KTA has been recognised and rewarded.

“For well over a decade we have seen many great achievements, with the team working extremely hard to pass the accreditation standards, but this announcement elevates them to another level in terms of the range and quality of training it can provide for an increasing number of practitioners throughout Ireland and the UK. 

“I would like to congratulate the entire team on their achievements in making Kingsbridge Training Academy the base for all College related courses and look forward to seeing many more positive developments over the coming months and years.” he says.

We are delighted to continue to offer essential surgical training to local trainees under the college accreditation.

Stress Awareness Month 2023

In April, each year, we observe Stress Awareness Month, which aims to draw attention to the impact of stress on our physical and mental health. It also provides us with the opportunity to dedicate time to breakdown the stigma around mental health by encouraging conversation about our emotional state with friends, families, colleagues, and professionals.

Stress can be closely associated to mental illnesses, such as anxiety and depression, however it is rarely tied closely with physical health. Unfortunately, we cannot be fully healthy without the consideration of both, as a stressed mental state can lead to numerous health problems such as heart disease, insomnia, digestive issues, immune system challenges and more.

The Impact of Stress

When pressures or threats arise, stress hormones, such as adrenaline, noradrenaline and cortisol, are released in the body, and a “fight or flight” response is initiated. This causes:

  • Increased blood pressure
  • Increased heart rate
  • Headaches
  • Muscle tension
  • Nausea
  • Indigestion
  • Dizziness
  • Sleeping problems
  • Sweating
  • Changes in appetite

Once the pressure or threat has passed, stress hormone levels usually return to normal. However, if constantly under stress, these hormones remain in the body, and, overtime, build-up, causing damage to health through long-term illness. A study in 1998, led by Dr. Lipton at Stanford University Medical School, concluded that stress is a cause of at least 95% of all illness and disease. Related physical conditions include:

  • Obesity
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Heart disease
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Tension headaches
  • Diabetes
  • Depression

Ways to Manage Stress

  • Exercise – Aim to work out around 2.5 hours a week to relax your body and mind, and improve your mood.
  • Relax – Release the tension in your muscles through stretching, taking hot baths or showers, and getting 8+ hours sleep.
  • Healthy Eating – Eat a regular, well-rounded diet to fuel your body, balance hormones, and improve mood and energy levels.
  • Take Your Time – Rushing through life can cause undue stress. Accept that you are going to finish a task in your own time and stop trying to constantly move at high speed. A simple example of this is to move into the slow lane when driving.
  • Make Time for Hobbies – Turning your attention to something you enjoy and partaking in an enriching activity can reset your body and mind.
  • Open Up to Others – A problem shared is a problem halved. Even if does not help with your mental load, talking about your stress can open streams of support and guidance.

The Stress Management Society – Recommendations for this month

  • Share your coping mechanisms – if something has worked for you why not share it. It might benefit someone you care about and in the meantime, it might help you take your focus off your own challenges.
  • Be nice to those who are stressed and anxious – we are all undoubtedly going to experience stress and anxiety in our lifetime so treat others going through it with compassion and empathy.
  • Talk about Stress and it’s effects – lets work together to reduce the stigma that is associated with stress by talking about the topic openly and freely with friends, family and colleagues.
  • Look after yourself – we all need to think more about self–care. Take time out of your day to relax or do something that you enjoy. Don’t forget to exercise and eat well, even when you feel too stressed.

The most crucial thing you can do when you are stressed or anxious is to make sure you are continuing to look after yourself. Make time to relax when you need to and learn to say no to requests that are too much for you.

Because Life Matters.

Written by:

Geana Convery

Marketing and Development Officer

World Suicide Prevention Day 2022

From 2003, the world has observed Suicide Prevention Awareness on the 10th September each year. On this date, organisations, governments, charities and the public come together with the goal to reduce instances of suicide by shining a spotlight on preventative measures, reducing stigma and raising awareness.

Why is it important?

World Suicide Prevention Day is an opportunity to start the conversation surrounding suicide rates, and how to combat these. Suicidal behaviour profoundly impacts families and communities and remains a universal challenge with millions impacted. The reduction of suicide mortality is of global importance and concern, with someone taking their own life every 40 seconds, making suicide a serious public health issue in every country.

Prevention Methods

Creating Hope Through Action

The International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) have adopted the theme of Creating Hope Through Action for 2021-2023.

IASP President Professor Rory O’Connor says; “As we continue to work on our vision of a world where fewer people lose their lives to suicide, we believe “Creating Hope Through Action” is an optimistic message that aims to inspire confidence in people to engage with this complex subject.”

“Creating Hope Through Action” signifies the resolve to impart a new sense of purpose – empowering and equipping people with the skills and confidence to connect with someone they think may be struggling.” Taking time to reach out to someone in your community – a family member, friend, colleague or even a stranger – could change the course of another’s life.

Education and Training

Gaining a deeper understanding on how to appropriately and effectively help those struggling with suicidal thoughts by learning how to handle such situations with care, compassion and dignity is essential when dealing with such delicate matters.

Learn how to do so with our Mental Health First Aid training courses.

These are suitable for anyone who would like to become a Mental Health First Aider, but particularly those who work and manage with a large number of people.

FAA Level 2 Award in First Aid for Mental Health (RQF)

This 6-hour qualification provides learners with the knowledge to recognise a range of mental health conditions.

FAA Level 3 Award in Supervising First Aid for Mental Health (RQF)

This 12-Hour Qualification equips attendees with the skills and knowledge of how to support those struggling with Mental Health conditions such as Stress, Anxiety and Depression in the workplace.

Talk to a Professional

If you ever need help with your own mental health, please reach out by booking an appointment in our Mental Health Clinic.

Other resources that can help you in your time of need include:

Because Life Matters.

Written by:

Geana Convery

Marketing and Development Officer

A Student’s Journey to Study Medicine

Medical school heads say this is the hardest year “in living memory” for A-level students to get a place to study medicine, with several thousand high-achieving applicants left without a place. UCAS, says fewer than 16% of applications to study medicine and dentistry resulted in an offer this year – down from 20.4% in 2021 (The Guardian, 2022). Therefore, it more important than ever to effectively prepare for each and every aspect of the University Application Process. See our advice on how to boost your chances of receiving an offer to study medicine.


What is the UCAT?

The University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT) is a two hour admissions test, used by a consortium of UK Universities and non-UK associate member universities to help select applicants for their medical and dental degree programmes. It is a computer-based test delivered in Pearson VUE test centres throughout the UK and worldwide (UCAT, 2022).

The UCAT helps medical schools assess a student’s aptitude for medicine. Results can be used to:

  • Decide whether to invite a student to interview
  • Inform whether an offer should be made
  • Decide between two equally ranked applicants

The test is made up of 5 subsets of which include 225 questions in total. There is no negative marking, the raw mark that is awarded is scaled and then ranked.

In 2018, 27,466 candidates registered to complete the exam, whereas there were 37,230 in 2021. This is a sharp increase of 35% in just three years, meaning that competition is higher and ranking in a high percentile is more difficult.

Generally speaking, placing in the 70th-80th percentile is sufficient for entry into medicine, however, do not panic if you have a lower score. Universities view the UCAT differently, with some universities weighting UCAT scores alongside other elements of your application, such as academic record, meaning that you may still be invited to an interview. As you will receive your UCAT score prior to submitting your UCAS application, make sure that you are making the correct choices by researching how each University makes admission decisions and understanding their selection process. This can be found by visiting their website, or contacting them directly. This is essential to ensure that your choices don’t go to waste.

How to Book

24 May (9.30am BST)Registration and Bursary/Access Arrangement applications open
20 June (6am BST)Booking opens
11 JulyTesting starts
20 September (12 noon BST)Access Arrangement application deadline
22 September (12 noon BST)Booking deadline
29 SeptemberLast test day
30 September (4pm BST)Bursary Scheme application deadline
15 OctoberUCAS deadline
Early NovemberResults delivered to universities

Visit the UCAT website to book your exam. Exams will be held between 11 July and 29 September 2022.

It is your responsibility to ensure your booking is made successfully in advance of the booking deadline of 22 September 2022 (12 noon BST).

How to Prepare

Firstly, understand the exam, what it entails and timings. The test is made up of several multiple choice subtests including verbal reasoning, decision-making, quantitative reasoning, abstract reasoning and situational judgement that must be completed within 2 hours. See UCAT’s advice surrounding subtest timings below:

Verbal Reasoning
Assesses your ability to critically evaluate information presented in a written form.
4421 minutes
Decision Making
Assesses your ability to make sound decisions and judgements using complex information.
2931 minutes
Quantitative Reasoning
Assesses your ability to critically evaluate information presented in a numerical form.
3625 minutes
Abstract Reasoning
Assesses your use of convergent and divergent thinking to infer relationships from information.
5012 minutes
Situational Judgement
Measures your capacity to understand real world situations and to identify critical factors and appropriate behaviour in dealing with them.
6626 minutes

Practice. Practice. Practice.

To best prepare for exam, complete past exam questions from each section of the test under exam conditions. Statistics indicate that successful candidates spend around 21 to 30 hours preparing for the test.

If you would like to gain more support, learn proven test strategies, learn how to approach exam questions, and complete mock questions, book to attend our UCAT Preparation Course!

What Kingsbridge Training Academy have to offer – University Application Preparation Courses

Personal Statement

What is a Personal Statement?

UCAS defines a Personal Statement as a document that supports your application to study at a university or college. It’s a chance for you to articulate why you’d like to study a particular course or subject, and what skills and experience you possess that show your passion for your chosen field (UCAS, 2022).

Why is it important?

Personal Statements are extremely important, especially for clinical professions such as Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary Science, Nursing and Midwifery. There are vital in the aim to distinguish yourself from the crowd and establish your application as a suitable candidate for your chosen course. It is your chance to show your genuine interest for the profession, backed by proof that you would be a suitable applicant, and can be the difference between being offered an interview or not. See the Medical School’s Council Infosheet for more information.

Attend our Personal Statement Workshop to gain the skills, knowledge and confidence required to write a strong and relevant personal statement and focus on identifying strengths and achievements and using an appropriate structure.

Your University Interview

UK Medical Schools use interviews as a way to assess applicants suitability to Medicine as a profession. This involves the analysis of the following personal attributes, skills and background:

  • Communication
  • Attitude
  • Motivation
  • Experience
  • Genuine Interest

Traditionally, interviews are conducted in a Multi Mini Interview (MMI) or Panel format on university grounds. However, from the Covid-19 pandemic, interviews have been moved online, although they entail the same format and assessment in order to decipher candidate aptitude.

Interviews can be intimidating, but remember, you have been selected (which is a huge achievement in itself) and you deserve the opportunity – so be confident and shine! It is often difficult to get into the swing of talking about yourself, your personality, your experience and why you are suitable for a career in medicine. We recommend that you start early with your preparation, taking time to practice answering questions in front of a family member, friend, your phone, or even a mirror!

Brush up on you personal statement, recent medical news and articles, and the School’s medical course, including what it will involve, the practical and theoretical learning. This will equip you for any questions that may be asked in the interview.

As it is your opportunity, grab it with both hands, take time to answer questions to the best of your ability, show your enthusiasm for studying medicine, and do not to be shy about your achievements.

If you would like help structuring your answers, delivering strong responses with technique, showcasing your skills and experience, displaying the correct body language, using interview strategies for lateral thinking questions, and gaining awareness of the latest news, the NHS and ethics, then come to our Interview Skills Preparation Course.

This unique opportunity allows students to gain the knowledge, experience and confidence needed to excel in your University interview. Attendees will first listen to several talks about each aspect of the interview before having the chance to answer MMI questions with expert faculty, who will provide them with immediate feedback on how to improve their answers.

For more practice, we also offer 1:1 mock interviews in which an expert in the field will conduct a full interview with you, and will provide constructive feedback throughout the session in order to improve your answers, technique, confidence and delivery. If this is something that interests you, please contact us.

Boost your chances of receiving an offer with our Application and Interview Skills Preparation Package!

Save £60 by purchasing our Application and Interview Skills Preparation Package and attend all three of our preparation courses for Students applying to Medicine – UCAT Preparation Course, Personal Statement Workshop, and Interview Skills Preparation.

National Heart Month 2022

The British Heart Foundation established February as UK Heart Month, and campaign each year to encourage cardiovascular health.

The heart is the body’s engine room, responsible for pumping life-sustaining blood through a network of 60,000 miles worth of vessels. The organ works ceaselessly, beating 100,000 times a day, 40 million times a year—in total clocking up three billion heartbeats over an average lifetime.

Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death globally, taking an estimated 17.9 million lives each year. This is approximately one in the three deaths.

Currently, heart health has never been more important as people with poor cardiovascular health are at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19. This is why we must take the appropriate measures to look after our body.

Heart Health

  • Reduce salt intake to <5 grams a day.
  • Part take in regular physical activity. It is best to start with small, realistic goals and work your way up to the recommended 30-60 minutes of exercise a day. Some simple changes, such as taking the stairs, walking the kids to school or taking the dog for a walk are all cardiovascular exercises that strength heart health.
  • The UK Chief Medical Officers’ Physical Activity Guidelines report recommends breaking up long periods of sitting time with activity for just 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Regularly check blood pressure and treat high blood pressure.
  • Reduce the amount of saturated fat and fast food in your diet. Green leafy vegetables, wholegrains, berries, avocados, fish, walnuts and beans are all particularly good cardiovascular health.
  • Reduce and manage stress by practicing self care rituals, reduce caffeine intake, practice mindfulness, take breaks, implement relaxation techniques into your daily routine and get fresh air.
  • Manage your weight. Being overweight can lead to fatty material building up in your arteries. If the arteries that carry blood to your heart get damaged and clogged, it can lead to a heart attack.
  • Give up smoking. The heart is attacked in many ways when smoking. The carbon monoxide enter your lungs and bloodstream, taking oxygen from your red blood cells, so less of it gets to your organs and tissues. The artery walls hard and stiff, which can put you on the path to a heart attack. Nicotine narrows the blood vessels and increased blood pressure, causing the arteries get stretched and scarred. Platelets clump together when they react with toxic cigarette ingredients making the blood thicker and stickier causing strain on the heart as it tries to push blood around the body.
  • Know your family history. Generally, if you have a family history of a heart condition, you may have a higher risk of developing a heart condition. A Heart Health Check is recommended from the age of 45 (from 30 for Aboriginal and Torres Strait peoples), but your doctor may want to assess your risk of developing heart disease earlier if you have a family history of heart disease.  

New Cardiovascular Unit

Kingsbridge Healthcare Group is delighted to announce the opening of our Cardiac Surgery service and Intensive Care Unit at Kingsbridge Private Hospital Belfast!

We can now carry out life-saving cardiac surgery at our state-of-the-art theatre, using the latest and most up to date technology and equipment. 

On board we have a highly skilled team of Cardiac Surgeons and nursing staff.  The service is led by Consultant Cardiac Surgeon Mr Oc Nzewi.

We offer rapid access to a wide range of procedures and our expert team are ready to see you.

Nearly 284,000 people were waiting for time critical heart operations and other heart procedures at the end of November 2021 – 22% higher than at the beginning of the pandemic.

British Heart Foundation / National Health Service

Training Academy Courses

As heart conditions are the leading cause of death, we, at Kingsbridge Training Academy, offer various Life Support courses to ensure that our delegates are equipped with the experience, confidence, knowledge and skill needed to respond to an emergency quickly and correctly.

CPR with AED

This course teaches you the practical skills required for dealing with an unresponsive casualty, with the use of an Automated External Defibrillator (AED).

Suitable for: All skill levels including non-First Aiders, Dental and Medical Practitioners and Nurses.

12 Lead ECG Workshop

This course is suitable for those who are new to interpreting 12 lead ECGs, and for those who require a refresher in order to boost their confidence and knowledge in this specialist area.

Suitable for: GP practice nurses, nursing auxiliaries and healthcare assistants.

If you have any concerns surrounding the health of your heart, please contact talk to your doctor.

Because Life Matters.

Written by:

Geana Convery

Marketing Officer

Northern Ireland’s Annual Prostate Cancer Symposium 2021

On Friday 5th November 2021, we celebrated our first Prostate Cancer Symposium at Crowne Plaza Shaw’s Bridge Belfast. It was spectacular event, bring together the key players in Prostate Cancer research, detection and treatment.

The event was enriched by leading urologists, oncologists and radiologists providing high quality and insightful educational content to the delegates, engaging throughout by answering the question’s of attendees, pondering concepts and clarifying literature.

The best practice for local cancer service clinicians was disseminated and unveiled through the multi-disciplinary symposium, as speakers from far and wide shared their knowledge and findings of each of their speciality topics.

We were delighted to facilitate this event, helping those delivering cancer care to be well informed and equipped while serving the public, educating providers on methods that lessen the side effects of treatment and ensuring the best practice is delivered through care.

Thank you to all of the speakers:

Professor Caroline Moore MBBS, MD, FRCS(Urol)

Prof. Caroline Moore is the first woman in the UK to become a Professor of Urology. She is Head of Urology at University College London, the Lead of Integrated Academic Training for Urology at University College London, and is a member of the International PIRADS committee, all while leading national and international projects including the use of MRI in the diagnosis and active surveillance of Prostate Cancer, of which is supported by major funders including Movember, Prostate Cancer UK, the National Institute for Health Research, the Medical Research Council and Cancer Research UK.

Dr Aidan Cole MB BCh BAO MRCP, PhD, PGCE(Clin Ed), FRCR

Dr Aidan Cole is a Consultant in Clinical Oncology and is a key member of a dynamic clinical academic team enhancing research into the treatment of Prostate Cancer. He is the Clinical Lead for Oligometastatic Stereotactic Radiotherapy in Northern Ireland and is a keen medical educationalist, currently supervising research in Queen’s University Belfast. Dr Cole is involved in many avenues of research including PSMA-PET to aid prognostication and treatment of prostate cancer, the radiobiology of targeted radionuclides and clinical trials using immunotherapy techniques and stereotactic radiotherapy.

Professor Michelle McNicholas MB, BCh, BAO, FRCPI, FRCR, FFR.RCSI

Professor McNicholas has been a Consultant Radiologist Mater University Hospital and Mater Private Hospital and is an Associate Clinical Professor, University College Dublin School of Medicine. Her expertise are gynaecologic imaging, Prostate Cancer imaging and Brachytherapy, Abdominal Imaging, Image-guided biopsy and other interventions. Prof. McNicholas pioneered the implementation of the first Brachytherapy treatment for prostate cancer in Ireland with the MPH oncology team and also was the first user of SpaceOAR in the Republic of Ireland and the first user of SpaceOAR VUE in the UK and Ireland. She is also an author, an education co-ordinator for the Radiology training program and a lecturer in the Faculty of Radiology, RCSI.

Professor Tara Barwick MBChB, MSc, FRCP, FRCR(Urol)

Prof. Tara Barwick is a dual accredited Consultant in Radiology and Nuclear Medicine at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust London and Honorary Clinical Senior Lecturer at Imperial College London. Dr Barwick completed Radiology training at Bart’s and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry followed by subspecialist Nuclear Medicine and PET training at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust. Her main clinical and research interests are oncological PET/CT, particularly prostatic and gynaecological malignancies, lung cancer and lymphoma.

Professor Joe O’Sullivan MB, BCh, BAO, FRCPI, FRCR, FFR.RCSI

Professor Joe O’Sullivan is a Prostate Cancer Oncologist and Professor of Radiation Oncology at Queen’s University Belfast. He is committed to improving the lives of patients through research and innovation, establishing the clinical research programme Centre of Excellence and conducting over 30 clinical trials, some in collaboration with The Patrick G Johnston Centre for Cancer Research, leading to major technological development programme in Radiation Oncology. Prof Joe O’Sullivan is driven by the desire to develop new treatments in particular in the fields of External Beam Radiation Therapy, and Bone-seeking Radionuclide Therapy (Molecular Radiotherapy).

Dr Jane Frankland BSc(Hons), PhD

Dr Jane Frankland is a Senior Research Fellow in the School of Health Sciences at the University of Southampton. She is a medical sociologist and mixed methods researcher with particular expertise in qualitative methods, research on sensitive issues, and evaluation of complex interventions. Her research interests are the everyday experiences and work of health and illness; engagement with self-care, self-management and help seeking; and evaluation of self-management approaches. Dr Frankland led the evaluation of the Movember funded TrueNTH Supported Self-Management and Follow-Up Care Programme.

Special mention to Professor Suneil Jain (MB BCh BAO)

Professor Jain is an internationally recognised expert in the management of Prostate Cancer. He performed the first transperineal prostate biopsies, the first transperineal fiducial marker insertion and the first SpaceOAR insertion in Northern Ireland. He also introduced new services to NI, incluidng HDR brachytherapy for Prostate Cancer and stereotactic radiotherapy for Prostate cancer and Oligometastatic disease. Prof. Jain leads multiple drug and radiotherapy trials and is a member of trial management groups for national and international studies. He strives to reduce the side-effects of treatment while improving outcomes through treatment innovation.

We would also like to thank the sponsors Bayer, Boston Scientific, Kingsbridge Private Hospital, Ferring Pharmaceuticals and Advanced Accelerator Applications for helping this wonderful conference happen.

Health and wellbeing is a prerogative for Kingsbridge Healthcare Group, and it is our mission to provide first-class healthcare solutions by putting patients at the forefront of everything we do. We are committed to delivering high quality comprehensive services with excellence, compassion and competence, and this symposium embodies and enables all of this to happen with Prostate Cancer treatments regionally and nationally.

Because Life Matters.

Written by:

Geana Convery

Marketing Officer

World Restart a Heart Day 2021

World Restart a Heart Day is observed on the 16th October each year, and its aim is to raises awareness about cardiac arrest and helps people to learn CPR, giving them life saving skills and the confidence to use them.

Why Learn?

Did you know, if you have an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in the UK you have less than a one in ten chance of surviving?

British Heart Foundation, 2021

By learning and performing CPR, you could be the difference between life and death for a loved one at home, a colleague at work, or a stranger in the street.

For the best chance of survival, we must respond quickly and accurately.

Your two hands can save a life!

How to Restart a Heart

Resuscitation Council United Kingdom’s YouTube video describing how to administer CPR during COVID-19

CPR in 5 steps (The RCUK’s Guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic)

Step 1: Shake and shout

If you come across someone who is unconscious, always check for danger and look for risks before you start helping.

Someone having a cardiac arrest will either not be breathing or they won’t be breathing normally. They also won’t be conscious.

Check for a response – gently shake the person’s shoulders and ask loudly ‘are you alright?’

Shout for help – if someone is nearby, ask them to stay as you might need them. If you are alone, shout loudly to attract attention, but don’t leave the person.

Step 2: Call 999

If the person is not breathing or not breathing normally:

If there’s no one around call 999 before starting compressions.

Step 3: Cover mouth and nose with cloth.

  • If you think there’s a risk of infection, lay a towel or a piece of clothing over the mouth and nose. Don’t put your face close to theirs. 
  • If you’re sure the person is breathing normally, then put them in the recovery position.

Step 4: Give chest compressions

Do not give rescue breaths at this time.

  • Kneel next to the person.
  • Place the heel of one hand in the centre of their chest. Place your other hand on top of the first. Interlock your fingers.
  • With straight arms, use the heel of your hand to push the breastbone down firmly and smoothly, so that the chest is pressed down between 5–6 cm, and release.
  • Do this at a rate of 100 to 120 chest compressions per minute – that’s around 2 per second.

Step 5:  Keep going

  • Keep going until professional help arrives and takes over, or the person starts to show signs of regaining consciousness, such as coughing, opening their eyes, speaking, or breathing normally.
  • If you’re feeling tired, and there’s someone nearby to help, instruct them to continue.

If you’re the person giving CPR to someone it can be a traumatic event, even if they survive.

Our CPR Courses

We, at Kingsbridge Training Academy, offer various Life Support courses to ensure that our delegates are equipped with the experience, confidence, knowledge and skill needed to respond to an emergency quickly and correctly.

Choosing our educational course will provide you with all that you need to restart a heart and safe a life.

CPR with AED

This course teaches you the practical skills required for dealing with an unresponsive casualty, with the use of an Automated External Defibrillator (AED).

Suitable for: All skill levels including non-First Aiders, Dental and Medical Practitioners and Nurses

Although we hope that you will never have to use this knowledge, you will never regret investing in this education.

Because Life Matters.

Written by:

Geana Convery

Marketing Officer

World Suicide Prevention Day 2021

World Suicide Prevention Day occurs annually on the 10th of September and raises the awareness of suicide prevention methods while inspiring individual participation to help others in distress.

By raising awareness, reducing the stigma around suicide and encouraging well-informed action, we can reduce instances of suicide around the world.

More than 700,000 people die by suicide every year, that is one person every 40 seconds

World Health Organisation, 2021

Preventing suicide is often possible and you are a key player in its prevention.

Kingsbridge Training Academy endeavour to improve mental health by supporting the Lighthouse Charity, World Suicide Prevention Day and Mental Health Campaigns.

Light House

The Lighthouse Charity was established in 2003 as a community response to a community problem – the exceptionally high incidence of suicide in North Belfast. Its purpose is to help those struggling with suicidal thoughts, depression or grief from a bereavement by being the heart of the community, offering counselling services, helping to improve well-being, facilitating support groups and providing a beacon of hope all those affected by suicide.

Visit their website for more information.


Samaritans’ “Small Talk Saves Lives” campaign encourages conversation between people with the intention that it relieves those feeling overwhelmed by depression and anxiety by breaking their thought pattern, thereby stopping them from spiralling further into despair. Something as small as “Hello, do you know what time it is?” is enough to help someone disconnect with negative thoughts and reconnect to their surroundings.

“If you feel something isn’t quite right and you think someone might need help, trust your instincts and start a conversation. You could save a life.”

Something as small as taking a few seconds to connect with others through means of communication could make a huge difference is someone’s day; reducing their negative thinking, establishing a connection with them and instilling hope.


The International Association for Suicide Prevention have established their “Creating Hope Through Action” project, focusing on the idea of ‘hope’ in suicide prevention.

The campaign itself emphasises the potential in each and every one of us. It inspires confidence to unveil the goodness within us, which is prevalent in suicide prevention. The power of our actions, to do something for others, no matter how big or small, can provide hope to those who are struggling.

Visit their website for more information.

Sometimes those that are outwardly happy are actually struggling underneath. Look after your loved ones who appear to be strong by engaging with them on a personal level and expressing genuine interest their wellbeing. Often those afflicted by poor mental health are reluctant to admit their emotional distress out of embarrassment or not wanting to be a burden. Trying to alleviate these fears and creating an environment of judgement-free conversation will help those share their true mental state.

Extending a hand, vesting an interest into someone’s life, supporting those who are down and lifting them up, actually listening and not just waiting for your turn to speak, asking if they are “Ok” twice, going for a walk or a coffee, or even providing other channels of help ultimately inspires hope. This is all it takes to make a difference to someone in their darkest moments. As a member of society, as a child, as a parent, as a friend, as a colleague or as a neighbour, we all play a role in supporting those experiencing a suicidal crisis or those bereaved by suicide.

Tips to Achieve and Maintain a Positive Mindset

  • Keep physically active
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet
  • Drink alcohol in moderation
  • Value yourself and others
  • Practice Self Care rituals
  • Talk about your feelings
  • Appreciate yourself and you capabilities
  • Keep in touch with friends and loved ones
  • Care for others
  • Get involved with a group or community, or try to make a contribution through volunteering
  • Learn new skills
  • Do something creative
  • Take a break and relax
  • Go for a walk in nature
  • Ask for help
  • Read a book, some self help options include:
  1. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
  2. Not a Life Coach by James Smith
  3. The Mountain is You by Brianna Wiest
  4. The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday
  5. A Cure for Darkness by Alex Riley
  6. Good Vibes, Good Life by Vex King
  7. Change Your Brain, Change Your Life by Daniel G. Amen
  8. Lost Connections by Johann Hari

We, the Kingsbridge Healthcare Group, understand the importance of mental health and how it can affect our lives.

Kingsbridge Training Academy offer courses that explain the range of mental illnesses, how to identify them and how to support those afflicted, either through therapy or other action.

Our courses are accredited by FFA with awards presented to participants on successful completion of the training.

To find out more, please visit our respective webpages and register your interest:

If you ever need help with your own mental health, please reach out by booking an appointment in our Mental Health Clinic.

Other resources that can help you in your time of need include:

What could you do to inspire hope? Could you reach out and help someone today?

Because Life Matters.

Written by:

Geana Convery

Marketing Officer

Level 3 Award in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) Coaching training package- Interview with Jack Corr

Kingsbridge Training Academy launched the first ever accredited Level 3 Award in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) Coaching training package in Ireland. The course was aimed at delegates who were not fully trained coaches, who were interested in gaining a qualification in the thriving practice of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). All delegates received an OCN Credit4Learning accreditation on successful completion of all three courses and assessment: Coaching Practice and principles, Safeguarding Children within Mixed Martial Arts and MMA Sports Trauma Course Essential First Aid for Coaches.

We interviewed one of the MMA rising stars, Jack Corr, on his educational journey through out attending the Level 3 Award in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) Coaching Package. Here is what Jack had to say about this training experience at Kingsbridge Training Academy.

Interview with Jack Corr

Q1. Tell me about yourself?

A1. I currently train and coach MMA within my club ZKJ. From 2017 to 2019, I worked for the Northern Ireland Youth forum working on a Youth programme which incorporated MMA funded by Comic Relief. Growing up I competed in Karate tournaments as well as under 18 MMA and freestyle wrestling competitions. I have fought in 3 World championships and 3 European championships in amateur MMA for Northern Ireland. I won a Bronze medal at the 2018 European championships in Bucharest. I am currently in my final year of University studying Business Economics with Marketing.

Q2. How did you come to know about Mixed Martial Arts as a sport?

A2. I always remember watching UFC fighters like Chuck Liddell and Randy Couture on the TV with my dad when I was probably 5 or 6. So it has always been something that I have been aware of growing up in a family heavily involved with martial arts.

Q3. How old were you when you started practicing Mixed Martial Arts?

A3. I started training in Karate Jutsu with my dad when I was 3 years old and am currently a 3rd dan black belt. I started freestyle wrestling when I was 11 with Dave Finlay Sr. In my teens was when I started to focus more on training and competing in MMA.

Q4. What element of Mixed Martial Arts do you prefer?

A4. I enjoy the striking side of MMA coming from a karate background but in terms of grappling I would prefer a wrestling style over BJJ.

Q5. Who is your favourite MMA advocate and why?

A5. Probably someone like Georges St-Pierre as he is a real martial artist who is not only really strong in all aspects of MMA but I think he’s a good role model as well because he always comes across respectful in the media.

Q6. How did you come to know about the Kingsbridge Training Academy Level 3 Award in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) Package?

A6. I found out about the level 3 award in MMA from my club (ZKJ) and thought it would be very useful to have and to progress as a coach.

Q7. Which of the 3 modules: Coaching Practice and Principles, Safeguarding Children within Mixed Martial Arts or MMA Sports Trauma Course Essential First Aid for Coaches, did you prefer and why?

A7. I thought each of the 3 modules were very interesting and useful as an MMA coach but the one I enjoyed the most was the coaching practice and principles module. I just thought this module was the most practical and really made you think about your own coaching style and what would work best for you when coaching others.

Q8. What are your intentions after completing the Level 3 Award in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) Package?

A8. After completing the level 3 award I want to take more responsibility within my own club and hopefully coach more classes and people.

Q9. Would you recommend Kingsbridge Training Academy as a premium training provider?

A9. I would recommend Kingsbridge; I thought the environment was relaxed and comfortable which made it easy to listen and learn.

Q10. Would you recommend the Kingsbridge Training Academy MMA Package to fellow MMA enthusiasts?

A10. Yes, I thought the speakers where very knowledgeable in their fields, and all the material was relevant to any aspiring MMA coach.


Jack Corr

Aspiring MMA Coaching Specialist

Interview by

Niamh Maguire

Marketing and Training Assistant

Kingsbridge Training Academy

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that comes and goes in a seasonal pattern. SAD is sometimes known as ‘Winter Depression’ because the symptoms are usually more apparent and more severe during the winter.

Many people are affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder who may be within your work team and you are unable to identify the signs. Kingsbridge Training Academy’s’ FAA Level 3 Award in Supervising First Aid for Mental Health (RQF) 12-hour qualification will provide Supervisors and Managers with the knowledge to recognise a wide range of mental health conditions. Delegates will learn about the support/therapy provided by professional healthcare providers. They will also know how to start a supportive conversation and when and how to signpost a person to seek appropriate professional help.

FAA Level 3 Award in Supervising First Aid for Mental Health (RQF)

Price: £144.00 (Including VAT)

Time: 9.30am- 4.30pm (each day)

FAA Level 2 Award in First Aid for Mental Health (RQF)

Time: 10am-4pm

Price: £66.00 (Including VAT)

Because Life Matters.

Written by:

Niamh Maguire

Marketing and Training Assisstant