Wessex ICS Blog

Expanded Case Summaries

Facilitators: Keith Ritchie & Steve Mathieu
Venue: Queen Alexandra Hospital, Portsmouth
Date: 19th August 2015

Introduction: Steve Mathieu
Follow @stevemathieu75

Whether you love them or hate them, the Expanded Case Summaries (ECS) remain an integral part of the ICM Curriculum. They are formative assessments and a useful opportunity to focus your learning on some specific topics within the ICM curriculum. They don’t have to be rare cases, in fact more common day material with lessons may be better than once in a lifetime occurrences.

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How many do I need to do? 10
Over what period? 2 a year
4 stage in 1 (ST3/4); 4 in stage 2 (ST5/6) and 2 in stage 3 (ST7)
How long should they be? Between 750-1500 words (excluding references)
What are they marked out of?
There are 6 domains (each scoring 1-5). A maximum of 30 points can be awarded. 18 is the minimum score to pass. In addition 4 of the 6 domains must score at least a 3
What do scores of 1-5 represent?
5 - outstanding
4 - Good
3 - Pass
2 - Needs improvement
1 - Poor and needs complete revision

And what else?

  • Case summaries should be marked with reference to the marking scheme for ECSs
  • It is intended that the ECSs will be reviewed and scored locally by Faculty Tutors. Over the course of a training programme each trainee should have ECSs marked and scored by several tutors
  • Feedback on the quality of each ECS should be provided to the trainee by the Faculty tutor marking the report
  • The case summaries will be evaluated locally as part of the ARCP programme and it is expected that an assessor from outside the region will be part of this process. In addition, a random number (up to 10%) of these summaries will be assessed centrally
  • The purpose of the case summaries is to allow the candidate to demonstrate critical thinking, knowledge of recent literature in the field of Intensive Care Medicine, critical appraisal and a sound approach to evidence-based medicine
  • It is envisaged that the standard of these case summaries will reflect the stage of training – please refer to the relevant CCT in Intensive Care Medicine curriculum manual for further discussion on ECS content.

extract from FICM guidance March 2013)

More information is available in this document and on the FICM website

Are there more examples of ECS?
Yes. We now have a WICS prize awarded each year for the best ECS. Do remember to submit your best one! Previous winners

2016 - Organ Donation - James Keegan
2015 -
Neurological Prognostication after cardiac arrest: When and how should it be done? Dr Ben Harris

Are there more?
There is now a repository of ECS at

The CCT in Intensive Care Medicine (v2.12015) - Part II. Assessment System