The South West regional training scheme in general surgery is based at 16 training centres and supervises training of 90 Specialty Trainees. It is managed by separate Training Programme Directors in the Severn and the Peninsula locations, working together. The trainees rotate through different training hospitals on an annual basis, usually starting on the first Wednesday in October. Junior trainees usually rotate on a 6-monthly basis but more senior trainees can remain in a subspecialty post for 1 year. Appointments are made to either the Peninsula or Severn end of the pan-regional rotation and trainees may expect to be geographically confined within these areas in their first four years of training. During their senior two years of subspecialty training, they will be able to / expected to rotate throughout the overall South West pan-regional rotation, in order to obtain the most appropriate subspecialty training.

The South West Regional Training scheme involves rotation through the following 15 training centres:

  1. Great Western Hospital, Swindon
  2. Cheltenham General Hospital
  3. Gloucestershire Royal Hospital
  4. Royal United Hospital, Bath
  5. North Bristol, Southmead Hospital
  6. Bristol Royal Infirmary
  7. Bristol Children's Hospital
  8. Weston General Hospital
  9. Musgrove Park Hospital, Taunton
  10. Yeovil District Hospital
  11. North Devon District Hospital, Barnstaple
  12. Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital
  13. Torbay Hospital, Torquay
  14. Derriford Hospital, Plymouth
  15. Royal Cornwall Hospital, Truro

Annual Review Competence Progression (ARCPs) take place in May or June and /or November. Further interim ARCPs take place as necessary. The panel is chaired by the Chair of the Specialty Training Committee and includes the two Regional Training Programme Directors, a Dean's representative, the SAC Liaison member for the region and at least one member of the Specialist Training Committee.

Specialty Trainees will usually enter the training scheme in year 1 (ST3) although trainees may be appointed to a later stage depending on their previous experience. The first 2-3 years of the training scheme will cover general surgery with exposure to the four different subspecialty areas i.e. vascular, breast, upper GI and colorectal surgery. In the later years of training, the trainee will focus more exclusively on their subspecialty, while ensuring that their training and experience continues to satisfy the SAC requirements for CCT competence in emergency general surgery.

For assessment requirements, please see the ARCP pages. 

By agreement with the Training Programme Directors it may be possible to spend a year out of programme at an overseas training unit (OOPT). Other opportunities exist within the academic departments of surgery for trainees to undertake a period out of programme (OOPR) to do formal research in order to complete a project that would lead to an MD, MS or PhD thesis.

Trainees may apply to Peninsula Postgraduate Medical Education to work in a less than full time capacity. Where possible trainees will be expect to job share but under some circumstances they may be placed in hospitals in a supernumerary post. Further details are available on our policy pages. 

Some of the smaller hospitals may offer training only within certain subspecialty firms. In most hospitals the emergency rotas are supported by staff grade or trust grade doctors and all hospitals are compliant with the European Working Time Directive. The pattern of emergency work varies between hospitals with some running single days of emergences and others adopting a block of emergency work. Trainees may do a full or partial shift or 24 hours non-resident on call. There is CEPOD list in all hospitals although this may only run for part of the day in some hospitals. The duty registrar is expected to be involved in the care of vascular emergency patients in the hospitals with separate consultant vascular rotas. In addition to the hospitals shown below, one trainee is able to rotate through Bristol Children's Hospital for six months. This provides training in general paediatric surgery and offers exposure to more complex cases.

Please see the School Structure page for Head of School, Training Programme Director, College Tutor and School Management contact details.