Core Psychiatric Training by Area


Introduction to Somerset Partnership NHS and Social Care Trust

Somerset is a beautiful County with stunning countryside, an excellent coastline and spectacular features, including Cheddar Gorge and Exmoor National Park, and areas of outstanding natural beauty, including the Quantock, Blackdown and Mendip Hills.  The county has good rail and road links, providing easy access to major cities and nearby airports at Bristol and Exeter.  Renting and buying houses remains affordable, despite being on the M5 corridor

Somerset Partnership NHS and Social Care Trust provides social and health care for the rural county population requiring secondary psychiatric services. These services are concentrated in the four main centres of population, ie Wells, Bridgwater, Yeovil and Taunton. The majority of services are provided by generic Child and Adolescent, Adult or Elderly Community Teams. There are also specialist teams including Enhanced Community Support, Eating Disorders, Early Intervention in Psychosis and Forensic, some of which are provided on a County-wide basis. The buildings are generally modern, pleasant and purpose-built.

Relationships between senior and junior medical staff are generally excellent. Throughout the County we have two F2 Doctors, five VTS Trainees and nine Core Trainees. Currently there are also four or five Advanced Trainees.

General adult posts will vary in the proportion of time spent on the wards and with specialist teams, allowing more senior trainees to work increasingly independently.

Psychological therapies are well developed in the Trust and trainees will attend regular Balint group and have supervision in long and short cases in the main modules. There are two specialist addiction Consultants who will be able to provide training, probably on a sessional basis.

Currently for on-call purposes the County is divided into West and East. Both rotas are approximately 1:10 and cover inpatients in the Trusts units and also carry out assessments at the two General Hospitals (Musgrove Park in Taunton and Yeovil District Hospital in Yeovil).

Postgraduate Medical Education is provided on Monday mornings in various locations throughout the County. This is an opportunity to hear expert speakers and also for Trainees to present cases or other matters of interest. Smaller Journal Clubs meet on a more local basis.

Core training in Psychiatry was congratulated by Health Education England for a good set of results in the 2017 GMC National Training Survey.  Somerset Partnership received 2 green flags for teamwork and workload, and 4 green outliers.  The Core Training Quality Panel rated General Psychiatry in Somerset as excellent.

Workload in Somerset has received green flags for many years now.  There is no difficulty attending teaching or psychotherapy training.  There are strong opportunities for psychotherapy training in CBT and CAT therapy, and 4 of our previous trainees have trained as CAT practitioners in their own right.  There are 8 medical students on attachment at any one time from Bristol University, so there is ample opportunity to get involved in teaching whilst placed in Somerset. 

We currently have 1.5 green outliers to each trainee in psychiatry placed in Somerset.  It’s a small scheme, everyone knows each other and it’s supportive and friendly.  

In summary, Somerset can provide a wide experience of psychiatry and a pleasant environment in which to begin a psychiatric career.  

We hope you will come and join us for an excellent training opportunity in a lovely part of the world.

The Somerset Junior Doctors Handbook (created by Core Trainee Dr Gareth Jarvis)


Introduction to 2gether NHS Foundation Trust

2gether NHS Foundation Trust provides specialist mental health and learning disability services to the people of Gloucestershire and Herefordshire. We’re an innovative and forward-thinking organisation, with a real commitment to providing high quality services. We were the first Trust in the country to be awarded an ‘outstanding’ rating for acute inpatient services, crisis services and psychiatric intensive care services in our latest CQC report. We develop and train our medical staff in a supportive environment with plentiful opportunities for CPD and first class supervision from our well respected, experienced and skilled clinical leaders. As an employer, we offer various benefits to staff, including relocation allowance, flexible working and childcare vouchers.

We work collaboratively with two regional Health Education bodies, Health Education South West which covers Gloucestershire and Health Education West Midlands which covers Herefordshire. Trainees opting through Health Education South West will be placed in Gloucestershire while the ones opting through Health Education West Midlands in Herefordshire.

2gether has a long tradition of providing excellent training and all our educational and clinical supervisors are trained to GMC standards. In Gloucestershire, we host 4 Foundation Year 1, 3 Foundation Year 2, 5 School of Primary Care, 12 Core Psychiatry from CT1 to CT3 and up to 12 Advanced Trainees in Psychiatry. In Herefordshire, we host 1 Foundation Year 1, 2 Foundation Year 2, 3 School of Primary Care, 2 Core Psychiatry CT1s and up to 2 Advanced Trainees. Our numbers enable us to have a close and supportive relationship with our trainees. We have a number of MRCPsych CASC examiners and support trainees in exam preparation.

Core Psychiatry Trainees living outside Gloucestershire and Herefordshire who opt for 2gether as their first placement will be paid home to base travel expenses for the duration of their placement.

We will provide support in the form of study leave (in excess of allocated study leave through the Deanery) and supervision to trainees who participate in Quality Improvement Projects in line with Trust objectives.

We hold quarterly Junior Doctors Forums in both Gloucestershire and Herefordshire which are chaired by either the Medical Director or the Director of Medical Education with the Guardian of Safe Working and Medical Staffing Officer in attendance. The Postgraduate Tutors meet with the trainees at least twice, once at the start of their posts and again at the end to ensure excellent training standards are maintained. We provide excellent pastoral care and many of our Core Trainees have chosen to do their Advanced Training with us and have gone on to become Consultants locally.

We will also offer you opportunities to shadow our senior management team so that you can get a better understanding of management and how it aligns to support outstanding service delivery. One of our strengths is that we encourage and enable trainees to not only participate but also lead service development and change.

If you do elect to train at 2gether, our aim is to give you a first class training experience, as we want to think you will not want to leave us and will want to join our substantive consultant body, as many have to date, and contribute to our continued future success and the continuous improving innovative services we provide for the people of Gloucestershire and Herefordshire.

The Trust values permeate all that we do. Accessibility to and dialogue with senior clinicians is second to none. Although the Trust covers two rural counties, development opportunities still abound; from participation in national research trials, prospects to affect real and lasting change to the organisation and a wide variety of placements to stretch and grow any trainee as well provide outstanding clinical care.

Gloucestershire and Herefordshire are themselves beautiful places to live, work and raise a family. The two counties offer the best of both worlds, from Cheltenham with its amazing restaurants, shopping and festivals of all kinds, to Stroud and its chocolate box villages, to the wildlife of the Forest of Dean, Cotswolds and Welsh Borders. Both counties have designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The area excels in providing the basis for the highly coveted work/life balance not forgetting nationally regarded primary and secondary education.

Please have a look at our new recruitment videos here.

Come to 2gether; bring your smile and walking boots – we’ll supply the map to your career!

Avon and Wiltshire 

Introduction to Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust (AWP)

Why train in AWP?

AWP is one of the largest mental health trusts in the country providing services across the South West giving trainees the opportunity to train within a diverse geographical area. The trust delivers services in popular training locations including Bath, Swindon, Wiltshire and Bristol providing care to a population of over 1.6 million people. The Trust also offers core posts in highly specialised areas of psychiatry including Addiction, Eating Disorders, Psychotherapy and Forensic services, allowing trainees to broaden their skillset and customise their training according to individual interest. Supervision is paramount to the trainee experience and prioritised by expert and experienced senior psychiatrists.

The trust has an enthusiastic and active Medical Education department renowned for supporting and promoting involvement in educational initiatives. In addition to local academic programmes, the department organises a monthly educational meeting providing focused training to trainees aimed at developing them as medical educators. It is an opportunity to meet colleagues, share ideas, access support with educational activities and be part of a peer group. In addition, AWP has implemented a robust pathway to support trainees who wish to undertake audit and quality improvement projects.

There are opportunities for core trainees to undertake specific roles in medical education allowing them to be at the heart of the educational environment working closely with knowledgeable and inspirational medical educators. A trainee who recently undertook an educational role described it as “a fantastic opportunity” and another said “it made me realise how much I enjoyed teaching and how I could incorporate this into my career in the future”.

A trainee representative role has recently been established to promote junior doctor engagement with the trust. The trust understands the importance of the trainee voice and is keen for trainees to participate and have representation at trust meetings. This role has helped establish a clear pathway of communication between trainees and the trust so that issues relating to training and employment can be addressed. Dr Karl Scheeres (Consultant Psychiatrist) is the newly appointed Guardian of Safe Working Hours providing excellent support to trainees as the chair of the Junior Doctor Forum. The forum aims to ensure smooth implementation of the new junior doctor contract and provide an opportunity for trainee representatives to discuss concerns with senior management.

AWP has close links with The University of Bristol providing opportunities to contribute to undergraduate education and develop experience in research. There is a thriving network of trainees engaged in research strengthened by a trainee led taught research course. It aims to support trainees to develop research competencies and make research opportunities accessible through connections with local research projects. Support for developing projects and preparing them for publication is available with many trainees going on to present their work at national and international conferences.
Recent examples include trainees presenting original work at the AMEE international conference and ASME conferences. RCPsych/HEE funding has also been awarded to the trainee-led Balint Scheme for University of Bristol medical students: a pioneering project aimed at promoting Balint practice.

AWP offers trainees a variety of training opportunities in addition to providing well supported and fascinating clinical opportunities. It is a popular area to train with many of our core trainees going on to apply to for higher trainee posts within the area.