Severn Postgraduate Medical Education (PGME) is committed to providing high quality medical training across Avon, Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire. The Postgraduate Dean is Dr Geoff Smith. The Head of the Severn Postgraduate School of Psychiatry is Dr Sian Hughes. The Core Training Programme Director is Dr Roz Ward. Psychiatric Training is managed by the Severn School of Psychiatry working in close partnership with the Royal College of Psychiatrists and 5 NHS Trusts across the Severn area. All the posts within the Severn School of Psychiatry have been approved by the GMC.

There are approximately 64 training placements available for Trainees in the Core Psychiatric Training Programme, including three Academic Clinical Fellow posts. The scheme offers a wide variety of training posts and is designed to facilitate the transfer from Core to Advanced training. Each post lasts for six months.

During the first two years of the rotation, the placements are designed to give trainees a broad experience of general adult psychiatry, old age psychiatry, and a developmental post. Trainees will mostly stay in the same geographical area during this time, with opportunities to move for the final year of placements. All sites have a local tutor who will oversee the progress of the trainee.

The CT3 year is focused around specialist psychiatric training, including experience in Forensic Psychiatry, Learning Disability Psychiatry, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Addiction Psychiatry, Psychotherapy, Liaison Psychiatry, and Perinatal Psychiatry. During their final Core Training year, trainees are also expected to spend one session per week in a ‘special interest’ session, in order to broaden their experience of the specialities.

All Trainees receive one hour of protected supervision with their Educational Supervisor. There is a weekly academic meeting in all centres across the Core Training Programme. All Core Trainees have access to psychotherapy training, including attendance at a Balint Group. All Core Trainees are expected to attend the Core Psychiatry Training Course.

All Trainees’ timetables are designed to allow them guaranteed access to the Core Psychiatry Training Course and study leave support and expenses are available. There is training available in the OSCE component of the MRCPsych membership exam. In each post Trainees are encouraged to take part in multi-disciplinary clinical audit and will receive support from their Educational Supervisor to do so. The Core Trainees are expected to develop their own skills as medical teachers and the local academic programmes will allow them opportunities to develop these skills with support.

To find out more information about Core Specialist Training, please contact Roz Ward

A National Guide to Training - The Gold Guide

This Reference Guide is for Postgraduate Specialty Training in the UK and is applicable to all trainees (StRs) taking up appointments in specialty (including GP) training which commenced on or after 1 August 2007. Please make sure to read the most up-to-date version.

Appraisal Processes

All trainees will be appraised throughout their core training. Please refer to the Core Training Appraisal Process.

Core Psychiatry Training Course

All trainees are expected to attend a Core Psychiatry Training course, which is run by the School of Psychiatry. This takes place on Thursdays. Where there are any changes, these will be communicated via email and on the Deanery website. It is your responsibility to keep your contact details up to date so that the course admin team can contact you easily. The course closely follows the Curriculum, and is designed primarily to give trainees a solid grounding in psychiatry, as well as helping to prepare for MRCPsych exams. The Course Co-ordinator is Dr Joanna Whitson.


Please see the Royal College of Psychiatrists Website for the Examination Calendar and for further information on MRCPsych exams please refer to the Royal College of Psychiatrists 'Exam Page'.

Applying for Core Psychiatry Positions within the Severn PGME

The recruitment process for Core Psychiatry is governed by the Royal College of Psychiatrists, and is part of the National Recruitment Programme led by NHS England (formally Health Education England)-North West. Applications are made via the Oriel recruitment portal and candidates are asked to preference whilst undergoing this activity.

When taking part in a recruitment round, Severn PGME will always post indicative vacancy numbers on the NHS England (formally Health Education England)-North West National Recruitment website.  

Typically the main recruitment window is October to April to fill posts which commence in August. It is always a good idea to keep an eye on the NHS England (formally Health Education England)-North West National Recruitment website however, as the dates are liable to change.

There may also be the possibility of additional Core Psychiatry recruitment taking place in the summer (July to October) recruiting to posts which begin in February of the subsequent year.  NHS England (formally Health Education England)-North West will release further information about this on the National Recruitment website.

All candidates who are recruited to a Core Psychiatry post must fulfill the NHS England (formally Health Education England) person specification for the particular specialty. These can be found on the NHS England (formally Health Education England) website in the specialty training section.


Career Advice

If you are interested in a career within psychiatry then the College’s webpage entitled Become a Psychiatirst will be of use.