Rotation Information (ST3+)

The General Surgery rotation covers both the South West Peninsula Deanery and Severn Deanery. The South West Peninsula Deanery currently coordinates the recruitment and selection of Specialty Registrars in the specialty, and is responsible for their training and assessment across both Deaneries.

The regional training scheme in General Surgery is based at 14 training centres and supervises training of over 90 Specialty Trainees. The trainees rotate through different training hospitals on a six-month or annual basis starting on the first Wednesday in April or the first Wednesday in October. Junior trainees usually rotate on a six-month basis but more senior trainees can remain in a subspecialty post for one year.

Training Hospitals

  • Derriford Hospital, Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, Royal Devon and Exter NHS Foundation Trust
  • Torbay Hospital, South Devon Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
  • North Devon District Hospital, North Devon Healthcare NHS Trust, Barnstaple
  • Treliske Hospital, Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Musgrove Park Hospital, Taunton and Somerset NHS Trust
  • Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust
  • Bristol Royal Infirmary, University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust
  • Cheltenham General Hospital, Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Gloucestershire Royal Hospital, Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Southmead Hospital, North Bristol NHS Trust
  • Weston General Hospital, Weston Area Health NHS Trust, Weston-super-Mare
  • Royal United Hospital Bath NHS Trust
  • Great Western General Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Swindon
  • Yeovil District Hospital NHS Foundation Trust 

General Surgery Training

As gauged by the number of surgeons in practice in the specialty, general surgery is one of the two largest in the UK with 31% of the consultant surgical workforce.

During recent years, and in common with many other disciplines, there has been a trend towards further specialisation within the specialty. These are referred to as ‘Areas of Special Interest’ within general surgery as they do not have separate specialty advisory committees (SACs) within the Surgical Royal Colleges’ structure.

A shared syllabus and the ability at the completion of training to manage an unselected surgical emergency ‘take’, provide a common purpose across the specialty of general surgery at the time of writing (2014). The major areas of special interest associated with the specialty of general surgery are as follows:

  • Upper Gastrointestinal Surgery (Oesophagogastric and/or Hepatopancreaticobiliary)
  • Colorectal Surgery
  • Vascular Surgery (from 2012, vascular surgery has its own specialty selection process and curriculum. No new general surgery trainee recruited to the General Surgery programme will be awarded a CCT with a vascular subspecialty interest)
  • Transplantation (Renal, Hepatic and Pancreatic)
  • Breast Surgery (including Oncoplastic surgery)
  • Endocrine Surgery

In addition to these clearly defined disease-based areas of special interest there are others that are less well developed within the syllabus but represent substantial areas of practice:

  • Military Surgery
  • General Surgery of Childhood
  • Remote and Rural Surgery
  • Academic Surgery

The variations in the scope of practices within the specialty are highly variable and largely shaped by local circumstances, the needs of the service, and the personal development of the surgeons delivering those services. All general surgeons are expected to have developed an area of special interest by the time they gain their CCT and some will then go on to practice exclusively in that discipline either straight away or as their individual careers develop. There is also significant shared (‘Interface’) practice with other major specialties such as the head and neck specialties, urology and specialist paediatric surgery.

Further information on General Surgery training curriculum is available from the ISCP website.

Regional Training Days

The regional training day programme has recently undergone a significant review process. Miss Caroline Burt, Mr Mark Cartmell and Mr Jonathan Ockrim form the regional training committee; they oversee the programme that is designed to offer the highest quality of training opportunities to all trainees. The trainee training and induction representatives (Richard Bamford, Ceri Rowlands, Philippa Orchard and Frank McDermott) work alongside them to ensure trainees’ needs are met. The overall number of training days has been reduced to three or four a year with the emphasis being that all trainees attend each session. In addition to these, the training committee will highlight high quality training opportunities available to trainees throughout the year.

The aim of these days is to offer the opportunity to experience aspects of surgical training that you may not get elsewhere and will include a mix of surgical sub-specialty education and simulation training to develop technical and non-technical skills. Trainees are encouraged to get involved in organising training days and should contact the training team if they wish to get involved.

It is your responsibility to arrange the study leave required from each trust to attend these sessions. You must give enough notice to your trusts so that you clinical commitments can be amended as required. Your attendance at these sessions will be monitored and reviewed as part of your ARCP process.  

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

Miss Caroline Burt, General Surgery Training Programme Director