Introduction to Severn Trauma and Orthopaedic Training

Severn PGME is one of the most favoured regions for trauma and orthopaedic training in the UK. The programme ranked 1st nationally again for overall satisfaction in the 2019 GMC survey. We have over 95% pass rate for FRCS (Tr & Orth) due to a fantastic teaching programme featuring internationally renowned local and national speakers.

We have a specific group for registrars locally (Bristol Orthopaedic Registrar's Group aka BORG), which exists to support the trainees both academically and socially. It produces an annual publication JBORG and organises training sessions and social events.

This is an excellent place to conduct orthopaedic training, with a high level of satisfaction and an excellent conversion to permanent consultant jobs. Further information can be found on our website and from the BORG chairman.

Hospitals on Rotation

The Trauma and Orthopaedic training programme is six years in duration. During their time on the training programme, trainees will rotate through all of the following hospitals:


  • Bristol Children's Hospital - major trauma centre (paediatrics) for the southwest. One of the largest paediatric centres in the country, with specialist services across the spectrum of orthopaedics from limb reconstruction to osteogenesis imperfect and skeletal dysplasia.
  • Bristol Royal Infirmary - teaching hospital, where jobs are predominantly a trauma rotation. Features the limb reconstruction unit and the orthopaedic hand surgeons in Bristol.


  • Gloucestershire Royal Hospitals (Gloucester and Cheltenham) - Gloucester is one of the busiest trauma hospitals on rotation and features a previous winner of the silver scalpel (best UK surgical trainer) - Chris Curwen. Cheltenham is predominantly elective based.


  • Great Western Hospital (Swindon) - unique hospital on rotation as it features trainees from Oxford and London rotations plus Severn. Has a large database to facilitate audit and research projects. 


  • Musgrove Park Hospital (Taunton) - another busy district hospital with a particularly busy spinal unit and the full range of orthopaedic services provided. Rated as one of the friendliest units on rotation.


  • Royal United Hospital (Bath) - busy district general hospital, with a large trauma workload. Also has an extensive elective practice featuring upper limb, lower limb, and spine.


  • Southmead (Bristol) - major trauma centre (adults) for the region. Also incorporates the Avon Orthopaedic Centre, the predominant Bristol elective practice. Jobs are split into either trauma or elective rotations. Features current BORG trainer of the year Mez Acharya.


  • Yeovil District Hospital - another of the smaller units on rotation, with a a full range of non-spinal elective orthopaedics provided.


 BONES (Bristol Orthopaedic Network Ethiopia-Severn)

  • Severn has an established link with a University Training Hospital in Bahar Dar, Ethiopia for regular trips with trainees and consultants to enhance learning and development on both sides



  • Social events: Christmas dinner; Summer BBQ; Golf Day
  • Christmas Presentation Day
  • Post-teaching drinks in the Cambridge Arms every Friday
  • Mock viva and clinical exams each term (3x per year)

Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgery

Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgery is a specialty dealing with injuries, congenital and acquired disorders of the bones, joints and their associated soft tissues, including ligaments, nerves and muscles.

Most consultants contribute to an emergency trauma workload dealing with bony and soft tissue injuries admitted through their local A&E Departments. The vast majority of surgeons also have a specialist elective interest in orthopaedic conditions often based on an anatomical region of the body including the following:

  • Lower limb joint reconstruction (hip and knee replacements and associated procedures)
  • Hip surgery
  • Knee surgery (bony and soft tissue)
  • Ankle and foot
  • Upper limb (shoulder and elbow)
  • Upper limb (hands)
  • Spine
  • Bone tumour surgery
  • The surgery of childhood
  • Rheumatoid surgery
  • Complex trauma surgery

Some surgeons have very highly specialised practices in one of these areas and a few do not take part in general trauma surgery.

The award of a Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT) occurs at the completion of training once the Trainee has demonstrated a range of generic medical skills including teamworking and communication as well as well as evidence of competence in the general practice of orthopaedic and trauma surgery. By the time they acquire the CCT they may already have developed a special interest in one of the above named areas.

The curriculum for T&O training is modular with the trainee rotating through a series of attachments aimed at providing a comprehensive appreciation of the range of disorders likely to present in his or her later professional life.

Further information on T&O training is available from the JCST website.


Study Leave Annual Allocation

Assuming that trainees are getting on average a half day each week for research and audit the Friday T&O teaching time does come out of study leave. Trainees are expected to attend a minimum 70% of the regional teaching sessions that run only in term time. The agreed allocation for this is 15 days of study leave per annum (30 sessions).


This leaves 15 days of study leave to be split as 7.5 days over a 6 month post. There is, of course, some reasonable flexibility on how the leave is taken over any given period but this is the remaining allowance. More than 10 days study leave, for example, over a 6 month period should not be necessary and is unlikely to be accepted by the local Trust or supported by the TPD.



The next ARCPS for Trauma & Orthopaedics will be held Monday 25th January 2021 (for invited trainees only)


The annual ARCPS will be held in July 2021.