Doctors in training to return to Weston General Hospital

Postgraduate doctors in training will return to Weston General Hospital for rotations from August 2023, following a positive review by NHS England and the General Medical Council (GMC).

Following the temporary removal of some doctors in training from the hospital in 2021, NHS England has noted significant improvements to the learner environment in medicine at Weston and the team was assured that the previously raised concerns had been addressed.

Since 2021, a quality improvement approach has been in place to support the organisation in improving both the learner and clinical supervision environment. After their most recent visit in March 2023 clinical education leaders concluded that University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust had:

  • significantly improved staff engagement with the Trust leadership at all levels.
  • ensured significant improvements had been made in clinical supervision particularly around shift handovers and senior oversight of clinical decisions.
  • seen improvement in induction of new starters and their welfare.
  • developed a strong learner experience in new training settings in rheumatology and intensive care medicine, as well as continued improvements in other specialties.

The Trust have also seen a marked improvement in the learning environment and culture and highlights include:

  • a learning environment in which education and training is valued and championed as well as being inclusive and supportive of learners of all backgrounds and from all professional groups.
  • the organisational culture is one in which staff are treated fairly, with equity, consistency, dignity and respect.
  • a learning environment that promotes multi professional learning opportunities and encourages learners to be proactive and take a lead in accessing learning opportunities and take responsibility for their own learning.

Ten training posts will return to the Weston General Hospital site in August 2023. NHS England and University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust will continue to work closely to ensure that the learner experience continues to improve. Subsequent reviews are planned to take place later in 2023, once doctors in training have returned to the hospital site to continue the successful work that has taken place to date.

Dr Geoff Smith, South West Postgraduate Dean at NHS England said:

“Going hand in hand with its wider development efforts, Weston General Hospital has significantly improved the experience and education of doctors in training, which we know is so important to patients getting high quality, safe care now and in the future.

“There remains work to be continued with at the Trust but we are confident in their plans and will work closely with local managers and the General Medical Council to ensure all trainees are fully supported in their return and beyond.”

The GMC has been working with the Trust to improve the quality of training for doctors.

Professor Colin Melville, Medical Director and Director of Education and Standards at the GMC said:

“We support the NHS England South West’s decision to return doctors in training to practise at Weston General Hospital’s Medicine Departments.

“The trust has made positive strides in addressing our serious concerns about supervision of doctors in training and support for them on understaffed wards. We will continue to monitor training closely to make sure our required high standards are met to maintain the safety of patients and doctors.”