“GWH is a brilliant hospital to start life as a proper doctor! It’s big enough to provide excitement and variety, but small enough that you feel part of a team. The staff are all wonderful and eager to teach. The medicine rotations are mixed with AAU so it’s a great choice if you wanted to do A&E but have too many other choices for F2, and provides a steep learning curve! If I could make my choices again I would definitely still place GWH at the top of the list!” 6
Nicola Cook, F1 (2011) 6
What to expect 7
Teaching Programmes for Foundation Trainees 9
SWIFT1 (Swindon Foundation Training Year 1) 9
SWIFT2 (Swindon Foundation Training Year 2) 10
Departmental Teaching 10
Teaching Experience Opportunities 10
“Becoming an F1 doctor is a pretty daunting task but the people around you can make the transition so much easier. Here at GWH I have been so lucky to work with some fantastic senior members of staff who not only provide support but some great teaching. Most departments will give additional teaching to the scheduled weekly F1 teaching. They regularly encourage feedback to improve the system and actually care about what the junior members of staff have to say! 11
I have also been fortunate enough to carry out a number of practical procedures. I think we are very lucky in this trust to have the opportunity to work in the acute assessment unit – this develops your clinical and practical skills as an F1 – a great experience! I have enjoyed my time at GWH so far and I would thoroughly recommend this hospital.” 11
Selina Bismohun, F1 (2011) 11
“Swindon Hospital provides an excellent foundation for the beginning of life as a Doctor. With the incorporation of acute assessment unit rotations into the medical rota you get valuable exposure, in a safe environment, to a wide range of acute medical scenarios which equips you better to handle situations you routinely face on the wards. The support from SHOs to Consultants, admin and nursing staff is excellent and you never feel up a creek without a paddle. The commute from Bristol is very do-able too!” 11
Mark Gillam, F1 (2011) 11
“The Great Western Hospital in Swindon has been a fantastic place to start as an FY1. My first rotation has been medicine. In any medicine job, you alternate between a specialist medical ward for 7 weeks and the Acute Assessment Unit (AAU) for 7 weeks etc. I was starting on AAU and was petrified. However daunting this was, plunging in at the deep end, I was so lucky to have the opportunity to work in acute medicine. It is so rewarding, often being the first doctor to see the patient. You get loads of practical experience and can really put all that finals knowledge into practice for yourself, with a feeling of responsibility I think we all crave at the end of medical school. Yet you are never alone, there are always seniors to ask advice from if you have any worries and I feel really well supported in the department. Although quite hard work with long hours (I don’t know what I was expecting!) above all, I found AAU great fun, with loads of junior doctors and other members of staff it has been a good laugh along the way. 11
I do not know any other trusts that offer this great general medicine experience, with all FY1s working in AAU at some point. I would thoroughly recommend Swindon as a top choice for foundation years." 11
Tessa Whitehead, F1 (2011) 11
The Academy 12
Useful Contacts 12
Academy Library: 12
The GWH Annual Audit Prize 13
Things to do in Swindon 14
Sport and Leisure 14
“Tuesday netball is great!”
Jenny Millard, F2 (2011) 14
You are fast approaching the end of your journey as medical students and are about to embark on your first steps as qualified doctors. The theoretical knowledge and practical skills you have gained in your student years will be consolidated in your first 2 years – the Foundation programme – preparing you for specialty training.
The move from student to doctor brings many challenges that your medical course will have prepared you for. The experience of taking responsibility, being asked your opinion, discovering your limitations and managing patients first hand is both exhilarating and frightening.
The Great Western Hospital is an excellent place to train in your Foundation programme. It is a new, purpose built hospital with state of the art facilities for patients and staff. There is an active Academy providing a formal setting for learning and teaching. There is a dedicated teaching programme for F1 and F2 trainees and a wealth of clinical experience in all departments. The senior medical and nursing staffs are acknowledged as excellent, supportive teachers.
We look forward to welcoming bright and inquisitive new doctors who will use the opportunities provided to develop their own knowledge and skills, provide excellence in patient care as well as enriching the teaching and learning that is a feature of life at the Great Western Hospital.