default_med
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I have applied for the UK foundation programme this year and placed the Northern Deanery as my top choice. I have never actually visited Newcastle, so I'm going in fairly blind. In the next stage, I intend to rank job rotations based primarily on proximity to Newcastle. My current preference would be:
  1. RVI/Freeman, Newcastle
  2. QE, Gateshead
  3. South Tyneside & Sunderland
  4. Northumbria (N. Tyneside, NSECH, Wansbeck)
  5. Durham
  6. North Cumbria
  7. South Tees (JCUH Middlesbrough)
  8. North Tees & Hartlepool
I understand that Newcastle and Gateshead can be fairly competitive, so although I'm going in with the top decile score, I am paying a fair bit of attention to my 3rd and 4th choices in case I fall short in the SJT. I wondered whether there is any kind of theme surrounding the general experiences of FY1s/FY2s working in these trusts? Are there any jobs in particular which have gained notoriety over the years?I also understand that the Royal Cumberland Infirmary has been put on special measures following the Mid Staffs enquiry. Would it be advisable to avoid North Cumbria for that reason? I love the idea of living close to the Lake District and earning an extra £7k, but I am wary that it may not be the best experience clinically.Thanks!
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Letournel
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(Original post by default_med)
I have applied for the UK foundation programme this year and placed the Northern Deanery as my top choice. I have never actually visited Newcastle, so I'm going in fairly blind. In the next stage, I intend to rank job rotations based primarily on proximity to Newcastle. My current preference would be:
  1. RVI/Freeman, Newcastle
  2. QE, Gateshead
  3. South Tyneside & Sunderland
  4. Northumbria (N. Tyneside, NSECH, Wansbeck)
  5. Durham
  6. North Cumbria
  7. South Tees (JCUH Middlesbrough)
  8. North Tees & Hartlepool
I understand that Newcastle and Gateshead can be fairly competitive, so although I'm going in with the top decile score, I am paying a fair bit of attention to my 3rd and 4th choices in case I fall short in the SJT. I wondered whether there is any kind of theme surrounding the general experiences of FY1s/FY2s working in these trusts? Are there any jobs in particular which have gained notoriety over the years?I also understand that the Royal Cumberland Infirmary has been put on special measures following the Mid Staffs enquiry. Would it be advisable to avoid North Cumbria for that reason? I love the idea of living close to the Lake District and earning an extra £7k, but I am wary that it may not be the best experience clinically.Thanks!
Out of interest are you from the North East or just fancy a change?

I did RVI/Freeman for foundation and really enjoyed it.

Personally would put Northumbria number 3 over Sunderland but both have a very good reputation (would still put QE 2nd though as everyone seems to love it). Only thing with Northumbria is that you tend to do 2 A&E jobs which if you're keen on acute is great, but if it's not your thing then it's a lot of time to spend there.

I get the proximity thing but JCUH gets an excellent reputation (i'd probably put it 5th), it has a brilliant A&E department and is generally well supported. Durham is fairly disjointed and doesn't seem to be ran particularly well.

All being said if you're top decile and don't have a complete disaster on the SJT then you should get Newcastle (when i did foundation they had around 80 jobs in Newcastle).

Most of what i've heard regarding Cumbria is that it's not the best supported nor is it well ran, never personally been though. People love being in the lakes but i'm not sure that's the best reason to choose a location (given it's easy to pop across to the lakes from Newcastle and an airBnB is always very cheap).
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default_med
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(Original post by Letournel)
Out of interest are you from the North East or just fancy a change?

I did RVI/Freeman for foundation and really enjoyed it.

Personally would put Northumbria number 3 over Sunderland but both have a very good reputation (would still put QE 2nd though as everyone seems to love it). Only thing with Northumbria is that you tend to do 2 A&E jobs which if you're keen on acute is great, but if it's not your thing then it's a lot of time to spend there.

I get the proximity thing but JCUH gets an excellent reputation (i'd probably put it 5th), it has a brilliant A&E department and is generally well supported. Durham is fairly disjointed and doesn't seem to be ran particularly well.

All being said if you're top decile and don't have a complete disaster on the SJT then you should get Newcastle (when i did foundation they had around 80 jobs in Newcastle).

Most of what i've heard regarding Cumbria is that it's not the best supported nor is it well ran, never personally been though. People love being in the lakes but i'm not sure that's the best reason to choose a location (given it's easy to pop across to the lakes from Newcastle and an airBnB is always very cheap).
Thank you for taking the time to reply, it's a big help! I'm from the South of England originally, but I suppose I just fancied a change and researched what each UK city had to offer. I really like the fact Newcastle is so close to the coast and mountains, property is pretty affordable, and the city looks vibrant. I also quite like how you can spend two years in the same area without moving around or commuting huge distances.

I did notice that Northumbria often has two jobs in A&E at the NSECH. Am I right in thinking that FY1s would be supernumerary and heavily supervised in A&E? I've read that other hospitals don't allow FY1s to work nights in A&E without a consultant on-site, but I'm guessing this isn't the case in NSECH where there is 24hr consultant led care.

For RVI/Freeman, I read elsewhere that there's a high likelihood of you being the sole doctor on the "liver transplants for patients with situs inversus" ward where you will be left looking after 30 patients with complex problems. Others have said that there's lots of subspecialty work and "you're often left unsupported being a cannula monkey". Comments like that have put me off slightly. Has this been a common experience you've noticed in RVI/Freeman?

Gateshead seems to get a lot of good feedback, so I'm tempted to put that top now. Then possibly Northumbria > RVI/Freeman > Sunderland > JCUH > Durham > Carlisle > North Tees.
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Letournel
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(Original post by default_med)
Thank you for taking the time to reply, it's a big help! I'm from the South of England originally, but I suppose I just fancied a change and researched what each UK city had to offer. I really like the fact Newcastle is so close to the coast and mountains, property is pretty affordable, and the city looks vibrant. I also quite like how you can spend two years in the same area without moving around or commuting huge distances.

I did notice that Northumbria often has two jobs in A&E at the NSECH. Am I right in thinking that FY1s would be supernumerary and heavily supervised in A&E? I've read that other hospitals don't allow FY1s to work nights in A&E without a consultant on-site, but I'm guessing this isn't the case in NSECH where there is 24hr consultant led care.

For RVI/Freeman, I read elsewhere that there's a high likelihood of you being the sole doctor on the "liver transplants for patients with situs inversus" ward where you will be left looking after 30 patients with complex problems. Others have said that there's lots of subspecialty work and "you're often left unsupported being a cannula monkey". Comments like that have put me off slightly. Has this been a common experience you've noticed in RVI/Freeman?

Gateshead seems to get a lot of good feedback, so I'm tempted to put that top now. Then possibly Northumbria > RVI/Freeman > Sunderland > JCUH > Durham > Carlisle > North Tees.
At Northumbria you'll be supervised in A&E but you'll not specifically be supermumary. That being said there are usually multiple consultants/middle grades on site (and a consultant presence overnight) so people do seem to still enjoy it and i don't think they feel as if they have been thrown in at the deep end. As an F1 when on A&E your nights are covering the wards back of house, you won't be in A&E overnight until FY2.

There are some niche specialties at RVI/Freeman but they still have all of the regular specialties with all of the regular day to day presentations. I did the HPB job so covered transplant overnight however in all reality as soon as there is a problem it goes straight over my head to the HPB reg/renal physician/liver physician. You won't cover these wards during the day as they use those on the Northern surgical rotation (plus HPB is enough to keep you busy). At certain times you feel like a cannula monkey but i think that's just foundation as opposed to foundation at a tertiary centre (medicine ward cover comes to mind).

I personally did Acute med (2 months), Diabetes & Endo (2 months), elective T&O (4 months), CCU (1 month), NeuroITU (3 months), GP (4 months in Wallsend), Neurosurgery (4 months) and Hepatobiliary (4 months). All were great rotations, Diabetes, CCU and ITU in particular had excellent teaching to complement the day to day work. The rota on Neuro was a bit brutal but we had lots of gaps which i am led to believe have now been covered.

I certainly didn't have a bad experience and feel like i made a tonne of progress in these rotations though i am sure the reviews are just as good for Gateshead/Northumbria/Sunderland. With your score i imagine you'll easily get one of those 4 and have a fair pick of the jobs available.
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So I studied and did foundation programme in Newcastle (absolutely loved it there). I worked in Gateshead and 100% recommend. It is so supportive and small enough to settle in quickly. The consultants are (mostly) lovely. I found it very nice that senior doctors knew me by name and would say hello and not just ignore me. Nurses are all fabulous- proactive and approachable.
If you have enough points- I would go for it. It is known amongst Ncl graduates to be the most competitive and there is a reason for this! I rotated in most of the hospitals as a medical student and my friends work in various hosps in the area so have had their feedback as well. I loved NSECH and I learnt a lot. I would have stayed for F1 but as I was there in final year, I wanted a bit of a change. NT is good as well.
Lots of people love Sunderland. I really didn't enjoy my time there at all. And ST isnt great... loads of their services have closed and moved to Sunderland.
RVI/FRH also great- "famous" so lots of non Ncl think its the best. Obviously tertiary centre so experience in the weird and wonderful but as an F1/2 you job is pretty much the same wherever. You won't be managing complex patients and emergency situation without some senior support available.
Happy to answer any questions so free free to ask!
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default_med
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(Original post by Letournel)
At Northumbria you'll be supervised in A&E but you'll not specifically be supermumary. That being said there are usually multiple consultants/middle grades on site (and a consultant presence overnight) so people do seem to still enjoy it and i don't think they feel as if they have been thrown in at the deep end. As an F1 when on A&E your nights are covering the wards back of house, you won't be in A&E overnight until FY2.

There are some niche specialties at RVI/Freeman but they still have all of the regular specialties with all of the regular day to day presentations. I did the HPB job so covered transplant overnight however in all reality as soon as there is a problem it goes straight over my head to the HPB reg/renal physician/liver physician. You won't cover these wards during the day as they use those on the Northern surgical rotation (plus HPB is enough to keep you busy). At certain times you feel like a cannula monkey but i think that's just foundation as opposed to foundation at a tertiary centre (medicine ward cover comes to mind).

I personally did Acute med (2 months), Diabetes & Endo (2 months), elective T&O (4 months), CCU (1 month), NeuroITU (3 months), GP (4 months in Wallsend), Neurosurgery (4 months) and Hepatobiliary (4 months). All were great rotations, Diabetes, CCU and ITU in particular had excellent teaching to complement the day to day work. The rota on Neuro was a bit brutal but we had lots of gaps which i am led to believe have now been covered.

I certainly didn't have a bad experience and feel like i made a tonne of progress in these rotations though i am sure the reviews are just as good for Gateshead/Northumbria/Sunderland. With your score i imagine you'll easily get one of those 4 and have a fair pick of the jobs available.
Is that the norm to do so many short jobs? It's possibly changed, but I was under the impression that you rotate through 4 month jobs.

In terms of getting into hospital, is it easy enough getting parked in RVI/Freeman? Would it be a nightmare getting in from Jesmond/Gosforth and finding parking? Or would it be more advisable to use public transport?

Thanks again!
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default_med
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(Original post by Anonymous)
So I studied and did foundation programme in Newcastle (absolutely loved it there). I worked in Gateshead and 100% recommend. It is so supportive and small enough to settle in quickly. The consultants are (mostly) lovely. I found it very nice that senior doctors knew me by name and would say hello and not just ignore me. Nurses are all fabulous- proactive and approachable.
If you have enough points- I would go for it. It is known amongst Ncl graduates to be the most competitive and there is a reason for this! I rotated in most of the hospitals as a medical student and my friends work in various hosps in the area so have had their feedback as well. I loved NSECH and I learnt a lot. I would have stayed for F1 but as I was there in final year, I wanted a bit of a change. NT is good as well.
Lots of people love Sunderland. I really didn't enjoy my time there at all. And ST isnt great... loads of their services have closed and moved to Sunderland.
RVI/FRH also great- "famous" so lots of non Ncl think its the best. Obviously tertiary centre so experience in the weird and wonderful but as an F1/2 you job is pretty much the same wherever. You won't be managing complex patients and emergency situation without some senior support available.
Happy to answer any questions so free free to ask!
Thanks for the advice! Would most juniors drive into Gateshead from Newcastle? I was originally looking at Gosforth/Jesmond, but I've started to read good things about the Low Fell area around Saltwell Park and Whickham. I'm quite keen to get involved with the social side of things outside of work and don't want to leave myself struggling to meet people, but equally don't want to have a regular midweek wakeup call from drunk students.
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Letournel
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(Original post by default_med)
Is that the norm to do so many short jobs? It's possibly changed, but I was under the impression that you rotate through 4 month jobs.

In terms of getting into hospital, is it easy enough getting parked in RVI/Freeman? Would it be a nightmare getting in from Jesmond/Gosforth and finding parking? Or would it be more advisable to use public transport?

Thanks again!
The placements were 4 months but my acute med was split into 2 months AMU then 2 months ward, and my crit care job was split into one month CCU, 3 months neuro. Supervisor etc is the same for the 4 months.

Jesmond/Gosforth are walkable/cycleable to both hospitals as parking (particularly for RVI) is not ideal. RVI is accessible via the metro but it would be a bus to the Freeman.
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(Original post by default_med)
Is that the norm to do so many short jobs? It's possibly changed, but I was under the impression that you rotate through 4 month jobs.

In terms of getting into hospital, is it easy enough getting parked in RVI/Freeman? Would it be a nightmare getting in from Jesmond/Gosforth and finding parking? Or would it be more advisable to use public transport?

Thanks again!
you can't park at rvi/frh but easy to metro/walk from jesmond. drs get parking permit at qeh (its not expensive at all). I lived in both gosforth and jesmond. Its an easy drive (depending on school traffic!) but lots of my friends moved to gateshead and quayside
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