The Essex, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire (EBH) Training Scheme is based mainly in DGH’s (Lister, Luton and Dunstable, Basildon, Harlow, Colchester, Southend, Broomfield and West Herts). This means that the trainees benefit from a high level of one-to-one consultant supervision and “on the job” training compared to larger teaching hospitals. There is also a broad range of pathology in the DGH setting which provides valuable experience. There are often visiting radiology trainees from neighbouring training schemes (Cambridge and Norfolk & Norwich) doing their DGH placements in the various departments, with up to eight trainees in total in one department at any one time. This means that there are plentiful opportunities for interaction with peers across the region.
We currently have 24 trainees in the scheme and pride ourselves on being able to deliver a comprehensive rounded training program under close consultant supervision. The trainees are very much made to feel part of a team in their respective DGH’s which promotes an excellent training environment and encourages them to take on responsibility in a safe and supportive environment.
As TPD I am constantly looking to adapt and improve the scheme in response to feedback from trainers and trainees alike. We have established a Training Faculty in the EBH scheme which provides a platform whereby trainees and trainers can exchange ideas and information on a regular basis. We promote a training environment where the trainers are approachable and readily available. The scheme benefits from having a large number of experienced and committed trainers who are keen to teach.
Trainees are also encouraged to teach – whether that be fellow trainees, medical students, foundation doctors or other allied healthcare professionals.
They are also encouraged to take on management roles. Recently these have included being on National panels, a PACS procurement board, website and software development. There are always opportunities to take on such roles during your training.
The three training schemes in the East of England Deanery (EBH, Cambridge and Norfolk & Norwich) work closely together and trainees frequently move between the 3 schemes for attachments if it is of benefit to their training. However, each EBH trainee is essentially based in one of the DGH’s for the entirety of their training.
As far as possible, we try to accommodate requests from individual trainees (for example placements in a certain geographical area), and this flexibility is another of the great benefits of being in our scheme. However, any trainee accepting a place on the scheme must be mindful of the fact that it covers a geographically wide area and should therefore be prepared to travel for some parts of their training (including the monthly Part 2 teaching sessions).
The training scheme in general strives to provide a supportive and friendly training environment, and this is evidenced in the fact that many of our trainees go on to take up consultant posts in the region.