Both sites have a Surgical Assessment unit, to allow for the rapid assessment of surgical patients when you are on-call. The consultants’ special interests cover a wide range of sub-specialties.
Pre-Assessment clinics are nurse-led. You cover the wards, lead ward round, and run the firm. We have few “SHO-level” or FY2 doctors in General Surgery, so you will get a lot of contact with the consultant and registrar. The Day Surgery Units are “nurse-led”, so you attend sessions there for your education, rather than as service commitment.
All the orthopaedic consultants and other staff are very keen on teaching. There is a good balance of elective and trauma work. We often receive major trauma, from roads crashes and leisure activities and further afield as both sites have helicopter landing pads.
We have integrated care pathways for patients with hip fractures, and good nurses and therapists, so the ward work is fun. We aim for early discharge, so manage a large throughput of patients, with lots of operating out of comparatively few hospital beds.
We have daily fracture clinics at both sites, to reduce unnecessary admissions. The Day Surgery units are “nurse-led”, so you attend sessions there for your education, rather than as service commitment. There are Pre-Assessment clinics, some nurse-led, and some requiring your input.
On the Eastbourne site, when you are on-call during the day (till 10pm) this is for general surgery, rather than for orthopaedics. There are daily trauma meetings where interesting X-rays are discussed, and we score very highly for the educational value of these posts.
The FY1 doctors are expected to manage patients on the wards, run ward rounds, assist in theatre, attend clinics and help in the plaster room. You are often expected to “act up” for the SHO on your team when s/he is on nights, which gives you good experience of running the firm.
We have 11 Specialist Registrars across the unit, from the South East Thames Orthopaedic training rotation. We have a diversity of staff at “SHO” level, with GP trainees, FY2 doctors and doctors aiming for a surgical career, and we welcome everyone’s different contribution. All give good feedback of their experience.
All the urology consultants and other staff are very keen on teaching. Both urology units are very busy, with a predominantly elderly population on the South coast. We have pioneered some laparoscopic techniques, with a new operating theatre suite at Eastbourne.