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Torbay Hospital’s education and training rated best in area

Training facilities in Torbay Hospital's Horizon Centre simulation suite.
Health Education South West, the local education and training board, praised the quality of Torbay Hospital’s medical training.

Published: 16 July 2015

A recent survey carried out by the General Medical Council (GMC) shows that Torbay Hospital, run by South Devon Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and part of South West Peninsula Postgraduate Medical Education, provides exceptional medical training.

The GMC surveys all doctors in training to ask them about the quality of their training experience and the hospital in which they work. In overall satisfaction, widely considered to be the best single measure of education and training performance, South West Peninsula Postgraduate Medical Education was ranked second out of the 13 regional education areas; with Torbay Hospital the top performing trust in the region for the fourth year in a row.

The Peninsula was ranked top for access to educational resources, and second for clinical supervision, clinical supervision out of hours, adequate experience and induction.

Trainee GP Dr Nicholas Hodges, currently completing training placements at South Devon Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, said: “After university, I wanted to return to my home county of Devon. Torbay seemed an obvious choice as it has much more to offer than just its idyllic location. I’ve been really impressed with Torbay’s advancement in a number of areas particularly around integrated health and social care, and the use of new technologies. The style of teaching is supportive, approachable and importantly engaging. I’ve had the opportunity to be actively involved in a number of key projects for the Trust and have felt that as a junior doctor my ideas are listened to and valued. There is a real sense of community spirit which makes Torbay such a special place to train, and why so many doctors choose to stay.”

Commenting on the results, Dr John Lowes, Medical Director at South Devon Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust said: “These results clearly show that consistently, year on year, across the Peninsula doctors in training are receiving some of the best training in the country. At Torbay we strive to offer a rich and engaging learning experience so we work closely with our trainees – encouraging them to be involved in service development and innovations that will improve patient safety and quality of care. We’re proud to be a training hospital and are committed to maintaining and building upon this reputation.”

Areas identified for development include ensuring trainees can easily access regional teaching. The hospital is also working with departments to review specific trainee feedback and implement improvements. The Trust will be reviewing the patient care handover process to identify where appropriate technologies can help deliver safe patient care whilst reducing duplication for staff.

The review team from Health Education South West, the local education and training board, praised the quality of Torbay Hospital’s medical training and commented on how senior executive support within the Trust helps to maintain a positive training environment.