We like to describe our scheme light-heartedly as trainee led and TPD interrupted/ facilitated. We have a good team of TPDs who work to our strengths well and work well with the trainers to produce self-directed learners who we hope will be motivated for General Practice in the future.
Walsall Programme has 46 trainers in 24 training practices. Our registrars are split into three clusters which were based on the final practice they would spend their ST3 year in. Within these clusters we have developed smaller teams or families of three or four registrars taken from each of the training years to encourage vertical learning and peer support.
Teaching sessions feature a mix of TPD facilitated and cluster facilitated learning sessions. TPDs run focus groups on topics or for CSA or AKT support. Innovations we have introduced are termly Movie VTS where we watch a film together with an idea of medical themes and questions that we should look out for and then after the film we break into clusters to discuss these. We have also experimented with ‘flipped learning’ and Balint group learning.
Each registrar hence has a named TPD lead (the lead TPD for their cluster) and point of contact although we like to adopt a friendly, informal approach and encourage the trainees to approach any of the TPDs with a query or difficulty.
We have an active Junior Doctors Forum and Trainee Committee which each meet at least once each term. The JDF is held by the registrars without the TPDs present so the group feels free to discuss any issues in private.
The Wolverhampton GP Training Programme has been established for many years. We foster a supportive, interactive environment where trainees are encouraged to shape and develop their own learning. Our aim is to produce informed, well rounded doctors fit for the challenges of modern-day General Practice.
Wolverhampton’s New Cross Hospital is a large teaching hospital with an excellent reputation for education and the majority of the scheme’s hospital posts are based there. The Programme meets on Thursday afternoon at the hospital’s Medical Institute which boasts great IT facilities and a well-stocked library.
The current Wolverhampton Training Programme Directors are Dr Rob Grinsted, Dr Saum Agarwal & Dr Isabelle Mantella who together have a wide range of experience in teaching and training.
Attractions of living and working in the area
Despite its name, the Black Country includes many beautiful parks, areas of outstanding natural beauty, modern and attractive architecture and a vibrant and welcoming population. It takes its name from the broad seam of anthracite coal which originally ran deep underground in the region and fuelled the early industries which grew up here.
Although not marked on any map, the region has a clear and independent identity with a rich and varied history dating back many centuries to the early Anglo-Saxon period. It is known for its unique dialect which is acknowledged as the closest surviving version of the language to Elizabethan English. The area was also the birth-place of the Industrial Revolution in the 17th Century and became the heart of British Industry from the Victorian period onwards.