About the Trust and site

Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust is an integrated care organisation and  is committed to improving the lives of local people, maintaining a reputation for training and education, and embedding research and innovation. SWBH employs over 7,000 people and is responsible for the care of 530,000 local people from across North-West Birmingham, and all the towns within Sandwell.

City Hospital is a 304-bedded site located in the heart of the city and is home to the West Midlands Poisons Unit, Birmingham and Midland Eye Centre (supra-regional eye centre), Pan-Birmingham Gynae-Oncology Centre, Sickle cell and Thalassaemia Centre and Behcets National Centre.

Sandwell General Hospital has 460 beds and is situated in the West Bromwich area. The population is more elderly with multiple co-morbidities and services based there include the Stroke Specialist Centre, General Surgery and in-patient paediatrics.

Both hospitals provide a wide range of acute, inpatient, outpatient, day case, diagnostic and one-stop services. The Trust also has academic departments in cardiology, rheumatology, ophthalmology, and neurology.

It is an exciting time for the Trust with both sites moving to the new Midland Metropolitan University Hospital (MMUH) in 2022. The new hospital is unique as it will be an acute hospital providing only acute care. Other scheduled care will be provided out in the community. SWBH aims to be the best integrated care health system in the NHS. The new hospital is not only state of the art but also aims to address social deprivation and mobility.

Click link to see a flythrough of MMUH https://youtu.be/e1865NPa-4U


What makes SWBH a good place to train

SWBH is a fantastic place to train, providing a variety of learning opportunities with a strong teaching and training portfolio.

For Internal Medicine Stage 1 and Higher Specialist training/Internal Medicine Stage 2, the Trust has training posts in medical specialties including Acute Medicine, Care of the Elderly, Cardiology, Respiratory, Gastroenterology, Diabetes and Endocrinology, Haematology, Rheumatology, Dermatology, Neurology and Palliative Care. All Internal Medicine Stage 1 trainees will rotate into mandatory Critical Care and Care of the Elderly placements as part of their training programme.

Acute Medicine at SWBH is renowned for its training and passion for acute and general medicine, with enthusiastic Acute Medicine consultants. With a dedicated Clinical Skills Lab in AMU, there is ample opportunity to acquire procedural skills. You will assess and manage patients from an acute unselected take and be part of the AMU and speciality placement blocks, which enable trainees to consolidate their skills and provide continuity of care for patients in the acute setting. You will also have experience working in ambulatory care. There is also opportunity to train in point of care ultrasound. The acute take is supported by 24hr cardiology on call with PCI centre in City, acute stroke and thrombolysis service, ‘in-reach’ from other specialties such as critical care, respiratory, gastroenterology, renal, neurology, diabetes, haematology, palliative care, etc.

Medical Registrars are well supported as the consultant body recognises the vital role registrars play in running the acute take and safely managing the hospital out of hours. There are established registrar and junior doctor forums which has led to changes and improvements ranging from clinical pathways to doctors’ well-being.

As for specialty experience, our specialty departments have well-established high quality comprehensive services in their specialist areas and also offer a full range of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures using the latest equipment and technology. Therefore, trainees have training opportunities in providing inpatient care in specialty wards, attending specialty clinics, obtaining practical procedural skills and participating in departmental teaching, research and quality improvement projects, amongst others.

The diverse population and high level of social deprivation means that you will see a vast array of medical presentations. Trainees often see presentations such as HIV, disseminated TB and infective endocarditis. The West Midlands Poisons Unit at City Hospital also provides unique opportunities for learning about the management of overdoses and alcohol detox.

The Trust is a friendly and supportive place to train. Wellbeing services led by our wellbeing champion are outstanding and many projects have been developed including sleep pods, wellbeing drop-in sessions and dedicated rest areas. The RCP network at the Trust is well established and our College Tutors go the extra mile to support trainees in their training programmes, supervision, exams, ARCPs, career advice, well-being and pastoral support. The Trust is also an internal medicine regional simulation centre providing hi-fidelity simulation.

There are also dedicated educational and clinical supervisors who will mentor and help you achieve your clinical competencies. Consultants are approachable and will give you opportunities to lead quality improvement projects and teaching programmes. The postgraduate medical education team are also supportive and responsive to trainee needs. PACES teaching is good and well-organised, with excellent consultants providing bedside teaching. The trust has a culture of fostering learning, allowing you to step up and make decisions as a junior doctor at a level appropriate to your training.

SWBH rates highly in the national training surveys with trainees reporting high levels of satisfaction and feeling well supported.


Other information

The Trust encourages all juniors to participate in change management and leadership. SWBH have had a Chief Registrar within medicine the past 4 years ensuring connection from the executive board to the floor. There is ample opportunity to get involved in quality improvement projects, research and audits. Many juniors have had opportunities to present their work regionally, nationally and internationally.

The 6-week placement block rota system designed by the acute medicine department has won several awards from the Society of Acute Medicine and Royal College of Physicians, and the concept has been adopted by various Trusts to improve training and education for juniors doctors whilst providing high quality of care and continuity for patients .

The first Women’s Clinician Network based at SWBH aims to empower all female trainees to be the best version of themselves. Delivery of conferences and workshops entitled “Women Empowering Women” to “Fearless” are a few examples of proactive work to support female doctors.

In terms of other facilities, car parking is easily available, local amenities are nearby, the trust library is open all hours with swipe card access and there is also a gym on site which is free to use.

SWBH is dedicated to investing in people and it is our aim that you enjoy your training journey and obtain the support and opportunities you need to fulfil your career aspirations.

Please click link for further information about SWBH Trust https://www.swbh.nhs.uk