Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust

Based at Alexandra Hospital – with rotations to Worcestershire Royal Hospital (WRH) Hereford County Hospital (HCH) and University Hospital Birmingham (UHB)

Worcestershire is a mostly rural county between the Cotswolds, the Welsh border and Birmingham. The major motorway networks of M42, M5 and M6 provide excellent links to the rest of the West Midlands. The area has easy access to Birmingham and other attractions; Stratford, Malvern hills and Wyre Forest.  There are many sites of historical interest and natural beauty. The county and environs has several high standard private and state schools.  Redditch is about 30-45 minutes’ drive from Birmingham. It grew in the 60s, in a style similar to Milton Keynes. Its economy is based on agriculture, light engineering and service industries. There are rental properties locally and in Bromsgrove about 15 minutes away. Hospital based accommodation is also available.

Acute and OP medical services are provided at WRH and Alexandra Hospital, with further OP services in Kidderminster Hospital and a number of community Hospitals. There are 3 main commissioning groups- Redditch and Bromsgrove, South Worcestershire and Wyre Forest. The population of Worcestershire is around 550.000. The trust employs nearly 6000 staff and treats 800,000 patients annually including those from nearby areas.  

Operationally there are five divisions in the Trust- Specialist medicine, Urgent Care, Surgery, Women’s and Children’s and Specialised Clinical Services.

Other information: one of the Trust’s main principles is putting patients first- that is at the pinnacle of its philosophy and ethos. Our signature behaviours of the 4ward programme are- do what we say we will do; no delays every day; we listen we learn we lead; work together, celebrate together.

Alexandra Hospital Redditch opened in 1985, serves a population of 200 000 and has 360 beds. The Alex is well renowned for being a friendly place to work. All staff members and multidisciplinary teams are approachable and supportive. There is an active and vibrant doctors’ mess.

There is a multi-disciplinary education centre with library, teaching and study rooms, with pleasant and helpful staff. Medical specialties currently based here are Acute medicine, Cardiology, Diabetes and Endocrinology, Geriatrics, ITU and Respiratory medicine. Palliative care team works closely with all specialties and training is integrated.  There is an Ambulatory Emergency care (AEC) Acute Medical Unit (AMU) and Medical Short Stay Unit (MSSU)  and five medical specialty wards.

Acute unselected medical take is run on a shift system, days and nights on call. The take is   well organised and run by the RMO. This provides the chance to develop management and organisational skills as well as ample opportunities for clinical training and a wide variety of emergency presentations useful for PACES preparation. Referrals are from Emergency Department (ED), AEC or GPs.   AEC has advanced nurse practitioners and acute physicians with whom you would work closely to facilitate care of ambulatory emergency cases. There are evening post take ward rounds with the on-call consultants. Patients arriving on AMU before 4pm are seen with the acute physicians. Safer working patterns devised during the peak of Covid-19 pandemic have been incorporated into rotas. For example evening and night shifts are better staffed thus enhancing patient and staff safety. There is a night nurse practitioner who helps deal with emergencies on the wards and screens calls from ward nurses. There are long term middle grade doctors, Trust and Specialty Registrars, clinical fellows – all of whom relish training colleagues.  The Radiology department provides a prompt service in and out of hours.

For outpatient clinics there is planned protected time each week- generally attend clinics in the specialty placement but there is a clinic map available if other clinics are of interest. They are likely to be run virtually in most cases for the foreseeable future. OP clinics provide opportunities to develop knowledge of specialty care pathways, management of referrals from and correspondence with colleagues in primary care and in other specialties.

There are at least 5 hours of protected teaching time a week, with journal club, grand rounds, and dedicated IMT teaching programme including lab based training in procedural skills and simulation sessions. Part of the teaching programme is trust-wide- provided by consultants, registrars and non-medics and peers.  It is expected that IMT doctors take a full and active part in education programmes including teaching and training of junior colleagues, medical students and nurses. We have an annual trainees’ presentation competition and there is a separate PACES teaching programme.

There is a Trust Quality Improvement as well as clinical audit department which provide support advice and guidance for QIPs and audit projects.

Rotations to specialties not available at the Alex may be to WRH, HCH or UHB thus broadening your horizons and experience of different organisations.

Worcestershire Royal Hospital was built under the private finance initiative and opened in 2002 with 500 beds; provides stroke services and PPCI for the county. Medical specialties based here are Acute medicine, Cardiology, Gastroenterology, Renal medicine, Respiratory Medicine, Geriatrics, Infectious diseases and Stroke. Dermatology Rheumatology, Haematology and Oncology are also based on site but are not currently in IMT programme.

Come join us on the next part of your journey as a physician- welcome!

Dzifa W Abban

RCP Tutor