Foundation Doctor's 2023 Guide to Wessex
Updated for 2023 Applicants
Wessex Foundation School is part of Health Education England Wessex and covers a broad area; stretching from Basingstoke, south to Portsmouth & Southampton, and then west along the coast towards Dorchester & Bournemouth, and then also extends to Jersey.
Southampton General Hospital is the major trauma centre in the region and is also one of the larger teaching hospitals. There are plenty of opportunities to get involved with teaching medical students, here which also looks really good on your core training application.
Training in Wessex Deanery provides a good mixture of both urban and rural placements. One of the most rural of these is at the Isle of Wight, which will require a ferry journey to get to. Past trainees here have mentioned forming close relationships with their fellow trainees here and enjoying the unparalleled natural scenery during the summer.
Having a car for the more rural locations is preferred, but not essential as there are accessible public transport links that make it easy to get around.
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Foundation School Statistics
2022 F1 Places: 316
2022 F1 Applicants: 226
2022 Competition Ratio: 0.72
2021 F1 Places: 290
2021 F1 Applicants: 216
2021 Competition Ratio: 0.74
Below is an interactive bar chart displaying the competition ratios, lowest entry scores, and the number of posts over the past 5 years.
Please note that the 2022 data for lowest entry score is not yet available, we will update this graph when it is.
How Does Wessex Compare To Other Foundation Schools?
Check out our article "What are the most competitive foundations schools?" for a full breakdown.
Hospitals, Rotation Scores, CQC Ratings
In the chart below you'll find a list of hospitals attached to the Wessex Foundation School, and an average of their Rotation Scores from Messly’s Training Navigator. Each rotation is given a score out of 100, which is based on a weighted average of ratings given by Foundation Trainees in the 2022 GMC NTS. The national average Rotation Score is 62 for reference.
Colours correspond to the latest CQC rating of that hospital.
Disclaimer: Please note that hospitals are unscored when there are insufficient responses by Foundation Trainees to the GMC’s NTS survey.
Need Help Ranking Your Foundation Programmes?
Rank your Foundation Programme rotations with confidence with Messly’s Training Navigator. See how rotations are rated by last year’s foundation trainees to make smarter decisions about where you’ll spend your Foundation Training.
You can use it to answer questions like:
👉 Which are the best-rated and worst-rated rotations in my Foundation School?
👉 How do the rotations compare for Workload, Learning and Satisfaction?
👉 Which is the best hospital for my favourite specialties?
👉 Within a hospital, which rotations are best-rated?
A Doctor’s View
“I chose to do my foundation years in Wessex as it’s such a friendly deanery with a range of fantastic DGHs. I had studied at Southampton medical school and already had placements at most hospitals in Wessex, so really knew what I was applying to.
I love living here as there are brilliant things to do in your free time if you like the outdoors: beaches, forest walks, water sports, beautiful countryside, and some lovely towns to visit. Dorchester is particularly great, as you’re just a few miles away from the Jurassic coastline and there’s lots going on here in the summer.
Socially, Wessex is great as it tends to attract doctors who are fairly outgoing and want to socialise outside of work. Most hospitals have very active doctor’s messes and organise lots of events and outdoor activities. Obviously there aren’t as many large events going on compared to London or Birmingham, but it makes up for that with the opportunity to do many outdoor activities.
Wessex generally has very well supported foundation doctors due to the friendly nature of registrars and consultants at most hospitals. I’ve heard that at the smaller, more isolated trusts in, for example, the Isle of Wight, where there may be slightly fewer seniors in your team due to fewer training posts, however, on the whole, Wessex trainees tend to speak positively of their foundation experience.
In terms of transport, it definitely helps to have a car, otherwise getting around Wessex can be very difficult, especially if you want to get to see all the beautiful nature!”
Jacob Stone, Mess Champion, Foundation Year 1 at Dorset County Hospital
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