Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s vision is for high quality, safe healthcare, and its staff work together to provide excellent healthcare services across Warrington, Runcorn, Widnes and surrounding areas.

It is responsible for a budget of around £215 million each year, managing over 4,200 staff and providing access to care for over 500,000 patients.

The Trust is also home to specialist critical care, stroke, cardiac and surgical units, with the majority of its emergency and complex surgical care based at Warrington Hospital. Halton Hospital is a Centre of Excellence for routine surgery. The Cheshire and Merseyside Treatment Centre (CMTC) is home to its Orthopaedic Surgery Service, and it provides a range of services across the community.

Trust overview:

  • A&E see over 100,000 patients each year.
  • Over 3,000 babies are born each year in the maternity unit
  • There are a total of 590 beds across its hospitals
  • 4,200 staff work across its wards and departments
  • The Trust has an annual turnover of £215 million
  • Serves a local population of 313,463 people
  • Provide almost 500,000 individual appointments, procedures and stays in hospital each year
  • Became a NHS Foundation Trust in December 2008, with over 12,000 public members
  • Cut hospital infection rates by over 90% in the last five years
    Placement opportunities

    Fourth year medical students will rotate through a variety of different clinical areas and departments including children’s health, obstetrics and gynaecology, medicine, and surgery. External placements will feature oncology and palliative care, GP and mental health.

    Students at Warrington are grouped into pairs to ensure peer support. Each pair will have programmed activities including ward work, outpatient clinics and theatre sessions.

    Core teaching sessions are also delivered across the clinical placements. These include trust CBL tutorials, pharmacist tutorials and clinical skills teaching.

    Fifth year students have successfully completed their final exams and the year is designed to improve their confidence, knowledge and skills, preparing them to take up posts as foundation trainee doctors at the end of the year.

    The students have four blocks, two of which are the acute block and the ward shadowing block. There are also SAMP (Special Advanced Medical Practice) blocks which the students select from a list available across the placement Trusts. Warrington currently offers SAMP placements in anaesthetics, breast surgery, cardiology, diabetes, elderly care, gastroenterology, O&G, ophthalmology and paediatrics.

    Clinical skills provision

    The Trust provides a variety of opportunities to learn and practice your clinical skills for fourth and fifth year students. These include classroom based teaching sessions, featuring demonstrations and the opportunity to practice your skills.

    Peer review marking for FOSCE and OSCE practice session, and high fidelity simulation scenarios, featuring technical and non-technical skills. Advice and help with getting DOPs signed off is also provided.

    During fourth year, adult and paediatric basic life support training is provided. Fifth year covers Resuscitation Council (UK) Immediate Life Support. Fifth year students will also carry a bleep for part of your placement and will be bleeped to cardiac arrest calls and to simulated patients as part of its Bleep2 program. Attendance at cardiac arrest provides an introduction and awareness of the skills required to participate in a resuscitation attempt.

    What's unique?

    Warrington Hospital has a central location with easy access to motorway networks (M62, M6, M56, and M60) and is only 16 miles from Liverpool, 19 miles from Manchester, and two hours from London by train.

    On-site accommodation is also available.

    As a district hospital, there are a variety of different specialities for students to rotate through.

    This small hospital has a more personal, community feel, with a small cohorts of students.

    The Trust have set up various programmes to enhance learning and placement experiences including:

    • Acute Care Training – undergraduate programme
    • Bleep 2
    • FOOT tutors – Foundation Doctor one-to-one support for fourth years
    • Student-led Informal Clinical Knowledge Sessions (SLICKS) and peer mentoring
    • Simulation training and clinical skills drop-in sessions

    Additionally, the Trust still holds an active and well attended weekly Grand Round educational lunch time meeting. Grand Round is a good opportunity to learn from multi-professionals with various topics each week. The Trust also actively encourage students to arrange shadowing with multi-disciplinary teams such as physio, pain management and dieticians to gain understanding of the teamwork that upholds patient care.

    Student testimonials

    “My key reasons for choosing Warrington:

    1. Impressed by the history of LOCAS pass rates of previous years
    2. Impressed by OSCE pass rates
    3. A small cohort (ONLY 4th and 5th years) means more opportunities with one on one teaching and experience with consultants. That in turn will allow to us to gain more confidence in medical practice
    4. A reasonable commute from Liverpool
    5. It felt like Warrington was best equipped to prepare me not only for finals but also life as a junior doctor.”

    - Vikram Rajasekar (4th Year Medical Student)

    “I am really enjoying my time at Warrington. Everyone is very friendly and it is a really nice environment to learn in. The doctors (even senior ones) are very keen to teach. The weekly pharmacy teaching is outstanding and would be so useful for finals.”

    - Rebecca McKnight (5th Year Medical Student)