Trauma and orthopaedics

About the trauma and orthopaedics programme

Our Trauma and Orthopaedic programme has a longstanding reputation for delivering high quality training. There are a total of 64 national training posts from ST3 level, with training being delivered in eight Trusts around the North East of England and Cumbria.

Within the region there is access to the Musculoskeletal Oncology Specialist Service at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital along with two Major Trauma Centres. Trainees get to pass through all required subspecialties during their initial training and following their exam will have the option to request training posts in their chosen subspecialty. The region has access to world class simulation facilities, at Newcastle Surgical Training Centre, where ST3 trainees have quarterly cadaveric training sessions, so that they will have undertaken surgical access to all relevant areas.

The programme delivers protected weekly teaching on a Monday afternoon. This has a longstanding history of excellent feedback. We deliver an annual in-training clinical assessment exam, a Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons (FRCS) exam preparation course and trainees are encouraged to be involved in the delivery of these courses.

The region has a strong history of research and boasts the UK’s first Orthopaedic trainee led research collaborative, CORNET, allowing access for all trainees to get involved in research. The training programme has also been able to accommodate trainees who would like to take time out to do formal research through out of programme activities (OOPR) and often has several trainees undertaking MD/PhD study. Annually there is a registrar’s research day, which is coupled with a trainer’s educational day.

Our General Medical Council (GMC) feedback is always very positive and in the recent past we have been voted the best programme.

Our hospitals and what they offer:

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust

South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust

Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust 

Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust 

County Durham & Darlington NHS Foundation Trust

North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust

What our trainees say

I knew I wanted to be a surgeon. Initially, I thought I wanted to be a neurosurgeon so started to go in that direction but found that I didn’t enjoy the clinical aspect. Then I thought, plastic surgery! So I got a job in trauma and orthopaedics at James Cook and loved it, especially orthopaedics, and want to continue on this path now. There is so much variety and unlike neurosurgery I really enjoy the clinical aspect. Love the acute side of the specialty as it’s very fast paced but also enjoy the after care too such as rehab. Operating on broken bones is fascinating to me, being able to put people back together is very fulfilling.

The people that I have worked with at the North East and North Cumbria hospitals have really given me a sense of belonging in my place of work. Everyone is so supportive and friendly. I knew almost immediately that this was the place to live and the specialty was definitely for me. The T&O training in the North East is extremely well regarded in the UK. In fact, at the National training awards, it was our consultant that won!! Great achievement for the T&O programme. The training really is excellent, we genuinely do get dedicated time, weekly training sessions, teaching for exams, prep, free resources. The people are so sociable and friendly.

Listen to Helen’s story

Listen to ST6 trauma and orthopaedics registrar talk about her experience of training in the North East and North Cumbria.

“Trauma & Orthopaedics is one of the few specialties where you can really ‘cure’ a patient. They arrive with pain, have surgery and when you see them 6 weeks later, they are pain free.”


Email Helen