National Recruitment ST1 90

Recruitment Timetable

Apply from 7 November 2018
Closing date 29 November 2018
Interview dates 1 February 2019.

National Recruitment 2019

On behalf of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists, Health Education England (South West) is co-ordinating national recruitment into Ophthalmic Specialist Training at Level 1 (ST1) for posts commencing August 2019 onwards.  

The interviews will be hosted at a single centre in Bristol and candidates will be able to preference all available posts across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Before starting an application please refer to

  • "Job Description" for vacancy details
  • "Resources" for the applicant guidance and person specification

For specialty information click Choosing Ophthalmology As A Career.

For 2019 all candidates applying to Ophthalmology will be required to sit the Multi-Specialty Recruitment Assessment which is an online assessment.  Candidates can take the online assessment between the 3rd and 14th of January 2019.


Anticipated Outcomes

  • Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT)

Run-through specialty training in Ophthalmology commences at level one (ST1) and will continue, subject to satisfactory annual review, until completion of training and award of CCT at level seven (ST7).

The vacancies quoted below are indicative and the actual number of posts in each area will be confirmed nearer to the time of offers.  The start date of the posts will be the 1st of August 2019 unless stated otherwise.  

Health Education East Midlands 

Vacancies:  minimum of 5 ST1 posts

4 posts in East Midlands South and 1 post in East Midlands North

There are three DGHs on the rotation Northampton, Lincoln and Kettering. Subspeciality exposure is at Leicester Royal Infirmary.

TSCs are available in all subspecialities. If needs be trainees can rotate to the North rotation to Nottingham Derby or Mansfield.

Post Graduate Teaching takes place on Friday afternoons at Leicester and there a number of All Day Teaching sessions joint with the North rotation.

Ophthalmology is within the School of Surgery for administrative purposes.

For more information please contact the Training Programme Directors. For East Midlands South, Somnath Banerjee.  For further details please see the HE East Midlands - Ophthalmology Website.


Health Education East of England 

Vacancies:  3 - 5 ST1 posts

TOP of the 2018 & 2017 GMC trainee survey: rated highest average across all 18 domains in the country out of all 16 regions
TOP exam results : We had 100% success over last 2 years at Part 2 clinical exams (9/9)
TOP Regional Training : 1st (88.3%) out of 17 regions in the whole UK (rest of UK : 61.55 - 80.17% range)

We have split our region into 3 manageable sub-rotations based around Addenbrookes or Norwich (voted in the top 3 units in the country for training). This negates the issue of huge commutes yet remains flexible to trainee needs and commitments outside of work. East of England has wonderful and affordable places to work, live and bring up families.

- East (Norwich / Cambridge / Bury St.Edmunds / Ipswich / James Paget)
- South (Cambridge / Southend / Colchester / Chelmsford / Welwyn Garden / Watford / Luton)
- West (Cambridge / Norwich / Peterborough / Huntingdon / Luton)

Surgical training opportunities are vast with little competition for cases. Our trainees regularly achieve 600-1000 phacos along with significant exposure to all subspecialty operations. Final year fellowships (TSC’s) are freely available without competition and further refine skills allowing trainees to confidently apply for future post CCT fellowships.

East of England is a vibrant and friendly place to train with huge emphasis on getting lots of surgical / clinical experience and training.  Some of the highlights of our training include

- ST induction week (hands on exposure to all areas) in August
- Monthly Interactive / patient based OSCE teaching at two main teaching units Norwich and Cambridge
- Simulation training (3 x EyESi Simulators / Cataract & complications / Cadaver Strabismus & Plastics / Laser / Trauma Simulation)
- Part 2 and Refraction Courses in house
- Case Presentation & Audit Prize competitions
- Regional Research Prize Day, Research workshops, ACF posts at Cambridge & Norwich and active trainee NIHR linked network
- Workshops in Professional development and Senior trainee development

For further information please contact the Narman Puvanachandra (TPD) or visit the HE East of England Website.  For opportunities to come and meet us / meet some of our trainees, trainers and researcher please visit the welcome page on our website. 


Health Education Kent, Surrey and Sussex 

Vacancies:  3 - 7 ST1 posts

The HEKSS School of Ophthalmology was formed in 2011 and our commitment to excellence in patient care, education, and research is unparalleled.

The HEKSS training programme in Ophthalmology is a 7 year run-through programme from the first ST1 year to the final ST7 Trainee Selected Component (TSC) which is a sub-specialty year in a HEKSS or London unit.

We aim to give a good grounding in the basics for the first 2 years including a good start to gaining competency in cataract surgery. We support all our trainees in achieving a goal of having completed 100 cataract operations by the end of the ST2 year which is twice the number recommended nationally!

In 4 out of our 5 posts trainees will stay in the same hospital for the first two years and so get the benefit of some stability, on the other hand trainees may prefer to experience some variety across the beautiful Sussex coast rotating from ST1 in Worthing to your ST2 year in Hastings. In the first two years trainees will have a half day of protected teaching and a half day of personal study weekly.

Trainees will then rotate around posts in Kent, Surrey and Sussex for your ST3 to ST6 years ensuring a good mix of experience in all of the ophthalmology sub-specialties. We are not able to guarantee being placed in any particular part of the region in each year trainees will have the opportunity to rank the posts each year and we aim to be as family-friendly and thoughtful as possible when deciding placements. In these four years trainees  will have a half day of protected teaching and two half days for personal study weekly. The undertaking of research is actively supported by a regional group run by trainees for trainees.For further information contact the KSS Ophthalmology team or visit the KSS Ophthalmology Specialty Website.


London Recruitment

Vacancies:  10 - 22 ST1 posts

Ophthalmology is a vital and competitive specialty that evolves with the latest advances in medical technology. The London School of Ophthalmology co-ordinates the training programme in Ophthalmology at world-renowned teaching institutions including Moorfields Eye Hospital, St Thomas Hospital, Imperial College, as well as a number of excellent district general hospitals. Working with a diverse healthcare population across London, trainees will gain experience and training in a wide range of conditions in urban communities.

Please note that candidates can apply for the North London Ophthalmology Programme and/or the South London Ophthalmology Programme. These are run separately. Please see the London Ophthalmology Specialty Training Website for further detail.

For further information please contact the local Ophthalmology team.


Health Education North East 

Vacancies:  5 ST1 posts

Health Education England - North East & North Cumbria (HEENE) delivers Ophthalmology training based on the curriculum set by the Royal College of Ophthalmology and approved by the General Medical Council (GMC). The training programme is comprehensive and of a very high standard. Training is provided in all core ophthalmic subspecialties. We are also one of very few units in the country providing training in Medical Ophthalmology. The region has the latest technologies to deliver excellent learning opportunities, including use of two regional Eyesi surgical simulators with both phacoemulsification and vitreoretinal modules available. Post-graduate curriculum based teaching with invited speakers is supplemented with structured trabeculectomy, oculoplastics and squint wet labs. HEENE is committed to supporting Trainees throughout their time in the region and aims to prepare them to a high standard in preparation to take up Consultant posts. Opportunities including Trainee Selected Component (TSC) advanced subspecialty training in most specialties and involvement in research and audit is encouraged. For those Trainees interested in academic ophthalmology out of program research leading to MD or PhD is also encouraged and supported.

For further information please contact Steven Callender (0191 275 4688) or visit the Health Education North East Website / Nhsfindyourplace


Health Education North West

The School of Ophthalmology in HEE-NW offers an unparalleled exposure to the full range of ophthalmic disease and its management.   A large, friendly and organised training programme, with an active research programme, we offer expert training and supervision in the following locations:

North Western rotation 

Vacancies:  2 ST1 posts

  • Manchester Royal Eye Hospital (Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust)
  • Blackpool Victoria Hospital (Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust)
  • Royal Blackburn Hospital and Burnley General Hospital (East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust)
  • Furness General Hospital (University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust)
  • Royal Bolton Hospital (Bolton NHS Foundation Trust)
  • Royal Oldham Hospital (Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust)
  • Royal Preston Hospital (Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust)
  • Stepping Hill Hospital (Stockport NHS Foundation Trust).

For further information please contact the Recruitment Helpdesk or visit the HENW website

Mersey rotation

Vacancies:  8 ST1 posts

  • Alder Hey Hospital (Alder Hey Children’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust)
  • Arrowe Park Hospital (Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust)
  • Countess of Chester Hospital (Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust)
  • Leighton Hospital (Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust)
  • Royal Liverpool Hospital (The Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospital)
  • Southport & Formby District General Hospital (Southport & Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust)
  • University Hospital Aintree (Aintree University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust)
  • Warrington Hospital (Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust)

For further information please contact Mersey's Lead Employer or visit the HENW website


Northern Ireland Medical & Dental Training Agency (NIMDTA)

Vacancies2 ST1 posts & 1 ST1 fixed term post starting from November 2019 (9 months)

Ophthalmic services are provided in 3 main locations in Northern Ireland; at the Royal Victoria Hospital and the Mater Hospital in Belfast and in Altnagelvin Area Hospital in Londonderry. The Training programme includes 18 trainees, 3 Foundation Year 2 trainees and academic positions.  Trainees are based mainly in Belfast but rotate to Altnagelvin for three 6 month attachments.

Clinical and Laboratory research is encouraged and those appointed to the programme are encouraged to engage in research in the Centre for Experimental Science (CEM), Queen’s University Belfast. The centre strategically focuses most of its research effort on major retinal diseases, using multidisciplinary basic and clinical approaches and enjoys income in excess of £1 million annually. The CEM is recognised for research into diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration, inherited retinal diseases and low vision.  There is academic expertise in the following areas: experimental models, epidemiology, genetics, evidence synthesis, diagnostic technologies and global eye health. Opportunities are available also on a yearly basis for ACF and ACL positions. The centre also houses a vibrant clinical research network (NICRN) which enjoys a large portfolio of both commercial and non-commercial research studies.

For further information please email the Recruitment Team and visit the Northern Ireland Medical and Dental Training Agency website.


NHS Scotland

Vacancies:  7 ST1 posts

There are four Ophthalmology training programmes in Scotland, one in each region. Trainees can rotate through the following hospitals in each of the regions.

North Region – Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Raigmore Hospital (Inverness). For further information on the North training programme please click here.

East Region – Ninewells Hospital (Dundee), Perth Royal Infirmary, Queen Margaret Hospital (Dunfermline), Stracathro Hospital (Angus), Arbroath Infirmary (Angus), Sunnyside Hospital (Montrose). For further information on the East training programme please click here.

South East Region – Royal Hospital for Sick Children (Edinburgh), Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, St John’s Hospital (Livingston), Victoria Hospital (Kirkcaldy). For further information on the South East training programme please click here.

West Region – University Hospital Ayr, University Hospital Crosshouse (Kilmarnock, Ayrshire), Gartnavel General (Glasgow), Glasgow Royal Infirmary, University Hospital Hairmyres (East Kilbride, South Lanarkshire), Inverclyde Royal Hospital (Greenock), University Hospital Monklands, (Airdrie), Royal Alexandra Hospital (Paisley), The Royal Hospital for Children Glasgow, The Queen Elizabeth University Hospital Glasgow, Stobhill Hospital (Glasgow), New Victoria Hospital (Glasgow), Falkirk and District Royal Infirmary, Stirling Royal Infirmary. For further information on the West training programme please click here.

For more information please contact the National Recruitment Team or visit the Scottish Medical Training and Scotland Deanery websites.

Health Education South West – Peninsula

Vacancies:  1 - 3 ST1 posts

The South West Peninsula Ophthalmology training Programme provides excellent teaching and training in the beautiful environment of the South West of England. The training available is comprehensive and of a very high standard, supported by the latest technologies to deliver excellent outcomes.

Trainees will be encouraged and supported through structured teaching programmes and well-established advanced sub-specialty training opportunities within the region. Health Education South West is committed to supporting trainees and preparing them thoroughly for Consultant posts.

The Undergraduate Schools of Medicine and Dentistry have enriched the teaching and training environment in the region. The Eye Surgery Simulator in Torbay will give you the best possible start to a career as an intra-ocular surgeon.

For more information please contact the Peninsula Specialty Training helpdesk or visit the Peninsula School of Ophthalmology Webpage.


Health Education South West - Severn

Vacancies:  3 ST1 posts

The ST1 (level one) posts within Severn are based at the Cheltenham General Hospital, Royal United Hospital, Bath and the Great Western Hospital in Swindon.

It is highly likely that year one and year two are undertaken within the same hospital, rotating at year three.  This will be dependent on the needs of the trainee and the requirements of the rotation.

Below are seven reasons why you should choose to train in Severn:

  • The Bristol Eye Hospital is a Tertiary Referral centre with an international reputation for translational research led by Professor Andrew Dick
  • The Gloucestershire Eye Unit, where you will spend at least 18 months, has been one of the highest ranking hospitals in the UK for Overall trainee satisfaction in the GMC Trainee survey for the last five years
  • We have 2 EYESi cataract and VR surgery simulators. These allow trainees to develop their intraocular surgical skills rapidly and safely
  • There are monthly all-day regional teaching days for trainees covering all the sub-specialties
  • Our trainees have a 90% success rate in the oral Part 2 FRCOphth examination
  • All of our trainees in the last four years have been appointed to consultant posts in the UK or abroad after finishing the rotation
  • All the hospitals are within commuting range of Bristol

For further details please contact the email Lucy Curtis, Education Programme Manager or call us on 01454 252610 or visit the Severn School of Ophthalmology website.

Health Education Thames Valley

Vacancies0 ST1 posts

The Health Education Thames Valley Ophthalmic rotation comprises 23 trainees working in Oxford, Reading and Windsor, Stoke Mandeville and Milton Keynes.  The programme has a reputation for providing extensive practical experience in all areas of ophthalmology by trainers regarded as leaders in their field.  Research is encouraged and led by a vibrant program in Oxford with formal plans to extend activity to incorporate all hospitals in the region-opportunities exist for time out to obtain MD or PhD’s. There is an excellent track record of our trainees moving to high quality UK or international fellowships before taking up consultant posts. 

For further information please visit the Thames Valley website or contact the recruitment team.

Wales Deanery

Vacancies:  up to 7 ST1 posts and up to 2 Fixed Term Training posts

Ophthalmology Training in Wales is an All Wales Programme which covers North and South Wales and trainees will rotate to these regions during their training programme and is approved by the Royal College of Ophthalmologists.

Wales offers the 7 year training programme in Ophthalmology commencing at ST1 level and is aimed at doctors who can demonstrate the essential competences to enter this level of training.  The programme is designed to support training for a CCT in Ophthalmology.

Wales offers a number of sub specialties such as Medical Retia, Vitreoretinal Surgery, Glaucoma and Anterior segment, Oculoplastics and Orbit, Paediatrics and Strabismus and Neurophthalmology , which trainees could rotate through and gain competencies as the curriculum.

In the final year trainees may undertake one year of sub-specialty training prior to the award of CCT.

For further information please visit the Wales Deanery website or contact Elenor Williams from the welsh recruitment team.


Health Education Wessex

Vacancies:  to be confirmed

This is a 7 year training programme in Ophthalmology at ST1 aimed at doctors who can demonstrate the essential competences to enter this level of training.  The programme is designed to support training for a CCT in Ophthalmology. Details of essential competences and qualifications are detailed in the national person specification for Ophthalmology at ST1 which is available from NHS Specialty training website - http://specialtytraining.hee.nhs.uk

The programme is based at hospitals in the Health Education Wessex area including The Royal Bournemouth Hospital, Queen Alexandra Hospital Portsmouth, University Hospitals Southampton, Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust,  Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust, and Isle of Wight NHS Trust.

For further information please contact Sue Ksous (01962 718434) or visit the HE Wessex Website.


Health Education West Midlands

Vacancies:  5 ST1 posts

We are a large school with a total of 58 trainees including 2 medical Ophthalmology trainees.

Hospitals on rotation:

  • Birmingham & Midland Eye Centre
  • University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust
  • Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust
  • Birmingham Children’s Hospital
  • University Hospitals Coventry & Warwickshire NHS Trust
  • Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Sandwell General Hospital
  • Royal Shrewsbury Hospital
  • University Hospitals of North Midlands
  • Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Hereford County Hospital
  • The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust

Surgical Simulation Opportunities for trainees - Simulation facilities and courses for trainees in the West Midlands Region

  • Eyesi virtual reality cataract & vitreoretinal simulator at Wolverhampton & new one coming to Birmingham.
  • Oculoplastics & Strabismus intermediate & advanced human cadaveric simulation course at Coventry.
  • Surgical wet labs are available at the Birmingham and Midland Eye Centre, Wolverhampton and Coventry
  • Micro incisional glaucoma surgery wet lab
  • Laser simulation courses
  • Trabeculectomy wet lab course
  • Corneal laceration and corneal gluing course

For further information contact the TPD, Harpreet Ahluwalia or Nirodhini Narendran or visit the HE West Midlands website.


Health Education Yorkshire and the Humber

Vacancies:  6 ST1 posts (North/East/West); 0 ST1 posts (South)

The Yorkshire and Humber School of Ophthalmology has two Training Programmes, one based in the South Yorkshire Locality and the other in the North/East/West Yorkshire Localities.

This programmes offer wide experience in all aspects of Ophthalmology. Trainees will rotate through hospital eye departments, obtaining training with opportunities both for specialist experience & research, balanced with increasing direct responsibility for patient care and opportunities for expanding surgical experience.

Trainees will complete a number of 6 and 12 month placements throughout the training programme allowing trainees opportunities for both for specialist experience & research, balanced with increasing direct responsibility for patient care and opportunities for expanding surgical experience.

For more information please contact the Specialty Recruitment Team or visit the local ophthalmology website and the medical recruitment website


The information published may be subject to change throughout this selection process