National Recruitment ST1 up to 90

Recruitment Timetable

Apply from 7 November 2019
Closing date 28 November 2019
Interview dates 7 February 2020.

National Recruitment 2020

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 2020 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.

All candidates applying to Ophthalmology will be required to sit the Multi-Specialty Recruitment Assessment which is an online assessment. The assessment can be from the 3rd of January until the 11th of January 2020

Information will be updated on the national website as it becomes available.  The website will be complete at the point applications open.

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 2020 unless stated otherwise.  

Health Education East Midlands 

Vacancies:  3 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 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 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:  12 - 18 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 or questions please contact the PGMDE Support Portal.


Health Education North East 

Vacancies:  0 - 2 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 high standard and begins with a regional 4-day ophthalmology induction programme for newly appointed Trainees. Basic ophthalmic and surgical training is provided in the first 2 years and in subsequent years training is provided in all core ophthalmic subspecialties. The region has the latest technologies to deliver excellent learning opportunities, including use of two Eyesi surgical simulators with both phacoemulsification and vitreoretinal modules available. Post-graduate curriculum-based teaching is supplemented with structured trabeculectomy, oculoplastic, squint and trauma wet lab courses. 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.

For further information please contact Steven Callender 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:  5 - 7 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:  3 Posts (1 post starting in August 2020 & 2 posts starting in February 2021)

  • 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)

Vacancies:  1 Post

Ophthalmic services are provided in two main locations in Northern Ireland; at the Royal Victoria Hospital and the Mater Hospital in Belfast and in Altnagelvin Area Hospital in Londonderry/Derry. There are some theatre and clinic sessions in peripheral hospitals which work on a “Hub and Spoke” model from the main centres.  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 Ophthalmology Team and visit the Northern Ireland Medical and Dental Training Agency website.


NHS Scotland

Vacancies:  8 Posts

There are four geographical regions within the Scottish Deanery offering training programmes in Ophthalmology (Click on the links below for more information on each region):

Within each region trainees rotate through a mix of district general and tertiary referral hospitals to receive a broad training and gain from the experience of working with different teams and consultants. All subspecialties are offered with opportunities for Trainee Selected Components available.

Some of feature of training in the Scottish Deanery are: Cataract surgery training is offered from day one, consultants are friendly and interested in teaching, trainees are well supported and indeed often supernumerary, the NHS in Scotland enjoys a close working relationship with optometrists, orthoptists and vision support officers whilst NHS funding is unique in that departments are directly funded to provide care rather than commissioned by the CCG's. You will find research and audit is encouraged and supported by the trainee research network. The contribution of trainees is valued, and the Scottish government has chosen not to change the Junior Doctors' Contract.

Living in Scotland offers something for everyone whatever your interests. Every outdoor pursuit is available on our doorstep. We have, a vibrant culture, no long commutes to work, affordable house prices, and excellent national and international transport links.

Scotland ranks at the top for trainee satisfaction in the GMC survey for Ophthalmology. You can look forward to experiencing the world renowned warm Scottish welcome from your colleagues, trainers, and patients.

For further information please see the Scottish Medical Training website or contact the Scotland recruitment team.

Health Education South West – Peninsula

Vacancies:  1-3 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 Website.


Health Education South West - Severn

Vacancies:  0-2 Posts

The South West Severn Ophthalmology training Programme provides excellent teaching and training across the Severn Training programme in Bath, Swindon, Bristol and Gloucester/Cheltenham. The training available is comprehensive and of a very high standard, supported by the latest technologies to deliver excellent outcomes.  

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.

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.  

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

Health Education Thames Valley

Vacancies:  1 Post

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:  0 - 4 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:  3 - 4 Posts

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:  8 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:  3 Posts commencing August 2020; 2 Posts commencing February 2021

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


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