National Recruitment ST3 up to 15

Recruitment Timetable

Apply from 7 November 2019
Closing date 28 November 2019
Interview dates 6 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 3 (ST3) 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.

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

Specialty training in Ophthalmology has an entry point at level three (ST3) which will continue, subject to satisfactory annual review, until completion of training and award of CCT at level seven (ST7).

The vacancies quoted below are 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 5th of August 2020 unless stated otherwise.  

Health Education East of England 

Vacancies: 0-3 Posts

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)
  • Monthly Interactive / patient based teaching at two main teaching units Norwich and Cambridge
  • Simulation training (3 x EyESi Simulators / Surgical Simulation / Cadaver Course / Laser Simulation)
  • Part 2 and Refraction Courses in house
  • Case Presentation Prizes
  • Regional Research Prize Day with active research projects throughout region
  • ACF post with another ACF / ACL in the pipeline
  • We have also divided our region into 3 subrotations centred around the two main teaching units of Norwich and Cambridge but allowing closer geographical grouping of the other units on the rotation. Typically 2-3 years in Teaching unit and 4-5 in DGH.
  • East (Norwich / Cambridge / Bury St.Edmunds / Ipswich / James Paget)
  • South (Cambridge / Southend / Colchester / Chelmsford / Welwyn Garden / Watford / Luton)
  • West (Cambridge / Norwich / Peterborough / Huntingdon / Luton)

For further information please contact the Recruitment Team or visit the East of England Website.


Health Education East Midlands

Vacancies: 1 Post

The Northern rotation is delivered at three different site in the Trent Region, Nottingham University NHS hospital, Derby Royal Infirmary and Kings Mill Hospital. The program is structured to support an intensive cataract training period which is at the beginning of the ST3 year and this is supported by on site access to a cataract simulator. All subspecialities apart from Ocular Oncology are represented and there are opportunities to undertake most training selected training components as part of the training program. The program has close links with the academic department of ophthalmology at Nottingham University Hospital and this provides opportunities for those interested in research. For further information view the North Associate School website or contact Health Education West Midlands

The Southern rotation is delivered from four hospitals in the East Midlands South rotation with the ST1 year undertaken in Kettering General Hospital or Lincoln County Hospital. The timetable which is followed is varied to allow the trainee access to the major subspecialties in Ophthalmology. However, there is a predominance of medical retina, glaucoma and primary care/emergency clinics to facilitate completion of the ST1 competencies. This is combined with two theatre sessions focussing predominantly on developing cataract surgery skills, which is taught in a modular fashion. Most trainees complete ST1 having performed several complete cases of phaco-emulsification. ST1 trainees are encouraged to complete the Part 1 FRCOpth examination during these first 12 months

Please contact Andrea Kerr, TPD for further information.

Health Education Kent, Surrey and Sussex

Vacancies: 2 - 5 Posts

Health Education Kent Surrey and Sussex School of Ophthalmology was created in 2011. Previously our hospitals had been providing high-quality training for many years as part of the rotation combined with London. Placements at our hospitals have always been sought-after for the more extensive and varied surgical experiences they offered. This high-quality training is now safeguarded by a highly active group of College Tutors based at each hospital and supported by the School based at the HEKSS.

For further information please contact HEKSS Ophthalmology directly or contact the PGMDE Support Portal.

London Recruitment

Vacancies: 0 Posts

Ophthalmology is a vital and competitive specialty that evolves with the latest advances in medical technology. Working with a diverse healthcare population across London, trainees will treat a cross-range of patients and medical conditions in urban communities.

For Ophthalmology, London Shared Services runs a North London programme and a South London programme.

Ophthalmology is a vital and competitive specialty that evolves with the latest advances in medical technology. Working with a diverse healthcare population across London, trainees will treat a cross-range of patients and medical conditions in urban communities.

North London rotations include posts at:

  • Queen’s Hospital
  • St Bartholomew’s Hospital
  • Whipps Cross University Hospital
  • Chelsea & Westminster Hospital
  • Imperial College Healthcare
  • Gt Ormond Street Hospital For Children
  • University College Hospital
  • Moorfields Eye Hospital (City Road)
  • National Hospital for Neurology& Neurosurgery, Queen Square
  • Hillingdon Hospital
  • North Middlesex Hospital
  • Central Middlesex Hospital
  • Barnet General Hospital
  • Royal Free Hospital
  • Whittington Hospital

South London rotations include posts at:

  • Sussex Eye Hospital
  • Croydon University Hospital
  • William Harvey Hospital (Ashford)
  • Eastbourne District General Hospital
  • St Helier Hospital
  • Frimley Park Hospital
  • Gt Ormond Street Hospital For Children
  • St Thomas’ Hospital
  • Royal Surrey County Hospital
  • King's College Hospital (Denmark Hill)
  • Kingston Hospital Trust
  • Maidstone District General Hospital
  • Queen Mary’s Hospital Sidcup
  • East Surrey Hospital
  • Worthing Hospital
  • Moorfields At St George’s Hospital

For futher information please see the London Specialty School of Ophthalmology webpage or contact the PGMDE Support Portal.

Health Education North East

Vacancies: 1 Post

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. The basic ophthalmic training and surgical competency gained in prior training is used as a foundation to continue learning in ST3 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 see the Health Education North East website / NHS Find Your Place or contact Steven Callender, Human Resources Officer.

Health Education North West

Mersey Rotation

Vacancies: 3 Posts (2 Posts starting in August 2020 & 1 Post starting in February 2021)

As an Ophthalmology specialist trainee, you are required to progress through planned training programmes designed to meet the curricular requirements of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists and delivered to standards set by them.

The rotation would include working in the following Trusts - Wirral University Teaching Hospital, Warrington General Hospital, University Hospital Aintree, Southport & Formby General Hospital, Mid Cheshire Leighton Hospital, Countess Of Chester Hospital, Alder Hey Children's NHS and the Royal Liverpool University Hospital.

For further information please see the Mersey Website or contact the Mersey Recruitment Team

Heath Education North West - North Western 

Vacancies: 0 Posts

The ophthalmology programme in the North West will give you an unparalleled exposure to the full range of ophthalmic disease and its management. We are a large, friendly, organised LETB, and you will receive expert supervision at the Manchester Royal Eye Hospital and the five surrounding District General Hospitals (Blackpool Victoria Hospital, Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust; Royal Bolton Hospital, Bolton NHS Foundation Trust; Burnley General Hospital, East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust; Royal Preston Hospital, Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Stepping Hill Hospital, Stockport NHS Foundation Trust) which form our rotation.

In addition to your clinical and educational supervisors, you will also have the support of a trainee mentor to help you through the early stages of training. You may also have the opportunity to be involved in international ophthalmology training initiatives.

For further information please see the North Western Ophthalmology website or contact their local recruitment team.

Northern Ireland Medical & Dental Training Agency (NIMDTA)

Vacancies: 0 Posts

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 see the Northern Ireland website or contact the Ophthalmology Team


Vacancies: 0-1 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:  0 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 further information please contact: PENRecruitment.SW@hee.nhs.uk or visit the Peninsula School of Ophthalmology.


Health Education South West - Severn 

Vacancies: To be confirmed

 Seven reasons why you should choose to train in the Severn Deanery:

  • 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 two years, has had the highest trainee satisfaction scores in the GMC Trainee survey for the last two years
  • Our EYESi cataract surgery simulator allows trainees to develop their intraocular surgical skills rapidly and safely
  • There are monthly all-day regional teaching days for trainees covering all the sub-specialities
  • Our trainees have a 90% success rate in the final 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 see our webpage  "Why apply to Ophthalmology", or visit the Severn School of Ophthalmology. You can also email the Severn Recruitment Team or call us on 01454 252610

Health Education Thames Valley

Vacancies:  0 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. 


Vacancies:   0 - 2 Posts

Please note this information was current for the January 2013 recruitment and has not been updated.

The programme is organised by the Speciality Training Committee in Ophthalmology (STC) the chair is Mr Chris Blyth, Consultant Ophthalmologist, Royal Gwent Hospital and the Programme is managed by the Programme Director who is currently Mr Jay Menon, Consultant Ophthalmologist at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital, and to whom enquiries about the programme may be addressed.

Participating Hospitals

Basic Training

  • Royal Gwent Hospital, Newport
  • Royal Glamorgan Hospital, Llantrisant
  • West Wales General Hospital, Carmarthen
  • Wrexham Maelor Hospital, Wrexham
  • Princess of Wales Hospital, Bridgend
  • H.M. Stanley Hospital, St. Asaph

Higher Training

  • University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff
  • Singleton Hospital, Swansea
  • Royal Gwent Hospital, Newport
  • H.M. Stanley Hospital, St. Asaph
  • Royal Glamorgan Hospital, Llantrisant
  • Princess of Wales Hospital, Bridgend

All Trainee selected Components will be based at University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff and Singleton Hospital, Swansea.

For further information email Mrs Lyn Butcher (butcheral@cardiff.ac.uk), Mrs Elenor Williams (williamsej6@cardiff.ac.uk) or visit the Wales Deanery website.

Health Education Wessex 

Vacancies: 1 - 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 MMC person specification for Ophthalmology ST1.

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 see the Wessex website or contact members of our recruitment team Sue Ksous - 01962 718434 or Jemma Martell - 01962 718448

Health Education West Midlands 

Vacancies:  0 Posts

The West Midlands school of ophthalmology offers training in all areas of ophthalmology, from basic skills to advanced subspeciality training in every aspect of ophthalmic care. We have a team of motivated, dedicated teachers willing to help you become a highly skilled ophthalmologist.

There are 58 trainee placements, with an average of 8 trainees at each level from ST1 to ST7, including flexible trainees. We offer subspeciality trainee selected components in oculoplastics, glaucoma, medical and surgical retina, cornea and external eye disease, paediatrics and inflammatory eye disease. In addition there are post CCT regional fellowship opportunities in glaucoma, medical retina, surgical retina and neurophthalmology.

There are ample opportunities in the West Midlands for research through the Academic Unit of Ophthalmology, University of Birmingham. We have two junior academic clinical fellows, one academic clinical lecturer and one University appointed clinical lecturer (ST3+). In addition, many regular trainees take time out of the programme to undertake either an MD or PhD.

The West Midland School of ophthalmology was voted the highest in England for overall trainee satisfaction in ophthalmic training in the 2009 GMC trainee survey. In 2013, the West Midlands was the only school with no red flags.

The West Midlands region includes the beautiful countryside of Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Shropshire and Herefordshire as well as the vibrancy of England’s second city – Birmingham, a city of culture and a shopper’s paradise, with fast links to all areas, especially to London and the North.

Whether you choose to be a service providing ophthalmologist in a district general hospital or a training ophthalmologist in a teaching Trust or a University professor, we have the team and facilities to help you achieve your goal.

For further information please see the West Midlands Ophthalmology website or contact Rosemary Robinson, Head of School.

Health Education Yorkshire and the Humber 

Vacancies: 1 Post

The Yorkshire and the Humber School of Ophthalmology is the largest outside London with approximately 60 Trainees. Reasons you may want to apply to the Yorkshire and the Humber School of Ophthalmology are:

  • Two EyeSi simulators in the Region as well as wetlab and cadavar based strabismus training
  • Regional half day teaching per week
  • Two rotations – 6 Trainees in each year in the Northern rotation spread between Leeds/Bradford/Calderdale/Hull/York and Scarborough
  • Two Trainees in each year based around the Royal Hallamshire hospital, Sheffield but having District General Hospital experience in either Doncaster, Rotherham, Grimsby or Scunthorpe.
  • Academic unit in Sheffield based around ocular oncology
  • The School received 4 green flags on last year’s GMC Survey
  • The only School of Ophthalmology with 3 National Parks

For further information please see the Yorkshire and Humber website or contact the Recruitment Helpdesk.

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