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North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust - 70 years of the NHS


Home > News > Top trainee feedback for Cumberland Infirmary's ENT department

Top trainee feedback for Cumberland Infirmary's ENT department

Posted on Monday 5th August 2013

L-R: Alex Stearn (GP trainee), Mr Andrew Robson (Consultant ENT Surgeon) and Kamaal Khan (ENT Registrar)

A national survey has rated the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) department as the top place to train in ENT in Northern England (Cumbria and North East).

Survey results from the General Medical Council’s National Training Survey 2013, show the department scoring the highest in the following categories:

  • Overall satisfaction
  •  Induction
  •  Adequate experience
  •  Access to education resources
  •  Feedback provided
  •  Local teaching
  •  Regional teaching

The department was compared to other hospital trusts in the Northern Deanery which include City Hospitals Sunderland, County Durham and Darlington, South Tees and Newcastle Upon Tyne. The ENT department also came out on top when compared to all other departments within North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust. The survey is completed by foundation doctors, surgical trainees and GP trainees.

This is the fourth year in a row that the department has scored highly in the survey. In addition, the Joint Committee of Surgical Training’s survey for surgical trainees, also produced very good results for the department, scoring highly in questions including: ‘Did you receive regular feedback on your performance’, the quality of consultant teaching in outpatients and in the operating theatre and ‘would you recommend the department to other trainees.’

Mr Andrew Robson, Consultant ENT Surgeon at the Cumberland Infirmary, said: “We are, once again, very pleased with the results of the survey. Providing a high standard of training encompasses many factors including having a supportive environment where trainees feel they can learn and be part of the team.

“It takes commitment from the Trust and from all of the consultants in the ENT department here to provide a good learning environment. As a result of our consistently positive feedback from trainees, we have gained a good reputation which has enabled us to recruit two excellent consultants to the department over the past year.”

Alex Stearn who is currently a GP trainee in the ENT department at the Cumberland Infirmary, said he has gained valuable experience during this placement: “ENT is common for general practice therefore is important for my training. I have found everyone here to be very helpful and they always have time for me.”

Kamaal Khan is a Registar in ENT. Over the past 11 years of his training, he has completed placements in every ENT department in the Northern Deanery and in Edinburgh. He said: “When I look back, I realise that I chose to specialise in ENT because I worked in Carlisle from 2004-2008.

“It is the best place to be for ENT training, all of my registrar colleagues in the Northern Deanery have no hesitations about coming to work in the Cumberland Infirmary’s ENT department. The consultants are very supportive and are excellent trainers – they seem to be more aware of your needs than you are yourself. They provide feedback which is so important and you are given a good mix of cases. The consultants are present at ward rounds and handovers and the level of supervision is excellent – you never feel like you are on your own. The educational aspect is also one of the best; I’ve been encouraged to take part in audits and research.

“Mr Robson is the best trainer you hope for, any registrar who has worked in this department will tell you that. I would like to work here once I am a fully qualified Consultant ENT Surgeon if the opportunity arises.”