Weston General Hospital is relatively small. It consists of around 10 wards, operating theatres, an outpatients department and a modern A/E department. Being placed in a small hospital has its advantage, most of the teaching happens on the wards, you get to know the ward staff and doctors well and genuinly feel part of the team. It’s a great way to get really stuck in!
Other teaching and most tutorials take place in the two-floor academy, which is less than a 2-minute walk away from the main hospital and has a fully equipped light and spacious 24hr library.
The easiest way to travel to Weston is by car, usually along the M5 via Avonmouth – those who don’t have cars usually share lifts. It can take about 30-40 minutes from Bristol, traffic permitting (you are always going against the traffic so there isn’t really a rush-hour). It is also possible to get a train from Bristol, however the station is 30-minute walk from the accommodation – not ideal, but very do-able with a bike! There are plenty of parking spaces available next to the hospital accommodation, which the academy staff will provide you with permits for, (you pay a deposit that gets reimbursed).
The hospital accommodation is only a couple of minutes’ walk away from the hospital and right next to the academy – where most of your tutorials will be based and includes library and computer facilities.
The accommodation consists of houses of 6 people, usually all medical students on the same placement as you, but sometimes you may be with other healthcare professionals. They have 2 bathrooms (but not all houses…), a kitchen and a living room with a TV (and Freeview). You have your own room with a sink, desk, desk lamp and chair. The bed is a single bed and you need to bring your own bedding and towels. Once you move into your room it is yours until the end of placement.
All bedrooms are provided with bedding – but double check this as sometimes the duvets go missing… Also you may need to bring extra duvet as they are tiny. Towels are also provided.
Kitchens are quite small but there are free washing machines and tumble dryers (bring your own drying rack) and are fully equipped with cooking utensils. Things like loo paper, scrubbing brushes and washing up liquid is provided but you will need to bring your own hand soap and tea towels. A cleaner comes in daily to mop the floor and check the kitchen is tidy, be friendly to him/her and keep the place clean and you’ll get by just fine! Some students found it easier to group together and take turns to cook for house each night as this meant not everyone was trying to use the small kitchen at once! There is WiFi throughout the house – very useful!
Parking spaces are onsite, free and readily available, no passes needed.
The closest supermarket in walking distance of the accommodation is a Tesco’s local around a 20-minute walk from the accommodation. There is a huge ASDA and Waitrose on the same shopping complex a short drive away.
Within the surrounding area of the hospital there is not much going on. There are a couple of pubs around a five minute walk away. The Ship Inn serves nice food, and they also have a pub quiz every week. The hospital is around a 30minute walk away from Weston city centre. There are various restaurants along the waterfront and a huge arcade in the grand pier.
Apparently, there are 2 local nightclubs, a cage fighting club and a strip bar in town, but never ventured that far . . .
The hospital has a reasonably well-equipped physiotherapy/gym room (although this may be closing soon!!) – they allow hospital staff and students to use for free any time after five.
The beach is very close, great for evening walks and ideal for jogs along the picturesque sea-front.
Junior Medicine & Surgery
Known to be the weakest of the four at Weston but still good, as very few wards and not a great deal of patients, so you need to seek out the patients that are there. However, there are lots of timetabled tutorials on useful and essential subjects, which will make it more worthwhile.
Has own separate ward on site with lots of patients, and generally a good block in Weston. Staff are good and lots of teaching is timetabled, many staff will give you extra teaching if wanted too. This block has the most free time so it’s good to be close enough to Bristol to come back and forth.
Excellent block, one of the best in the academies. Lots of activities and clinics to attend, with special teaching clinics timetabled especially for students and lots of surgery too. Teaching is brilliant and lots of it! A&E is fantastic here too, as you have a whole weeks run of A&E to spend as much time as you want there. Need to be organised though as it’s a busy block!
“I really enjoyed my placement in Weston, I know others that didn’t so much, but you do end up coming away from the placement with new friends. There isn’t much going on in Weston, therefore this placement is what you make of it. The fact that Weston is a small hospital makes it easier to approach the wards at the start, and it gives you a chance to get to know the staff. The F1s are particularly helpful.”
“The hospital is good for learning if you’re self motivated. The teaching is okay, not as thorough as other places like Gloucester or Bath.”
“Weston was my first placement out of Bristol, although daunting at first it soon became a second home. Living in groups of 6, with the students you studied with meant that you really got to know a great new bunch of medics. The academy staff are very friendly and its so convenient having everything on your doorstep, living on-site. But Weston is also really commutable (though the staff like you to be there Monday-Friday) you don’t tend to be on the roads at the same time as everyone else so the journey is relatively quick, making it easy to come back for sports and other society things. The teaching in the hospital is well structured and with so few students to doctors you really do get an individual education!’