Professionals Across borders

Training Teaching Transforming

Starting training in a UK Hospital

UK hospitals are very similar to hospitals across the world. Healthcare is free at point of delivery so patients do not have to make any payments. Food and medicines are free.

Admissions come from Urgent care (Casualty), General practitioners, (doctors who work in the community ( “Patient’s own doctor”) or outpatients. There is often pressure for beds and the main pressures are for you to admit and clerk patients quickly. You are expected to follow local policies for standard conditions (eg. choosing antibiotics for pneumonia). Your decisions may be challenged and you may be expected to justify why you have chosen a particular line of treatment. This is not an attempt to mortify you but a challenge often makes you rationalise treatment and improves overall care. Senior nurses have seen several junior doctors and please look upon a challenge as an opportunity to gain respect among the nursing staff especially if you are able to calmly rationalise your decision.

completing discharge summaries.- IT is important to complete summaries as this is the mode of communication with the general practitioner.  A well written summary needs to be concise and touch on important decisions (eg bendroflumethiazide was stopped due to hypercalcemia).

On discharge, there is a state sponsored social care system for those who are unable to look after themselves either due to age or illness.


Work patterns.

The European working time directive does not allow working more than 48 hours per week. This means that you will usually get days off for night on calls. So a pattern of work might be


Week M T W Th F S Su
1 D D D D D
2 N N N N O
4 O O D LD D
5 D D LD D D
6 D LD D D D
7 LD D D D D
8 D D D O N N N
9 O D D D D


LD                   Long Days

D                     Normal Days

N                     Nights

Effectively you get an extra 5 days off for your on calls in a 9 week period. This is in addition to your leave.



Annual leave 25 days

Study leave upto 10 days

Sick leave – depending on your sick note.

Exam and interview leave.

Compassionate leave (up to 2 weeks – at discretion) if your child falls ill.

You are expected to swap your on calls if you need to take leave. You are also expected to ensure that there is adequate cover on the ward.

You will need to check on ward, Check with Rota coordinator, get the form signed off and then send to medical staffing keeping a photocopy for yourself.