We are fortunate in that all the scheme hospital jobs are within the same District General Hospital. This means there is a good team spirit among all the GP trainees and the clinical experience is highly relevant to when a GP registrar referring to the same hospital. The trainees themselves have developed a series of ‘Top Tips’ to help you to optimise the educational value of each of the hospital posts.
All trainees get to the Away Days which are run three times a year the half-day release scheme on Wednesday afternoons forms an integral part of your learning throughout the three years of your training. The educational programme is run on a three year cycle and aims to help your build your knowledge and skills for both the clinical and managerial aspects of general practice. We invite some great outside speakers but there is also an emphasis on small group learning during which you will develop you team working skills.
We recognise that the MRCGP exams are a big hurdle and try to ensure that the training scheme gives you good support to do well. We encourage peer group learning for both the Applied Knowledge Test (AKT) and the Clinical Skill Assessment (CSA) and we run CSA practice sessions every term
We will be encouraging all of you to undertake sexual and reproductive health training and run local seminar based and practical training to help you achieve you DFSRH.
We try to give extra support to those of you who have trained abroad or who may have missed out of undergraduate communication skills training. Although we do not run residential courses we encourage a strong social programme because, above all, we want to enjoy your training on the West Cambs scheme and to build lifelong supportive bonds with your fellow trainees.
The Local Area
Cambridge University’s website has plenty of information and a systematic collection of links to Cambridgeshire: www.cam.ac.uk/local
The main local authority is Cambridgeshire County Council. It provides school education in the area, amongst other services: www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk
More local services are provided by Huntingdonshire District Council: www.huntingdonshire.gov.uk
Hinchingbrooke Hospital’s own website has a lot of useful stuff: www.hinchingbrooke.nhs.uk
Grafham Water is a major local outdoor facility: www.grafham-water-centre.co.uk
To get to us, use the NetworkRail train information system at: www.nationalrail.co.uk
For live arrivals and departures at Huntingdon station: www.nationalrail.co.uk
The History, the Hospital, and the Oak Tree
The Huntingdon Scheme was founded in 1984 to provide a high quality training course for General Practitioners in the Huntingdon area. Prior to the establishment of Hinchingbrooke Hospital in 1983, referrals were directed to Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge.
Hinchingbrooke Hospital currently provides hospital care to 160,000 people in the Huntingdonshire area. The hospital has 223 beds. It opened a £1.2 million medical assessment unit in December 2001, a £22 million treatment centre in October 2005, a new Emergency Care Centre in January 2006, and a Paediatric Out-Patient Centre in 2007. In 2012, Circle took on the management franchise of Hinchingbrooke. However, the hospital returned to NHS management in April 2015.
The Hospital covers an area essentially equivalent to the old County of Huntingdonshire. This consists of the market towns of Huntingdon, Kimbolton, St. Ives, St. Neots, Ramsey and numerous villages in this predominantly rural area.
The main purchaser of the Trust's services is Cambridge and Peterborough CCG. The Trust employs just over 2,000 people, making it the largest employer in the Huntingdon area.
In May 2006, the Oak Tree Community Health Centre opened as a brand new primary care facility, and the VTS is now co-located there. The Oak Tree contains a major training practice - The Acorn Practice, as well as a dental service, a podiatry clinic, and a substantial minor ops facility, amongst others. This is an exciting new development, with VTS teaching taking place in whichever location is the more appropriate.