Workforce, training and education
East of England

Welcome to the East of England School of Ophthalmology.

            Narman Puvanachandra (Training Program Director) & Anthony Vivian (Head of School)   

Narman Puvanachandra (TPD) and Anthony Vivian (HoS) 

TOP of GMC Trainee Survey (2019,18 & 2017) : rated highest average across all 18 domains

TOP Regional Training : 1st out of 17 regions in the whole UK 

Contact Us

If a career in ophthalmology interests you, we would love to help you in the East of England. Please CONTACT US

We divide our region into 3 geographically discrete subrotations to make rotations more manageable / commutable. If you would like to organise a taster day / week in ophthalmology at any of our 13 trusts please contact any of our college tutors through our Contact page 

Come and meet us

We run several teaching events a year and here are a few examples of some showcase events that you may be interested in attending to get a flavour of ophthalmology in the East of England. There are also a lot of our opportunties that you can see on our Teaching Program page.

Meet our Team






Trainees coming to the East of England can expect to receive the very best training in the U.K. We aim to deliver high standards yet tailor the training to individual needs. From our week long free induction course, through teaching dayssimulation training and exam preparation, we seamlessly look after clinical and surgical curriculum delivery. Trainees are encouraged to develop skills in research, teaching, management, presentation and leadership. We have a trainee passport that follows the trainee through their training, to help guide training needs, ensuring no gaps in training occur. We develop successful trainees yet support those who find it harder with equal measure, with the help of our professional support and well-being (PSW). Our trainees pass onto excellent world leading fellowships and successfully appointed into consultant posts, often within the region. For us training is a passion and a pleasure and we look forward to welcoming you to our region and helping you to achieve excellence in an enjoyable and supportive environment.


Ophthalmology Posts are recruited to through National Recruitment that is run throught the Severn Deanery 

Click here for further details - NATIONAL RECRUITMENT


Beautiful surrounds and high quality of life

We are fortunate to also live in a fantastic part of the world too with beautiful broads, charming colleges, great schools, unspoilt beaches and very affordable house prices. The quality of life in the East of England is second to none. Our trainers and trainees benefit from being able to balance life and work well - hugely important for well-being and a healthy training program.      

 Highlights of our training

Some of the highlights of our rotation that make us stand out from the rest of the country overall include : 

Flexible Smaller Subrotations

The school comprises of over 36 Specialty Training (ST) posts. The two main teaching hospitals are:

1.Addenbrookes, Cambridge

2.Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital, Norwich.

We run 4 sub-rotations to reduce commuting distances (East, South and West), which can be applied for individually when it comes to National Recruitment. This way you can plan your lives, family and still balance this with excellent training in a more localised geographical area. There is huge flexibility with this on an individual basis, upon discussion with the Training Program Director, Narman Puvanachandra.

East = Norwich, Great Yarmouth, Bury St.Edmunds and/or Cambridge
West = Cambridge, Huntingdon, Peterborough, Luton and/or Norwich
South West = Cambridge, Watford, Stevenage, Chelmsford 
South East = Southend, Colchester, Ipswich

Typically trainees will start in a smaller unit and then rotate through to a teaching hospital in Year 2 or 3. Overall a trainee can expect to spend 2-3 year in a teaching hospital throughout their training allowing them to experience more super-specialist care. However one of the strengths of our rotation are also the 11 smaller units that allow trainees in pairs to enjoy the benefits of a quieter unit with significant surgical and clinical training opportunities. Large volumes of cataract and other surgical procedures make our rotation particularly popular and trainees can expect to finish training as independent highly experienced surgeons with over 1000 cases under their belt. 

Link to our Unit / Rotation page is here.

Regional Induction Week

This annual free interactive hands on week course at Norwich, teaches core clinical skills and surgical skills preparing any trainee for life as an ST1.

It offers bespoke training in Glaucoma assessment, Medical retina, Emergency Medicine, Cataract assessment, Oculomotility examination, Indirect Ophthalmoscopy, Oculoplastics assessment, Basic Surgical skills, Visual field testing, Topography, as well as much more.

This course has received national recognition and has been used as a template for other regions to try and emulate.

Trainee Satisfaction with the course is extremely high and unbelievably we can offer this without charge for all regional trainees. 

There is also the invaluable opportunity to meet fellow new and existing trainees and trainers. We have a free course meal as well to emphasize the social aspect of this course.

Please contact Narman Puvanachandra (Course organiser and TPD) for further information. Details of this year's course are here.

Regional Teaching Program

We run a comprehensive teaching program that covers core curriculum, simulation, professional development, research skills, audit, case presentations

Core Program : Monthly full day Teaching based at Norwich and Addenbrookes. Typically a morning of interactive talks delivering curriculum and afternoon of patient OSCE stations with chance to hone clinical examination skills. This also provides superb preparation for examination practice. Trainee satisfaction regularly over 9.5/10 

Additional Training Days : Further opportunities to train in Simulation (cataract, trabeculectomy, laser, strabismus, oculoplastics, trauma, cadaver), Research (skills workshop & Prize competition), Clinical Governance (regional meeting and Audit Competitions), Senior trainee workshop (preparing for being a consultant), Basic Sciences (Cambridge Ophthalmology Symposium - subsidised rate for regional trainees), Examination preparation (Part 2 and Refraction), Regional study days (with external speakers and wider networking with doctors from all of East of England), Professional Development (Leadership and Teaching)

Contact Narman Puvanachandra (TPD and organiser of Teaching Program)

Exam Preparation

We recognised the need to provide trainees with a systematic approach to preparation for Royal College Examinations. This has been hugely successful as we have had a rapid improvement in examination success and continue to go from strength to strength.

Link to our Exam Preparation page is here.

Focused examination practice includes : 

1. Biannual Part 2 examination course held at West Suffolk Hospital, Bury St.Edmunds (contact Usman Hussain)

2. Annual 3 day refraction course delivered by Anglia Ruskin University (contact Rupal Lovell-Patel)

3. Core Regional Teaching Days have OSCE practice embedded into most of them (contact Narman Puvanachandra)

Simulation Training

We have a fast evolving and diverse simulation program in the region. We are putting a lot of emphasis on this area and have developed a lot of new opportunities in recent years including:

We have 4 EyESi Simulators and involve all new trainees in a program of EyESi training at the very beginning of the program. There is also ample opportunity to engage with the simulators at any stage of training. We also have various wetlab opportunities in different units including model heads and eyes). In addition we have specific Simulation days : 

1. Cataract Simulation training day including anterior vitrectomy (contact Tom Butler)

2. Trabeculectomy Simulation training day (contact Avinash Prabhu)

3. Laser Simulation training day (contact Liam Sullivan)

4. Cadaveric Strabismus Simulation training day (contact Brinda Muthusamy)

5. Trauma Simulation day (contact Deepak Vayalambrone)

Link to our Simulation Page is here.


Research Opportunities / OOPR

We champion the importance of Research and actively encourage our trainees to develop research skills and take on projects. 

Link to our Research page is here.

We have academic units at both Addenbrookes, Cambridge (contact Rupert Bourne) and Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital (contact David Broadway). There are also a lot of active research opportunities at many of the smaller units. 

In addition we :

1. Welcome trainees keen on taking time out to do an M.D. / PhD as an OOPR  (contact Narman Puvanachandra)

2. Run 2 Academic Clinical Fellow programs (1 at Addenbrookes and 1 at Norwich; contacts above) - 3 year programs incorporated into the program

3. John Cairns Research Prize Competition (held at a college in Cambridge; contact Anthony Vivian)

4. Research Skills Workshop and Roadshow - delivering essential skill sets to help trainees keen on research and showcase of research in EoE - contact Heidi Cate, Norwich)

Most, if not all, of our trainees present Research at National and International meetings regularly. 

Trainee Selected Components (TSCs)

We are fortunate, in the East of England, to have a really well established TSC program that is offered to all trainees to suit their specific training preferences. 

We run the following TSC programs (principle contact included)

Cornea / Anterior Segment : Addenbrookes (Madhavan Rajan) & Norwich (David Spokes)

Oculoplastics : Addenbrookes (Simon Woodruff)

Paediatric Ophthalmology & Adult Strabismus Addenbrookes (Louise Allen / Brinda Muthusamy) & Norwich (Narman Puvanachandra)

Glaucoma : Addenbrookes (Prof Rupert Bourne) & Norwich (Prof David Broadway)

Medical retina : Norwich (Colin Jones)

Vitreoretinal : Addenbrookes & Norwich (Ted Burton / Shohista Saidkasimova)

Due to the relative small size of our rotation we have been able to allow all trainees to choose their TSC's in their unit of choice without competition. Also we largely are able to avoid this TSC timetable clashing with Fellows' timetables, allowing for better clinical exposure particularly in theatre.

Many of our trainees have used these TSCs as a springboard to some fantastic international fellowships. Others have been able to undertake consultant posts after TSC due to the quality of training on offer. 

Professional Development

Preparing our trainees for real life as a Consultant Ophthalmologist is incredibly important to us. Clinical preparation includes ensuring that senior trainees can manage their own clinics, theatre lists and indeed train more junior trainees. Exposure to management roles meetings within units is also key. We have also developed the following:

1. Professional Development Workshop day - to coincide with the ARCP day in June. This focuses on skills that future leaders in Ophthalmology will need. We also end the day with a social dinner out for trainees and trainers (contact Narman Puvanachandra)

2. Senior trainee development Workshop day - to hone specific skills for senior trainees preparing them for the seamless transition into becoming a consultant (contact Mala Subash)

3. Cambridge Chief Resident Program - several of our trainees have successfully applied and undertaken this superb course focusing on mini-MBA, service improvement and leadership.

Teaching and PGCert

We put a lot of emphasis on our trainee becoming the future trainers.

Trainees are actively involved in helping the faculty to deliver the regional teaching days, sometimes delivering talks, supervising OSCE stations, preparation for the simulation courses. They are also incorporated into the teaching faculty at the Regional Induction Week. Our trainees also regularly teach at Local and Regional teaching events.

We also encourage trainees to apply if interested for PGCertEd  ,this can be discussed with out Head of School (Anthony Vivian)

There is also a Masters in Clinical Education course at the UEA worth considering. Read a review by one of our trainees who took it.

Mentorship Program

We are developing a Mentorship program where more senior trainees can mentor the more junior trainees. Please contact Anthony Vivian for further details.

Consultant Posts in the Region

One of the aspects we are particularly proud of is that many of our trainees successfully end up taking up consultant posts in our region. Not only is that a ringing endorsement of our training program but also crystalises the fact that our region is seen as a fantastic place to settle down and make roots. 

Previous Appointments of our trainees in the region include : 

Vasileios Kostakis   Paediatric Ophthalmology      Ipswich Hospital

Nuwan Niyadurupola  Glaucoma                           Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital

Daniel Pharoah       Paediatric Ophthalmology      James Paget Hospital, Great Yarmouth

Inderraj Hanspal     Glaucoma                               West Suffolk Hospital, Bury St.Edmunds

Usman Hussain      Cornea & Anterior Segment   West Suffolk Hospital, Bury St.Edmunds

Ramy Bassily          Cornea & Anterior Segment   Ipswich Hospital

Peter Thomas         Paediatric Ophthalmology      Bedford & Moorfields

John Somner          Paediatric Ophthalmology      Addenbrookes Hospital, Cambridge

Marina Hopes         Glaucoma                               Chelmsford Hospital

James Myerscough  Cornea & Ant Segment        Southend Hospital

Elena Novitskaya    Paediatric Ophthalmology     Addenbrookes Hospital, Cambridge

Mahmoud Radwan  Glaucoma                              Colchester Hospital



Social Life & Cohesion

As a relatively small rotation in a friendly part of the country, we have a very cohesive group of trainees and trainers. This makes our region a very welcoming and personable one to work and train in. The trainees have a WhatsApp group and we also have some fun social events including : 

- ARCP dinner 

- Norwich Induction week dinner with faculty, new and exisiting trainees

- Norwich Fancy Dress Christmas Quiz (Oh yes!)

- Norwich Canoeing team bonding (not a race - no honestly!)

Wednesday, 21 November, 2018
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Wednesday, 21 November, 2018