Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust General Information

Swindon provides core training in general paediatrics, neonatology and community paediatrics including child and adolescent mental health. Swindon is an expanding, thriving town with excellent roads and rail links to London, Bristol, Bath and Oxford. It is surrounded by beautiful Wiltshire countryside. The Great Western Hospital is a newly built hospital (December 2002) with modern facilities and purpose built paediatric department. The Children’s Ward/Day Area/Special Care Baby Unit and paediatric outpatients are all grouped together with Special Care Baby Unit next door to Delivery Suite. Inpatient facilities include a 22-26 bed inpatient ward for general paediatric patients along with children’s orthopaedic and general surgery patients. There are excellent all day school and playroom facilities and a purpose built outdoor play area, and separate adolescent bay. There is a 4-bedded Children’s Day area, which is open from 9-5pm weekdays where acute admissions are seen, and tests are carried out. There were 3700 paediatric admissions last year and 7500 children were seen in outpatients. There are general and specialist clinics (specialists from both Oxford and Bristol). These include cardiology, endocrinology, neurology, gastroenterology, urology, oncology, nephrology and genetics. The Special Care Baby Unit has 18 cots (4 intensive care cots). The maternity department has approximately 3700 deliveries a year, but numbers are rising every year. The neonatal unit accepts babies from 24 weeks gestation upwards, although the network plan is to transfer babies under 26 weeks gestation to Southmead where possible. All neonatal intensive care is provided apart from specialist surgical or cardiology support, which is provided in Bristol or Oxford. There is a Community Paediatric Nursing Team and the aim of the service is to look after children at home if possible

On the general ward and children’s day area all 8 hospital based consultants take it in turn to act as consultant of week undertaking daily ward rounds enabling better continuity and providing greater opportunity for consultant teaching and training of juniors. On the neonatal unit 4 Consultants also take turns in providing weekly consultant cover for the neonatal unit.

The community training is at the Child Assessment Unit (Sadler Unit) based at the Victoria Hospital (which is due to be moved to new premises) for the assessment of children with complex needs. Training is provided in child protection, adoption and fostering, looked-after children, special schools and other multi-agency working. The child and adolescent mental health unit based at Marlborough House has a 12 bed inpatient facility for the whole of Wiltshire and Gloucestershire, and 6 day beds in the adolescent unit. It has a large outpatient workload including the management of ADHD, eating disorders, and PPDAG assessments.

Postgraduate Education

The Great Western hospital is equipped with a state of the art (including live theatre links and video conferencing) education facility situated in the academy (Swindon & North Wilts Health & Social Care Academy) on the lower ground floor. A variety of courses such as EPLS and ALERT are held here. The extensive on site library is accessible 24 hours a day. There are weekly departmental medical meetings, fortnightly X-ray meetings and journal club, weekly neonatal teaching sessions and the monthly study half day. There is joint teaching in community paediatrics on alternate weeks. There is an induction programme for all staff.

Working Pattern

The middle grade rota is resident whilst on call and is a 1:7 full shift system (band 1A/2B). The rota is a mixture of 8.30 – 5pm, long days till 9pm and a week of nights in every 7.


There is limited single and married accommodation available on site in Downsview house. The trainee is expected to be resident on call and an on call room is provided in delivery suite.


ST8 3
ST4-5 4
ST1-3 2
F2 2
F1 1
In addition there are medical students from Bristol and Oxford