Case study - Severn Postgraduate Medical Education

Five years of student placement success

UWE Bristol has supplied enthusiastic, committed students to assist Health Education South West – Severn Postgraduate Medical Education for the past five years.

UWE Bristol has helped to recruit and supervise talented undergraduates, while Severn has proved an exceptional partner in providing worthwhile workplace experience for our bright students. One of our most successful partnerships to date, it’s been a testament to just how much both students and employers can gain from honing their newly acquired skills in the real world of work.

About Severn Postgraduate Medical Education

Severn Postgraduate Medical Education recruits and trains junior doctors (both Specialists and General Practitioners) and educational faculty. There are approximately 2,300 junior doctors within the organisation’s remit, with approximately 70 staff based from the Bristol office.

UWE Bristol's involvement

UWE Bristol provides a pipeline of graduates to fill two roles every year, Junior Business Manager and Junior Business Associate. Our placement students offer excellent support and are great value for money.

An alternative to industrial placements

When work placements come to mind, industry is often the first connection made. However, in partnering with Severn Postgraduate Medical Education, UWE Bristol placement students gain access to an environment that’s perfect for turning newly-gained skills into career-boosting CV material.

Shara Paulo, GP Education Manager at Severn explains:

“The culture of Severn Postgraduate Medical Education has a strong educational focus.  This gives sandwich year students a unique opportunity to learn and develop at a rate that can exceed their wildest ambitions.

"Equally, the unusual organisational position of Postgraduate Medical Education in the NHS gives students a broad range of business areas to gain experience from – all in a single job. This allows students to increase confidence and skills in many subjects, whilst working in a supportive environment.”

Benefits to the employer

UWE Bristol’s work placement scheme is a mutually beneficial arrangement.

Severn Postgraduate Medical Education agrees that the experience has been a great one, as our five-year on-going relationship testifies. This is down to a number of factors, including approachable UWE Bristol staff, efficient advertising process at UWE Bristol, good communication between the organisations and excellent quality candidates.

Partnership outcomes

UWE Bristol is very proud of the outcomes of our on-going partnership with Severn. Five years of very successful trainees and training placements have delivered consistently good results for Severn and participating students. Highlights include:

  • Winner of the Best Supported Trainee Placement in 2011.
  • Expansion of the scheme from one role to two, the second being in the General Practice function.
  • Trainees in 2009, 2010 and 2011 all achieved a first class honours degree.
  • The 2009 trainee has gone on to the Hays Graduate Scheme.
  • The 2010 trainee secured a permanent role at Health Education Southwest – Severn.
  • The 2011 trainee is currently working in a temporary role in Health Education Southwest – Severn, with a view to seeking permanent opportunities when they arise.

“The sandwich year placements have been a great success for the trainees over the last five years, for Health Education South West, and also to help with closer working with the University of the West of England. We look forward to continuing this opportunity for many years to come.” Allegra Etheridge, Quality Manager

Each year so far, our students report that they’ve enjoyed their placements, and enjoyed above-and-beyond support, including:

  • Experience in a variety of departments including working with Quality, Finance and Recruitment as well as working on bespoke projects.
  • Individual developmental packages have been arranged by Severn, including psychometric testing, training, coaching and mentoring.
  • All trainees were able to dramatically increase their marketability as graduates, with a wealth of experience and responsibility behind them.

One of our most successful partnerships to date, it’s been a testament to just how much both students and employers can gain from honing their newly acquired skills in the real world of work.

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