Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust offers excellent training opportunities to 2 Speciality Training Registrars (ST3 and above) plus 1 ST1/2 as part of the CMT programme.
The Trust consists of 2 main hospitals with a combined capacity of >1000 beds and both are conveniently located close to the M5. Cheltenham General Hospital, in the beautiful Regency festival town, is where the Haematology In-patient service is predominantly based within the large purpose-built oncology centre. Here there are 44 beds for both Haematology and Oncology patients, including 8 laminar air flow rooms for neutropenic patients. Level 3 care is provided with an active autograft programme and there is close co-operation with Bristol, which is our preferred allograft centre, with repatriation of Gloucestershire patients at 100 days post transplant. Gloucester Royal Hospital also provides DGH care for most specialities but also houses additional specialities not based at Cheltenham General Hospital (including renal services, paediatrics and neurology). The Edward Jenner Unit in Gloucester is a busy day unit providing predominantly Haematology treatments although immunology and a limited oncology service also operate from this site. Both hospitals have Haematology out-patient clinics and extensive laboratory facilities.
There are 7 Consultant Haematologists working within Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust split across the 2 sites. The Haematologists work as a team and there is no consultant ownership of individual patients. 1 STR is based on either site, rotating at 3 monthly intervals to maximise the educational opportunities the varied workload between the 2 sites offers. In Gloucester, the STR is supported by an ST1/2 whilst in Cheltenham; there is an F1 dedicated to Haematology with additional support from the ST1/2s in oncology. Other members of staff include 3 Haematology specialist nurses (1 lymphoma and 1 bone marrow transplant co-ordinator), a Haemaglobinopathy Specialist Nurse and Anticoagulation nurses. There is good clerical support. An integrated diagnostic and management MDT for haematological malignancies occurs on a weekly basis that is supported by pathology, radiology, oncology and Clinical trials representatives. Regular journal clubs and Haematology Educational meetings take place along with an extensive clinical trials portfolio.
The Haematology laboratories are both well equipped with automated haematology undertaken by Sysmex analysers and MDA plus Destiny Max analysers are used for the coagulation work. Warfarin dosing is undertaken either by trained BMSs or the anticoagulant nurses using RAID software. In transfusion, there is a Transfusion practitioner and automated blood grouping with immediate issue is available on both sites along with ‘Blood Hound’ computerised blood tracking. Flow cytometry and platelet function analysis is undertaken at Cheltenham.
The Haematology training available within Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust offers a broad and valuable exposure to many aspects of haematology, from basic laboratory experience to excellent clinical opportunities. For more advanced trainees, management issues within the Haematology laboratory are also addressed. Throughout the time the Trainee spends in Gloucestershire, they are always well supported by a very approachable Consultant team.