Core Anaesthetics Training – Where should you apply?

Applications for Core Anaesthetics Training opened on the 7th November!

In this article, we break down the 2018 GMC National Training Survey data by region, to find out which deaneries are rated highest for overall satisfaction and workload for Core Anaesthetics Training. We also compare how competitive each deanery is to get into. Please note that due to the layout of the GMC data, we were unable to include the ratings from ACCS trainees.

Choosing where to apply is a decision that involves a number of personal factors – but we hope that this snapshot will provide an interesting and thought-provoking overview to kickstart your research.

Here’s the result of our number crunching:


Data sourced from GMC National Training Survey 2018. Please head here to access the source data in full and read a full explanation of the methodology used by the GMC.


We’ve plotted overall satisfaction against workload for each deanery, and represented the national averages as the axes for comparison. For example, all data points to the right of the y axis have a higher than national average satisfaction rating.

Deaneries were ranked by competition ratios from the most recent application round that had data available – in this case, it was from 2017. The most competitive deaneries are shown in red, those that are moderately competitive in yellow, and the least competitive in green. However, it is important to look at trends of competition ratios from the past few years as it can be misleading to focus on data from a single year:

Competition ratios from the last 3 years, sourced from RCOA.


Key Takeaways


South West has the highest satisfaction rating.

South West Deanery trainees have a higher than average workload, but give their training programme the highest rating for overall satisfaction in spite of this. It is a competitive deanery – consistently in the top third for competition ratios for the past few years.

In a similar fashion, Wales deanery has the worst workload rating of all the regions, but its trainees are very satisfied with their training overall. A plus point here is the fact that it is has been one of the easiest programmes to get into for the past few years.


London is competitive but has lower than average satisfaction ratings.

London is consistently in the top 5 most competitive deaneries but its trainees report lower than average ratings for overall satisfaction, with an average workload rating. Only East Midlands had a lower satisfaction rating in 2018.

Thames Valley deanery was the most competitive region in 2017, but this aligned with a reputation for manageable workloads and good trainee satisfaction.


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The data in this article is at a deanery level – there will be huge variation between hospitals and rotations. Our Training Navigator will help you deep dive into the quality of training, clinical supervision and workload at the specific rotations within these regions. These are the most comprehensive and up-to-date ratings for individual NHS hospital rotations, with five star ratings based on the results of the 2018 GMC National Training Survey.

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