Foundation Doctor’s Guide to Wales

Messly wants to help doctors make evidence-based decisions about their careers. We’ve put together a short guide to Wales Foundation School to help you rank your rotation programmes. Below is a snapshot of hospital ratings and reviews from the Messly community of doctors together with information about the geography of the region. Sign up to Messly to learn more – we’ve got over 40,000 junior doctor ratings for you to explore.

Wales has just over 300 posts, of which 270 applicants chose it as their first preference. With the most towns & cities in Wales on or very near the coast, it’s difficult not to escape the sea. For the rural life, there is a mix of district general hospitals scattered across the north of Wales around Snowdonia National Park. For a keen hiker and explorer, there’s nothing better than climbing the peak of Snowdon, or you can cheat and take the train up to the top of the highest peak in Wales. In the South, the Brecon Beacons is a great national park with gorgeous walks.

The two tertiary hospitals in Wales are located in the south – University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff is a large 1000-bed hospital, with the 3rd largest A&E in the UK and a state-of-the-art transplant unit. Another teaching hospital is Morriston Hospital, in Swansea – it is the major trauma centre for the south of Wales and the centre for Burns & Plastic surgery in the country.

In the South of Wales, around Swansea, Newport & Cardiff, the transport links are superb with the M4 running from Swansea all the way into West London via Bristol. Trains run all across Wales, mainly going into Cardiff, and there’s a fast train from Cardiff to London that is just under 2 hours.



Click on the hospital to see indepth reviews & GMC ratings on it’s specialties.

o    Bronglais General Hospital, Aberystwyth (small DGH with 170 beds)
o    Glan Gwili (West) General Hospital, Camarthen (the largest acute DGH in Wales with 346 beds)
o    Glan Clwyd Hospital, Bodelwyddan (large DGH with 551 beds)
o    Llandough Hospital, Cardiff
o    Morriston Hospital, Swansea (large DGH with specialist services and >850 beds)
o    Neath Port Talbot Hospital, Port Talbot (DGH with 270 beds)
o    Nevill Hall Hospital, Abergavenny (a DGH with 422 beds)
o    Royal Glamorgan Hospital, Ynysmaerdy, Nr Llantrisant (DGH with 570 beds)
o    Royal Gwent Hospital, Newport (a DGH with 774 beds)
o    Singleton Hospital, Swansea (large general hospital with ~600 beds)
o    Prince Charles Hospital, Merthyr Tydfil (DGH with 430 beds)
o    Prince Philip Hospital, Llanelli (DGH with 220 beds)
o    Princess of Wales HospitalBridgend (DGH)
o    University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff (a large teaching hospital)
o    Withybush Hospital, Haverfordwest (small DGH with 311 beds)
o    Wrexham Maelor Hospital, Wrexham (medium-sized DGH with 779 beds)
o    Ysbyty Gwynedd, Bangor (a DGH with over 550 beds)
o    Ysbyty Ystrad Fawr Hospital, Caerphilly ( a local General Hospital with 269 beds)


Quick Reviews


  • Workload, supervisor, clinical experience and good education.
  • None.
Top tips

Get stuck in and do a lot of reading around movement disorders.

Foundation Year 1, Geriatric Medicine  – Prince Philip Hospital


  • Very social job. Work closely with other F1s. 
Lovely staff. Get to do a lot of practical procedures.
  • Teams are: F1, reg and consultant so can be scary at first, as often just F1s on the ward and can find yourself ward rounding alone a lot. Long hours.
Top tips

Go to theatre if you can because registrars are often keen to teach and let you stitch and teach you new stitches.

Foundation Year 1, General Surgery – Nevill Hall Hospital


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