Foundation Doctor’s Guide to Wessex

Wessex foundation school stretches from Basingstoke, south to Portsmouth & Southampton, and then west along the coast towards Dorchester & Bournemouth, and then also extends to Jersey.

Messly wants to help doctors make evidence-based decisions about their careers. We’ve put together a short guide to the Wessex 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.



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

Southampton General Hospital is a major trauma centre and also the regional specialists in respiratory, neurological, GI, heart, cancer & paediatric medicine. Jersey General Hospital is also a major trauma centre.


A Doctor’s View

“I chose to do my foundation years in Wessex as it’s such a friendly deanery with a range of fantastic DGHs. I had studied at Southampton medical school and already had placements at most hospitals in Wessex, so really knew what I was applying to.

I love living here as there are brilliant things to do in your free time if you like the outdoors: beaches, forest walks, water sports, beautiful countryside, and some lovely towns to visit. Dorchester is particularly great, as you’re just a few miles away from the Jurassic coastline and there’s lots going on here in the summer.

Socially, Wessex is great as it tends to attract doctors who are fairly outgoing and want to socialise outside of work. Most hospitals have very active doctor’s messes and organise lots of events and outdoor activities. Obviously there aren’t as many large events going on compared to London or Birmingham, but it makes up for that with the opportunity to do many outdoor activities.

Wessex generally has very well supported foundation doctors due to the friendly nature of registrars and consultants at most hospitals. I’ve heard that at the smaller, more isolated trusts in, for example, the Isle of Wight, where there may be slightly fewer seniors in your team due to fewer training posts, however, on the whole, Wessex trainees tend to speak positively of their foundation experience.

In terms of transport, it definitely helps to have a car, otherwise getting around Wessex can be very difficult, especially if you want to get to see all the beautiful nature!”

Jacob Stone, Mess Champion, Foundation Year 1 at Dorset County Hospital



Quick Reviews

  • Lots of consultant contact. Variety of experience. Very well supported. Very friendly team.
  • It’s only really the on-calls where you are using your own clinical acumen.
Top tips

Do TTO’s and Scans first and try to get as much done on the ward round as possible.

Foundation Year 1, Acute Internal Medicine – Dorset County Hospital


  • Good learning opportunity as a busy PCI centre. Opportunities to present at department meetings. Generally cohesive large junior team.
  • Variable workload (team dependant). At times very busy. Registrars at times difficult to contact as doing procedures/clinics etc.
Top tips

Work well as a team – help each other out due to the variable work loads and expose yourself to some of the interesting procedures in the department – TOE,PCI,PPM insertion etc.

Foundation Year 1, Cardiology – Royal Bournemouth General Hospital

Explore our Training Navigator to learn more

We’ve created the Training Navigator, a tool designed using the GMC National Training Survey data, which allows you to compare deaneries and rotations based on 40,000 junior doctors’ ratings and reviews. It’s free to use – click below to sign up and give yourself the full picture.

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