GP Training in North Devon


If you are looking to get the perfect balance between education and lifestyle, then North Devon is the place for you. We aim to give you an excellent educational experience, whilst at the same time offering an unrivalled scope of ways to unwind.

Things are different in North Devon. It is a small, friendly and responsive scheme in an isolated, largely rural and very beautiful part of the Southwest Peninsula. 12 GP training rotations are now offered each year, so we currently have 40+ trainees. (Some are on less than full time working schemes, so take longer than 3 years to complete.) The three year scheme comprises 18 months of approved hospital specialist training jobs at the North Devon Hospital Trust (NDHT) & 18 months in general practice. As elsewhere, ST doctors are expected to attend a day release course, run monthly in ST1 & ST2 and then a weekly half-day release course in ST3.

The planned educational programme generally takes place on a Thursday at the North Devon Hospital Trust.
It gives the opportunity to test your problem solving skills with your peer group and debate a broad range of subjects relevant to the general practice curriculum. It also provides excellent pastoral and peer support, much valued as doctors move through the 3 year educational programme.

North Devon is a beautiful location to undertake your GP training with a heady mix of a small market town, beautiful villages and both coastal areas and moorland to explore. Barnstaple, the main town is located 55 miles North West of Exeter and 95 miles South West of Bristol. Placements in primary and secondary care are spread across a relatively large rural area and, being predominantly rural, there is a rudimentary public transport system. A valid driving license is therefore highly recommended in order to commute between placements and explore the local area. 

This ideal of a warm community spirit is backed up with the NDHT’s award of a recent SAGA Hospital of the Year award. The hospital itself is smaller than most district hospitals with a catchment area of 170,000 spread over a wide geographical area. Those coming from large teaching hospitals will notice the change in pace, generally quieter takes but less middle grade cover, and less demanding patients (the region has a higher than average proportion of elderly retirees and stoical Devon farmers).

The hospital provides services in accident and emergency, cardiology, diabetes, respiratory medicine, rheumatology, chemotherapy, general surgery, urology, orthopaedics, ophthalmology, ENT, obstetrics, gynaecology and paediatrics. There is a medical assessment unit, ITU and SCBU.

The unique setting and friendly atmosphere within the scheme – and the area as a whole – are what distinguish the North Devon GP Training Scheme. We look forward to giving you a warm welcome.