Genitourinary Medicine (GUM)

Genitourinary Medicine (GUM)

HEE Kent, Surrey and Sussex (KSS) provides a four year GUM training programme and is led by Nik Patel, Head of School, and the GUM Training Programme Director, Dr Debbie Williams. You can find out more about their roles via the School of Medicine Meet the Team webpage.

Training location

The training programme is based in the busy and dynamic department of GUM/HIV at The Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton, and has an integrated Sexual Health and Contraception (SHAC) service which sees 34,000 annual attendances. The department provides routine walk-in and booked appointments as well as specialist clinics for adolescents, sex industry workers, gay and bisexual men, individuals with chronic genital problems, long-acting reversible contraception (LARC), and those with complex contraception needs. There is rapid testing for HIV and a fast-track service for victims of sexual assault and sex workers.

There is a strong sexual health network across Brighton and Hove led by the Local Authority, and the clinic has strong links with Terrence Higgins Trust, homeless testing projects, and an outreach Sexual Health nurse for hard to reach individuals.

Brighton has a high HIV sero-prevalence (13.7% in men who have sex with men) and has one of the largest cohorts of HIV positive individuals in the UK with over 2,400 patients currently under follow up. The GUM/HIV department provides in and outpatient care and links closely with the Community HIV Team, primary care teams, and the Sussex Beacon (a continuing care facility) as well as neighbouring clinics via the Sussex HIV Network.

Joint clinics are run with Hepatology, Gastroenterology, Renal, Endocrine, Neurology, and Care of the Elderly Medicine. The Unit is nationally and internationally recognised for its contribution to HIV research and participates in a large number of HIV studies, both commercially sponsored and funded by external bodies.


There are five training posts, four for KSS, and one that rotates from Kings College Hospital in London for a year. Trainees gain experience in all clinical aspects of the specialty, including management of HIV in and outpatients, general & specialist GUM and contraception, as well as training in additional aspects of the curriculum; including a month-long attachment to Gynaecology, Dermatology training, and laboratory experience. Four months each year is spent working within the research department running both commercial and in-house clinical trials. There is the possibility of organising rotation to a London centre depending on the specific needs of the trainee.


A joint education programme is run between KSS and South London providing monthly academic training days with two pan-London days per year. In addition, there is a weekly academic morning held locally with a rolling programme of invited speakers, journal club, M&M, audit, and research presentations as well as operational and management meetings. There are many opportunities for trainees to gain management, leadership, and service development skills in a supportive environment.

Research is strongly encouraged and facilitated within the department, with trainees being encouraged to submit abstracts to national and international conferences and to achieve successful publications. 

Out of Programme opportunities (OOPs) are encouraged and supported where possible within the rotation and many trainees decide to do MDs, PhDs, or MSc courses at the London School of Topical Medicine & Hygiene, or HPA fellowships.