Trauma and Orthopaedics Training Programme


The KSS Trauma and Orthopaedic training programme is a six-year programme. The programme is run by three training programme directors, Phil Housden, Samantha Hook and Matt Solan, to find out more about their roles visit the Meet the Team webpage.

The KSS Trauma and Orthopaedic training programme is unique, in that trainees usually spend two years in a hospital trust (for ST3-4) and then another two years in a Trust close by (ST5-6). This is allows working and training relationships to be fostered.

It also gives a stable platform for any research projects to be locally developed. Trainees like the “geographical stability” that this provides. In ST7-8 trainees should expect placements that reflect their training needs and the chance to broaden their horizons. This often means more travel or even relocation, since the region is large.

The first year (ST3) is usually spent doing trauma. In ST4 trainees gain skills in hip and knee surgery. ST5-7 allows progression through the subspecialties in trauma and orthopaedics. These subspecialties include:

  • foot and ankle surgery
  • shoulder surgery
  • spine surgery
  • paediatric orthopaedics
  • hand surgery.

This structure provides an excellent basis for achieving the required Logbook “indicative numbers” and other curriculum requirements. It also affords breadth of experience for the FRCS (Orth) examination, which is currently taken within the fifth year of training (ST7) by most trainees.

After the FRCS(Tr&Orth) examination there is then scope for trainees to develop a subspecialty interest and hone their skills in trauma. It is expected that each trainee will experience working within the major trauma centre (MTC) at Brighton.


The Trauma and Orthopaedics curriculum provides a comprehensive outline of requirements covering all competencies.  The curriculum is integral to the ISCP ePortfolio and all the assessment requirements are mapped against it.

All competencies must be supported by evidence. The trainee is personally responsible for maintaining their ISCP portfolio. This includes setting up placements and working with their supervisors to complete WBAs and Learning Agreements. All this must be done in a timely fashion. Portfolios and Logbooks should be updated regularly and must show evidence of Reflective Practice. Portfolios are formally reviewed at least twice a year.

The first is at Interim Review (where a face-to-face panel review with the trainee occurs), usually in February. Annual Review of Competence and Progression (ARCP) is usually in September. ARCP is an on-line exercise which means the Portfolio is the sole means of assessing the trainee. KSS has a robust (harsh but fair) approach to ARCP. If you do not meet the targets and provide evidence to support this, then your progress will not be smooth.

It is essential that Trauma and Orthopaedics trainees understand the curriculum and the ARCP process. The curriculum and ARCP underpin the whole programme.

Some trainees find that the targets for projects, audits, presentations, and publications are difficult. Delays achieving these requirements often lead to an adverse outcome at ARCP. This in turn means that exam entry is delayed, Fellowships are compromised or CCT is delayed. The TPDs strongly advise that trainees work on their Academic Portfolio right from the start of training since it can take two years or more for an idea to flourish into a publication.

For more detail, please see the trainee training blog website where there are many useful webpages designed to ensure trainees know what to expect.

Where do trainees train?

There are many fantastic training opportunities within the region which are based in:


– William Harvey Hospital, Ashford – East Kent Hospitals University Foundation Trust

– Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mother Hospital, Margate – East Kent Hospitals University Foundation Trust

– Medway Maritime Hospital, Medway – Medway NHS Foundation Trust

– Darent Valley Hospital, Dartford – Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust


– Ashford Hospital, Surrey – Ashford and St. Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

– St Peter’s Hospital, Chertsey – Ashford and St. Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

– Frimley Park Hospital, Frimley – Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust

– Royal Surrey County Hospital, Guildford – Royal Surrey NHS Foundation Trust 

– East Surrey Hospital, Redhill – Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust


– Conquest Hospital, St. Leonards-on-Sea – East Sussex Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

– Eastbourne District General Hospital, Eastbourne – East Sussex Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

– Royal Sussex County Hospital, Brighton – Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust

– Queen Victoria Hospital, East Grinstead – Queen Victoria Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

– Worthing Hospital, Worthing – Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

– St Richard’s Hospital, Chichester – Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

To find out more about each training location, please visit the Local Education Provider webpage.

Teaching and Learning

The postgraduate teaching programme is run in conjunction with London South and reflects the structure of training i.e. first year trauma and years two-five subspecialty teaching. The program includes simulation and practical training as well as lecture and tutorial formats.

Teaching is merged with London (South), and the trainee training blog website has been set up to provide orthopaedic trainees information about their training and  updates on related training events.

There are also regular courses throughout the six years training programme commencing with a ‘Registrar Ready’ course in the first month through to sessions in the final year on ‘How to prepare for a Consultant interview’.

All trainees must develop research projects and those wishing to undertake out of programme research (OOPR) are encouraged to do so.

Mock exams with FRCSOrth examiners support trainees approaching the FRCSOrth examination. There are twice-yearly Regional Prize days for presenting Research.

Clinical fellowships are undertaken by most trainees (after CCT), to further build their experience and CV ahead of consultant applications.