Peninsula Welcome Event Evaluation Report 2016



The Peninsula Foundation School organises an annual event to help applicants matched to the School make their individual job preferences in stage 2 of the F1 application process. The 2016 Welcome Event was held on Friday 18th March 2016 at Torbay Hospital, Torquay, and a team from each trust attended including Foundation Programme Directors, Foundation Programme Managers/Administrators, rota coordinators and current Foundation trainees.



  • Presentations from Peninsula Postgraduate Medical Education – introduction to the day and overview of Foundation Training in the Peninsula
  • Career Planning presentation and information stand
  • Small Group meetings (20 mins each) through each of the localities in the Peninsula. This was a new feature of the event this year and replaced the use of trust stands.


Objectives of the event


  • Introduce the students to the Foundation programme, the Foundation School team and the trusts in the Peninsula
  • Give the students the opportunity to hear from each trust, ask questions and gather information
  • Give the students the opportunity to hear from current trainees and ask questions about their experience


Attendees were asked to complete a paper-based evaluation form before leaving the event.


188 people were matched to the School for programmes starting in August 2016. 40% (76) attended the event compared with the previous year’s figure of 46% (88). 99% (75) of those attending completed an evaluation form, compared with 69% (61) in 2015.

57% of those who attended the event were local graduates from the Peninsula Medical School. The remaining 43% were graduates from all other medical schools.  For F1 2016, the school will be made up of 62 (33%) local graduates and 126 (67%) graduates from other medical schools.

Decision Making

Overall, 39% of attendees made a different decision about their first choice preference as a result of the event. This included students who were initially decided but were undecided after the event. The decision changing effect was higher for local applicants.

Table 1 – Applicants’ preferences following the event


Changed 1st choice preference

No change to first choice preference

Peninsula students

19 (44%)

24 (56%)

Non Peninsula students

10 (32%)

21 (66%)


29 (39%)

45 (61%)

As shown in table 2, Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital and Royal Cornwall Hospital were the most popular trusts before the event.  After the event, the Royal Cornwall Hospital had an increase of 9 more people (12%) placing them as first choice trust.  Royal Devon & Exeter lost 13 students (17%) as their first choice placement. 

 The number of students who were undecided this year (34%) was much higher than in 2015 (11.5%). This could be explained by the use of a paper evaluation form instead of the online version used in previous years. Using the online system, the students were only able to select one first choice trust but the paper version allowed them to select more than one 1st choice trust which then put them in the undecided category.

Table 2 – First choice trusts

First Choice

Before the event

After the event

Royal Devon & Exeter NHS Foundation Trust

17 (22%)

4 (5%)

South Devon Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

9 (12%)

10 (14%)

Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust

15 (20%)

24 (32%)

Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust

8 (11%)

6 (8%)

Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust

0 (0%)

0 (0%)


25 (34%)

30 (41%)




* 1 trainee did not answer this question.

Most useful aspects of the event

Attendees were asked what they found most useful from the event and why. 100% of the students provided an answer to this question of which 37 (60%) said that a most useful aspect of the day were the presentations given by the current Foundation trainees and the opportunity to speak to them.  In general, attendees’ comments suggested they valued many different aspects of the event as a whole.

The number of comments about the most useful aspect of the day can be found below in table 3.

Table 3 – Most useful aspect of the day

Most useful aspects

Number of comments

Breakout sessions with each Trust


Talking with F1/F2s

15 (20%)

Meeting other students

4 (5%)


4 (5%)

Any other aspects

4 (5%)

A selection of verbatim comments for ‘most useful aspects of the event’ (note; all comments can be found in Appendix 1)

  • Getting the experiences from the F1s - particularly of what the actual rotations/shifts/life in the hospital are like. Great to meet people we will be working with.
  • Locality 'speed-dating' is very useful, got answers to questions and learned about things I didn't previously know
  • Useful to hear all about the different hospitals and to get FY1 perspectives on it.
  • Everything - very welcoming and informative
  • It was good to hear about all the localities as even though I am a peninsula student, I haven't been to all the localities.
  • Learning about each locality and useful information that would have been difficult to obtain in any other forum
  • Really enthusiastic and informative presentations. Very clear indeed.
  • Finding out about the F1 jobs itself, on-call rotas, community placements, meeting future colleagues
  • Really good to hear from each trust didn’t know a lot about most of them. Opened my mind to a lot.
  • Talking to trusts - differences between them. Makes me less nervous about coming
  • Talking to foundation doctors and getting their honest opinions
  • Opportunities to talk to trainees about experiences. Overview of foundation school talk - good summary and got a feel for ethos of deanery

 Suggestions for future events

Attendees were asked if they thought there was anything that could be improved for similar events in the future. Their suggested changes include:

Further information

A few students suggested that it would be good to have more information on the specific jobs that they could take away including accommodation and rotas. It was also suggested that each trust could have a similar hand out of key points. One student commented that it would be good to know how competitive each trust was.

Duration of event and structure

Some students felt the day was too long and some felt it wasn't long enough. Suggestions for change included a shorter induction to allow more time to speak with the current F1s, having lunch earlier and having a more organised place to sit and have lunch to give an opportunity to meet other students and get to know them.

Trust breakout sessions

In general this was a very positive aspect of the day but there were a few suggested changes, which include; a more honest view of the trust in the presentations - some students felt as though it was a sales pitch. Students would like less time for a presentation and more time for informal discussions at the end of each session with the F1s. They would also like more uniformity of presentations as they felt some trusts sold their hospitals better than others.

Other comments

There were also a few other suggestions to improve the event: having video clips of F1 and F2 testimonials to break up the presentation style of the event; a question and answer page that people can write questions down to be answered by the group;. enforce the ice breaker between local and non local students


Would they recommend the event to future applicants?

97% (74) of respondents answered this question and 100% of these confirmed they would recommend the event to applicants in future years.

Summary and Recommendations

The Peninsula Foundation School held a Welcome Event on Friday 18th March 2016 at The Horizon Centre, Torbay Hospital, for those people matched to the School for F1 2016.  The aim of the event was to introduce the Foundation Programme and the individual trusts within the Peninsula and give applicants the opportunity to ask questions and gather information to help with ranking post preferences for F1.

76 of 188 (40%) people matched to the School attended the event and 99% (75) of those who attended completed an online evaluation form. All attendees completing the form recommended the event.

Overall, 39% of attendees made a different decision about their first choice preference as a result of the event. The number of students who were undecided after the event was unusually high (41%). This could be explained by the use of a paper evaluation form instead of the online version used in previous years. Using the online system, the students were only able to select one first choice trust but the paper version allowed them to select more than one 1st choice trust which then put them in to the undecided category.

The decision changing effect was more likely for applicants from inside the area.  Exeter and Cornwall were the most popular trusts before the event, however, the popularity changed for both trusts with the Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust gaining a further 9 applicants (12%) and Exeter lost 13 applicants (18%) choosing them as 1st choice.

The individual trust breakout sessions and meeting current F1s were the most useful aspects of the day for attendees.  There were a number of suggestions for possible improvements that should be considered by the Foundation School Committee for future events. These include:

  • The timing of the day and the trust breakout sessions; should more time be given to the trainees and less to the School?
  • The format of the breakout sessions and the materials that are given out by each trust
  • More structured seating area for lunch to give students the opportunity to get to know each other
  • Comparison rates for the relative popularity of trusts included in the school booklet
  • A question and answer sheet to allow students to write questions down before the event which can be answered in a group session
  • Video testimonials from foundation doctors

The report indicates that the event met the needs of the applicants and provided helpful advice and guidance for selecting their post preferences for F1, although an immediate effect was to create more uncertainty in the cohort. The evaluation shows that there is value in welcoming students to the School.

Additional feedback from the trust organisers needs to be included for a full evaluation of the event and, in particular, whether the change in style of delivery from trust stands to small groups should be kept for future events.

Natalie Band

Peninsula Foundation School Administrator

May 2016