Peninsula Welcome Event Evaluation Report 2018



The Peninsula Foundation School organises an annual event to help applicants matched to the School make their individual job preferences. The 2018 Welcome Event was held on Friday 23rd March 2018 at the RILD Building, Exeter and a team from each location attended including Foundation Programme Directors, Foundation Programme Managers/Administrators 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.


Objectives of the event

  • Introduce the applicants to the Foundation programme, the Foundation School team and the locations in the Peninsula
  • Give the applicants the opportunity to hear from each locality, ask questions and gather information
  • Give the applicants 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 2018. 33% (62) attended the event compared with the previous year’s figure of 39% (74). 95% (59) of those attending completed an evaluation form, compared with 84% (62) in 2017.


22% of those who attended the event were local graduates from the Plymouth Medical School. 15% were from Exeter Medical School. The remaining 63% were graduates from all other medical schools.  For F1 2018, the school will be made up of 40 (21%) local graduates and 148 (79%) graduates from other medical schools.


Decision Making

Overall, 42% of the 59 attendees who completed an evaluation form made a different decision about their first choice preference because of the event. This included students who were initially decided but were undecided after the event. The decision changing effect was higher for applicants from non-local graduates.

Table 1 – Applicants’ preferences following the event



Changed 1st choice preference

No change to first choice preference

Peninsula students

6 (27%)

15 (73%)

Non Peninsula students

18 (49%)

19 (51%)


24 (41%)

35 (59%)


As shown in table 2, Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital was the most popular locality before the event with 42% of delegates saying that this would be their first choice.  Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust and Torbay & South Devon Healthcare Trust were the next most popular choice of locality. After the event, Royal Devon & Exeter lost 13 students (21%) as their first choice placement while the other localities stayed more or less the same.


The number of students who were undecided this year (18%) before the event was much lower than in 2016 (34%), however after the event the number of delegates who were undecided increased to 22 (35%).

Table 2 – First choice trusts


First Choice

Before the event

After the event

Royal Devon & Exeter NHS Foundation Trust



South Devon Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust



Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust



Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust



Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust









*3 delegates did not complete their Evaluation Forms


Most useful aspects of the event

Attendees were asked what they found most useful from the event and why. 97% of the students provided an answer to this question of which 49 (86%) said that the most useful aspects of the day were the presentations given by the individual localities and the opportunity to speak to current trainees.  In general, attendees’ comments suggested they valued many different aspects of the event as a whole.

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

 Table 3 – Most useful aspect of the day


Most useful aspects

Number of comments

Talking with F1/F2s

27 (46%)

Presentations/information on localities

25 (42%)

Info re work life balance/ transport/ accommodation

2 (3%)




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

  • Having the opportunity to hear from all the trusts and get honest answers to questions.
  • Really helpful event – get a good scope of the jobs. Really appreciate it as I don’t think other deaneries get this sort of event
  • Presentations from each trust. They dispelled rumours and reputations.
  • Being able to talk face to face with current foundation doctors
  • Really positive and encouraging, answered all my questions.
  • Sheer enthusiasm of F1/F2s making me more excited to start work.
  • Good overall structure with intro and individual trust performances
  • Initial introduction talk. Careers.
  • Housing and attraction in different towns

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:

Duration of event and structure

Most students felt the day was well structured and organised. A few applicants found the pre-sent slides confusing and found it difficult to open them. It was suggested that all trusts should have an information pack to hand out. A couple suggested a pre- event questionnaire would be useful. A handful suggested more information on accommodation/cost of living.

Welcome Pack

Several attendees suggested more information about pay bandings; post uptake rates and locum pay would have been useful. A few would have liked to have seen more information on accommodation.

Would they recommend the event to future applicants?

98% (58) 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 23rd March 2018 at The RILD Building, Exeter, for those people matched to the School for F1 2018.  The aim of the event was to introduce the Foundation Programme and the individual localities within the Peninsula and give applicants the opportunity to ask questions and gather information to help with ranking post preferences for F1.

62 of 189 (33%) people matched to the School attended the event and 95% (59) of those who attended completed a paper evaluation form.  All attendees completing the evaluation recommended the event.

Overall, 37% of attendees who completed the evaluation made a different decision about their first choice preference because of the event. 15 (25%) students were undecided after the event which was lower than last year (35%).

 27% of local medical students who completed feedback changed their first choice of locality after the event; of these 83% switched to undecided.  Exeter was the most popular locality before the event; however, after the event all localities were more evenly matched with the biggest increase being seen in Cornwall.

 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.



Suzanne Maddock

Peninsula Foundation School Administrator

April 2018




Appendix 1

Additional Comments


What aspects of the event did you find most useful and why?


  • Affirming where I wanted to go
  • The talks of different hospitals
  • General Deanery Information. More info about each location. Focus on the life outside of medicine.
  • The talks from the different hospitals
  • Having the opportunity to hear from all the trusts and get honest answers to our questions
  • Accommodation advice. Pros/Cons of locations
  • Really helpful event - get a good scope of the jobs, area and what lifestyle of each trust. Really appreciate it as I don’t think other deaneries get this sort of event.
  • Chatting to current F1s about concerns and queries which helped with my concerns.
  • Opened my mind to North Devon/Truro as potential options
  • Presentations by current F1/F2s
  • Good intro to each place. Made me aware of the new places
  • Ability to ask questions
  • Individual presentations – dispelling rumours and reputations
  • The hospital talks about each place
  • Talks from different trusts
  • Being able to talk face to face to current foundation doctors
  • Really positive and encouraging, answered all my questions
  • The talks from each locality
  • Written details from F1s and F2s about programmes/specialties. Q an As with F1s and F2s. Sheer enthusiasm from F1s and F2s making me more excited to start work
  • Talking to current trainees. Handover from trusts
  • The talks by trainees at different hospitals
  • Talks from each locality and opportunity to ask questions
  • Speaking to current F1s about their work life balance and experience of posts
  • Hearing info from F1/F2 – realistic perspective
  • Really helped me decide my location preference and I’m now struggling to choose! Very reassuring all locations are friendly and well supported. Good overall structure with intro and individual trust presentations
  • The talks about each hospital, they were so enthusiastic and informative
  • Great to chat to the Foundation doctors and discuss rotations
  • Talks from each of the different trusts giving us info on what its like to work there as an F1. Hearing about what it’s like to work different job rotations
  • It was nice to finally hear more about our options
  • The insights of F1/F2
  • The different trust intros, very illuminating
  • Getting 1st hand accounts of life in hospitals and area
  • Really great day! So helpful to hear first-hand about each area from people doing the job. Has really lifted my spirits in regards to being a junior doctor
  • Rote information. Where F1s do on calls
  • Hearing from junior doctors about each trust
  • Knowing more about each place – I’ve been to 3/5 trusts but you do get a different angle in this presentation
  • Individual trust session. Feedback/questions answered from junior doctors from each trust
  • Having juniors telling their personal stories and being really honest. Useful having a late start time
  • The F1 feedback and the course overview
  • Being able to talk to current F1s, talking about jobs
  • Talking to current trainees, information about individual posts in each hospital is very useful
  • General lecture then splitting down into smaller groups – chance for specific info and questions
  • Individual talks were very useful
  • Hearing about how current F1s find the workload and hearing about social events that are put on. The info pack is also very useful
  • Good introduction to the foundation school. Honest advice about accommodation
  • Talk from each hospital
  • Presentations by doctors for each area. Very good to know more about local areas and jobs
  • After this event I feel I would be happy at any of the locations
  • Going around listening to different trusts. Meeting the future colleagues
  • The Trust intros
  • Really useful to hear from F1/F2s and their experience and speak to them directly
  • Initial introduction talk. Careers. Opportunity to talk about rotations with F1.
  • Individual trust sessions. Good to find out opinions of current trainees.
  • Housing and attractions in different towns
  • Discussing of locations: consolation that nowhere is awful
  • Q+A with Junior Doctors. Free lunch
  • Speaking to individuals who work there. Really insightful thank you.

What aspects of the event did you find least useful and why?

  • Introduction Talk
  • Introduction
  • Some presentations were quite short and didn’t sell the hospitals well
  • The other options in F1 as they didn’t apply to me
  • Send slides after event for intro session as it can be a bit repetitive
  • The initial introduction. Perhaps send slides after the event. I had read them previously and felt it was therefore slightly repetitive
  • The intro talk – parts of it were quite generic
  • The Dean’s intro talk was a bit intense!
  • The talk from the Dean about professionalism – this seemed like something we would get when starting work in July
  • Its nice hearing about restaurants, but not so important
  • An honest overview where they say the problems of the place would be better
  • Discovering the Mess
  • Each hospital should be honest and lay out the cons as well as pros
  • Each of the afternoon sessions were a bit long
  • Everyone saying their place was the best – be honest about cons!
  • Career Planning lecture
  • Bit close to the deadline – might need to resort my options!
  • The intro lecture
  • Intro lecture – it was all in the PowerPoint
  • F2 abroad lecture
  • Opening talk too long without disruption. Attention wandered

How could this event be improved for future attendees?

  • Pre sent slides. We’re confusing and didn’t show properly when opened. Split into two halves.
  • Maybe a questionnaire to fill In beforehand to identify what issues we wanted to be addressed
  • Not sure if this will happen but would be good to have the presentations given by each hospital handed out
  • Maybe talk about the negatives too from each locality
  • Provide a pack of job description details prior to event
  • For all trusts to have a pack handout. Time for all students/F1s to mingle
  • Highlight cons of each place more, views are slightly biased right now
  • A bit earlier would be good
  • Quicker presentations with set things to cover, not just about surfing
  • Include whether jobs are banded or supernumerary on handouts
  • Maybe a bit sooner before we have to make choices?(I appreciate timetabling is a bit of an issue there
  • More info regarding cost of living, accommodation and travel/commuting to work
  • Pre-event question submission
  • Maybe include med students from the area who have been to all places
  • More information about accommodation
  • Encourage peninsula students to attend more
  • Maybe handouts with the banding and housing areas
  • Maybe include an optional list for us to contact each other afterwards
  • Cloakroom
  • More info given about specific jobs
  • More time to chat vs organised talks
  • Include info re AFP programme and organising it. How competitive is each of the areas
  • Truro provided a nice booklet about locality. This would be good from other places as well
  • More handouts about the specific rotations info. More honest info about downsides/realities of the job would have been better and have the event earlier on
  • The Exeter station didn’t have any written programme information unlike the other stations – this would be helpful. A concluding ‘remark’s session if time allows. Ending felt a bit abrupt
  • Don’t send slides until after the event
  • More confident topics in presentations re accommodation, jobs, hospital etc.
  • Earlier start
  • Timings of how the day will run could have been released earlier
  • Bit more info on locuming availability and which jobs are banded/unbanded

Is there any additional information you would have liked to have seen in your welcome pack? Please comment on whether you found the information useful.

  • Accommodation – rates, non-hospital options x4
  • Locum rates of pay. Post uptake rates
  • Banded v unbanded pay x3
  • The rotations grid in full. Accommodation rates. Locum Pay. Post uptakes
  • Contact info/presentations for each hospital
  • More detailed programme info from all trusts
  • A summary of each trust
  • Details of all the job posts and what they would involve x4.
  • Print out of all jobs
  • In the end page summaries a doctor patient ratio for each trust (very minor point!)
  • More details of programme offered
  • Online stuff was poorly formatted