Peninsula Welcome Event Evaluation Report 2019


The Peninsula Foundation School organises an annual event to help applicants matched to the School make their individual job preferences. The 2019 Welcome Event was held on Monday 18th March 2019 at The Horizon Centre, Torbay Hospital 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
  • 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 2019. 28% (53) attended the event compared with the previous year’s figure of 33% (62). 83% (44) of those attending completed an evaluation form, compared with 95% (59) in 2018.

20% of those who attended the event were local graduates from the Plymouth Medical School. 9% were from Exeter Medical School. The remaining 71% were graduates from all other medical schools.  For F1 2019, the school will be made up of 44 (23%) local graduates and 144 (77%) graduates from other medical schools.

Decision Making

Overall, 50% of the 44 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.


Table 1 – Applicants’ preferences following the event



Changed 1st choice preference

No change to first choice preference

Plymouth students

3 (7%)

5 (11%)

Exeter Students


1 (2%)

Non Peninsula students

18 (41%)

16 (36%)


22 (50%)

22 (50%)


As shown in table 2, Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital was the most popular locality before the event with 30% 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 9 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 (27%) before the event was higher than in 2018 (20%), and after the event the number of delegates who were undecided increased from 12 (27%) to 21 (48%) – this was by far the biggest change.


Table 2 – First choice trusts


First Choice

Before the event

After the event

Royal Devon & Exeter NHS Foundation Trust

13 (30%)

4 (9%)

South Devon Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

5 (11%)

6 (13%)

Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust

 10 (23%)

10 (23%)

Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust

 4 (9%)

3 (7%)

Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust

0 (0%)

0 (0%)


12 (27%)

 21 (48%)




*9 delegates did not complete their Evaluation Forms

Most useful aspects of the event

In general, attendees’ comments suggested they valued many different aspects of the event as a whole.

The attendees found the following aspects of the day the most useful and important to them

  • Talking with existing F1 and F2 Doctors and staff from the trusts
  • Information on accommodation available at each location
  • The informal atmosphere/friendly staff
  • The talks given by each Hospital on what it is like at each location to work there.

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

  • When junior doctors went around and asked if we had any questions
  • Talking to junior doctors work there
  • Informal friendly
  • Insight into living arrangements
  • Good information on the leading aspects of the trusts
  • Ideas about where to live
  • It was useful to hear introductions to the hospital that I have not yet spent time in.
  • Really good practical advice about all hospitals
  • Good information on the teaching aspects of the trusts
  • Good information on the day to day life of an F1

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:


  • Job descriptions for each trust/example rotas/more pictures of accommodation available at the trust/more suggestions on where to live (13 responses)
  • Presentations were slightly too salesmanship focused/want to hear negatives about each hospital/too focused on the area not on the jobs (5 responses)
  • Information on the competitiveness of each trust for ranking (3 responses)
  • More international doctor representation because there were questions I wanted to ask about as an international medical student (1 response)

Would they recommend the event to future applicants?

Most students felt the day was well structured and organised.

100% (44) of respondents answered this question and confirmed they would recommend the event to applicants in future years.

Summary and Recommendations

The Peninsula Foundation School held a Welcome Event on Monday 18th March 2019 at The Horizon Centre, Torbay Hospital for those people matched to the School for F1 2019.  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.

53 of 188 (28%) people matched to the School attended the event and 83% (44) of those who attended completed a paper evaluation form.  All attendees completing the evaluation recommended the event.

Overall, 50% of attendees who completed the evaluation made a different decision about their first choice preference because of the event. 21 (48%) students were undecided after the event which is a significant increase on previous years.  Many of those who were undecided had come to the event with a definite choice but had been influenced by the day to look consider more than one trust.

9% of local medical students who completed feedback changed their first choice of locality after the event; of these 30% switched to undecided.  Exeter was the most popular locality before the event; however, after the event all localities were more evenly matched with Cornwall being the most popular with 10 delegates stating this as their first choice. 

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.

However, it should be noted that the number attending this event (53) has dropped significantly from previous years.  Only 15 medical students from Exeter and Plymouth Medical Schools attended this year compared to a total of 27 last year.  It may be necessary to ascertain the reasons for the drop in numbers.  The day was held this year on a Monday for the first time and it was felt that the date clashed with finals and electives, but given the short window between allocation to Foundation School and the need to rank their programme choices it would be difficult to avoid student’s other commitments.  The Foundation School could survey those medical students who did not attend the Welcome Event to establish why they could not/did not wish to attend. 

Suzanne Maddock

Peninsula Foundation School Administrator

April 2019





Appendix 1
Additional Comments

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

• Talking to Junior doctors working there
• Informal friendly
• Good food
• Good information on the teaching aspects of the trusts
• Good info on the day to day life of a F1 at each trust
• The talks from various Deaneries
• It was all useful, especially the hospital presentations
• Really practical advice about the hospitals
• Really nice people
• Could ask questions
• I think the event covered more or less all the most important aspects
• Everything was useful
• Junior doctor presentations
• Perspective of current foundation trainees
• Insight into living arrangements
• Variety of aspects discussed
• Question time. Very detailed information
• Accommodation, hospital support and travel information very helpful
• All useful
• When junior doctors went around to see if we had questions
• Found it all very useful!
• Speaking to different hospitals
• Ideas about where to live
• It was useful to have introductions to the hospitals that I have not spent time in
• All of it was useful and well timed

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

• Introduction talk did not really provide much info I didn’t already know
• Quite a long day but understandable as need to have several sessions
• Some F1/2s were a bit too complimentary of the hospitals. I understand why but it’s important when stuck between 2 hospitals to have honest cons about the hospitals
• Difficult to remember distinct info about each place because such a fast change around
• Was slightly too salesmanship focused
• Not enough information on specialties offered at all hospitals

How could this event be improved for future attendees?

• Every trust provide handouts/written resources
• More information on specialties offered
• A general overview of F1 curriculum so we can start thinking ahead to portfolios etc. Maybe having letting agent reps who can give us contact details for looking houses etc?
• Good to hear all the positives about the areas but would have liked a more balanced approach – felt like a sales pitch! Also focus was (with the exception of Exeter presentation) on area more than jobs – would have liked more info on the rotations
• More international doctor representation because there were questions I wanted to ask about as an international medical student that could not be addressed
• Competitiveness of hospitals
• Ensure all participants discuss accommodation and best places to live/avoid (most did)
• The negatives of each trust as well as the positives
• Rota info from Exeter would be helpful
• Torbay showed job description examples and rotas would be useful if others did too
• Having handouts from some of the sessions was helpful – it would be useful if they all did it
• More photos of the accommodation and doctors’ mess would have been useful
• Popularity of hospitals during ranking
• Too lifestyle focused, maybe a bit more about actual working life
• More details about the negatives of all the different hospitals too
• Knowing how competitive the hospitals are
• Job descriptions for each trust
• More examples of rotas in getting ideas of hours
• Take home slides from the hospital talks
• More information about accommodation

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.

• Job descriptions
• More about accommodation
• Thank you very useful
• Very useful
• Really useful especially the spread about comparisons between hospitals
• More information/pictures of accommodation
• I think having a pack of job descriptions for each hospital would be useful. Maybe find out about typical working rota for some specialties
• Example rota’s for medicine and surgery in each hospital
• Very useful to have the print out of all the jobs! Overall very useful info included
• Fantastic having A3 colour sheet of jobs – very useful. Maybe make sure every trust has a handout
• Detailed breakdown of jobs

Please provide any additional comments about the day

• The event was definitely useful and I would totally recommend it to other applicants in the future
• Really friendly staff and very reassuring day – excited to join Peninsula
• Barnstaple has a reputation for being a last choice – more needs to be done to make it attractive
• Very well organised really good to meet people from all the trusts. I feel like I’ve got a good impression of the different hospitals. Thank you.
• Thank you, you’ve all been lovely and very welcoming. I can’t wait to start!
• All presentation were useful
• Really useful event
• Welcome pack and trust sessions were really helpful
• Very informative day
• Really good to have trainees from all the trusts to share their experience
• Great day overall, really well run!
• Very helpful, practical advice and first hand experience
• Amazing intro event, extremely useful and well organised, thank you!
• Extremely useful event. All the hospitals sold themselves very well. I’m glad I picked Peninsula. Very excited to start F1 regardless of which trust I get placed at.
• All catered for, thanks for making the process less terrifying!
• Really welcoming & friendly event, removed most worries about beginning F1
• Very good
• Really useful
• Very informative
• I would recommend to people to come to this day! It’s so useful and really reassuring as all the trusts sound great and it makes you excited not worried to rank the jobs
• Good event reassured that anywhere in the deanery will be good to work in
• Very useful Thank you
• Extremely helpful
• Well organised
• Thank you so much!
• Thank you was helpful
• It has helped – I am now considering Truro higher than previously
• Really useful thanks