Peninsula Welcome Event Evaluation Report


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 2015 Welcome Event was held on Friday 20th March 2015 at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, Exeter, and a team from each trust attended including Foundation Programme Directors, Foundation Programme Managers/Administrators, rota coordinators and current Foundation trainees.



  • Presentations from HESW, Peninsula Postgraduate Medical Education – introduction to the day and overview of Foundation Training in the Peninsula
  • Trust Foundation Programme Directors question and answer sessions
  • Foundation Trainee Presentations
  • Trust information stands
  • Career Planning presentation and information stand



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 talk to each trust to ask questions, gathering information
  • Give the students the opportunity to hear from current trainees and ask questions about their experience

 Following the event, attendees were asked to complete an evaluation form via an online survey to help plan for similar future events.


190 people were matched to the School for programmes starting in August 2015. 46% (88) attended the welcome event compared with the previous year’s figure of 43% (86). 69% (61) of those attending completed an evaluation form, compared with 72% (62) in 2014. 

39% of those who attended the event were local graduates from the Peninsula Medical School. The remaining 61% were graduates from all other medical schools.  For F1 2015, the school will be made up of 52 (26%) local graduates and 147 (74%) graduates from other medical schools. 

Decision Making

Overall, 20% of attendees made a different decision about their first choice preference as a result of the event. This included 7 who were initially undecided. The decision changing effect was more likely for applicants from outside the area.

Table 1 – Applicants’ preferences following the event


Changed 1st choice preference

No change to first choice preference

PMS Graduates

3 (12.5%)

21 (87.5%)

Non PMS Graduates

11 (30%)

26 (70%)


14 (23%)

47 (77%)

As shown in table 2, South Devon and Exeter were the most popular trusts before the event.  Significantly after the event the Royal Cornwall Hospital had an increase of 10 more people (16%) placing them as first choice trust.  South Devon had an increase of one student, with Royal Devon & Exeter losing three students as their first choice placement. 

Of those who were undecided before the event, 100% were then able to make a first choice Trust.

Table 2 – First choice trusts

First Choice

Before the event

After the event

Royal Devon & Exeter NHS Foundation Trust

29 (47.5%)

26 (42%)

South Devon Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

11 (18%)

12 (20%)

Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust

7 (11.5%)

17 (28%)

Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust

7 (11.5%)

6 (10%)

Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust

0 (0%)

0 (0%)


7 (11.5%)

0 (0%)




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

F1/F2 presentations by each Trust

37 (60%)

Trust Stands

14 (23%)

Deanery Presentations

5 (8%)

Info pack (banding info)

6 (10%)

Any other aspects

2 (3%)

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


  • The presentations given by the current junior doctors and senior doctors from each deanery were really helpful to hear the pros and cons of each.
  • Very good to hear from every trust and have information about banding and jobs available.
  • Talks from current F1s, able to give an insight into the jobs and the area.  Able to answer questions regarding different placements.
  • I came away feeling really positive about my decision to choose Peninsula and reassured that whatever I choose within the Deanery it will be ok.
  • Really useful talks from each of the Deaneries from both the foundation doctors and the lead clinicians – helped with choosing location and jobs and also reassured us that at the end of the day the specific job doesn’t matter too much!
  • It was very useful to get the opportunity to speak to so many different people – mature students, admin staff, F1 doctors, careers and so on.  It was also good to both hear them speaking and be able to chat to them afterwards.
  • Brief introduction to all trusts in South West Peninsula which was a really good overview of what is on offer – from the point of view of F1s working at those trusts which was particularly useful as this is the exact position I will be in soon.  Very well organised and included some really good elements to include the circumstances of all students, especially the less than full time training talk.
  • Talks about each trust.  Being able to walk round the stands and ask questions after.  Meeting other people and everyone being so friendly!

 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:

 Social Event

A social event was mentioned on the day to be held after the Welcome Event, however this was not mentioned in the email, so many people had organised their travel back for straight after the event.  Many students felt that they would have liked to have met up and socialised with other students.  Therefore an informal social meeting after the Welcome Event perhaps in a nearby venue/pub would have been appreciated with more warning given.

Duration of Event and Structure

A few students commented that there were too many talks for the afternoon and perhaps either the presentations could have been shorter or a further break given during the afternoon to look at stands and meet other people. Or perhaps start the event earlier and have lunch in between, which would also give a chance for people to mix and socialise and view the stands and ask questions. 

Information booklet/electronic data

A booklet which explains what each job entails.  Truro has a booklet like this but none of the other trusts did.  USB sticks were provided by Torbay which had useful tips from junior doctors.  It would be helpful if any trust could do the same on one USB stick.  Getting the information available was a struggle and suggested that the packs be put outside the rooms. 


On the whole it would appear that having the stands was useful for all students and more time to view and converse with trust staff would have been very useful.  It was suggested that it would be helpful if more information about specific job roles in each trust was available at the stands.  More room was needed and preferably a room for each individual trust.

Venue/Travel to event

On the whole Exeter suited the majority of students as it has good air, rail and motor links. 

Timings and participation

Comments around the timings of the day included; it was a bit much for one afternoon, more time to chat to other people, shorter lectures or start the event earlier preferably with a lunch break in between.  More time for walking around the stalls and for trainees to meet and chat to each other.  Too much of a rush at the end trying to get relevant information from stands and other students. 


Would they recommend the event to future applicants?

100% of respondents answered this question and all 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 30 March 2015 at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, Exeter, for those people matched to the School for F1 2015.  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.

88 of 190 (46%) people matched to the School attended the event and 69% (61) completed an online evaluation form.

Overall, 23% of attendees made a different decision about their first choice preference as a result of the event. This included 7 who were initially undecided. The decision changing effect was more likely for applicants from outside the area.  South Devon and Exeter were the most popular trusts before the event, however, although the popularity increased slightly for South Devon many changes were to the Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust with 10 further applicants (16%) deciding to choose them after the event.  Of those who were undecided before the event, 100% were then able to make a first choice Trust

The trainee presentations, meeting current F1s and the trust information stands 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:


  • Organise an informal social event for the medical students after the event, giving plenty of warning.
  • Stands should be easily accessible, in an open space, to appear more welcoming. 
  • Put information on a USB stick for students to either have before or after the event.
  • Look at timings and participation; feedback suggests some felt it was a little rushed and could be an all-day event, the time spent in talks could be reduced to allow more free time to speak with Foundation trainees directly, and encourage more interaction and networking.


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. The evaluation shows that there is value in welcoming students to the School.

 Sarah Horton

Peninsula Foundation School Temp Administrator

April 2015