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Countess of Chester NHS  Foundation Trust


Types of job

Chester offers general paediatric, neonates and community experience. General paediatrics and neonates are covered by all consultants, The paediatric side has all the normal subspeciality expected in a District General Hospital (DGH). Chester is also the local Cheshire and Merseyside adolescent eating disorder service (CHEDS) inpatient ward for the area - something to consider if you are interested in eating disorders in CYP. Neonates is currently a level 1+ (32/40 or younger, and ITU patients at any gestation are transferred out until they are stepped back down to HDU care). There is a very active paediatric research department so there are plenty of opportunities to get involved with this.

Size of department

Paediatric ward has 22 beds (and 2 High dependency beds) and a separate Children’s Assessment Unit (CAU - 6 beds) and day case ward (6 beds) all on the foot-print of the ward. There is a small separate children’s emergency department (ED) area that is used to assess children in ED when required, instead of them being seen in the adult side of ED.

There are 10 consultants at Chester and they cover both paediatrics and neonates with a separate paediatric and neonatal consultant of the week each week.

Rota intensity/frequency of shifts

Registrar rota is currently 1 in 7 fulltime trainees, and there is a permanent staff grade covering some of the registrar (ST3+)  shifts. It is approximately 1 long-day a fortnight, 7 nights every 7 weeks, and long day weekend every 7 weeks. Paediatric reg covers both paediatrics and neonates out of hours.

The SHO (ST1/2) rota is similar, but less nights with 7 nights in 9 weeks, but approxiamtely 1 in 3 weekends. There is a separate person for neonates long-day and paediatric long-day, as well as a daily post-natal SHO. There is also a twilight SHO (4pm-midnight) who floats between areas depending on acuity.

On nights there is one reg and one SHO who cover both paediatrics and the neonatal side.

Both rotas can be a bit tight with regards to swaps due to the number of trainees at each tier, but can be worked out with 3 or 4 way swaps.

Long-day shifts are 8.30am to 9pm.

Night shifts 8.30pm to 9am.

Normal day shift 8.30am to 4.30pm.

Twilight SHO shift 4pm to midnight.

How busy is job – average

The job is usually average with regards to day to day acuity. Sometimes busier but the consultant body are always willing to come in if required. 

Positive points

Generally a very friendly and welcoming place to work. The consultants are very supportive and approachable.

There is a 2-3x weekly lunchtime teaching – varying topics, Multi Disciplinary Team members, Allied Health Professional involvement and opportunity for you to teach as well.

There is an emphasis on ensuring that trainees get a broad experience including time in clinic and time to carry out audit/QIP etc.

CAU has good support from Advanced Paediatric Nurse Practitioners (APNPs) 7 days a week until 8pm – very helpful when the medical team are busy elsewhere.

Good hospital at home service which allows early discharge home of appropriate patients.

Small mess in the Women’s and Children’s building shared by paeds and O&G. Has a small kitchen area in the socialising area. 3 bedrooms that can be used on nights. 1 small computer room which also has a reclining chair and bedding.

In the current situation where we are all still wearing scrubs there are plenty available to wear on a daily basis, and you therefore do not have to bring them home to wash yourselves.

Average driving commute from Liverpool centre rush hour v out of hours

Commute by car at rush hour is approximately an hour, but you do need to leave time to find a parking space etc. Handover is at 8.30am, so usually leaving at approx 7.15am.

Commuting after a long day is approximately 45min.

Commuting from Liverpool will require either tunnel toll (£1 per journey is you have a fast tag and live in Liverpool) or toll over the new Runcorn bridge (£2 per journey).

Remember that some of this can be claimed back as expenses via the form on the North West Deanery website.

Public transport

Train services from Liverpool Central run frequently (every 20min) to Bache (5min walk from the hospital). The journey from central takes 40min.

Bus services past the hospital are relatively frequent, but require changes and takes longer than commuting by train or car.

If you live in the centre of Chester it is approximately a 30-40min walk along the canal.

Cycle facilities

Available on request, and only for staff use.

There are shower facility in the mess (women’s and children’s building).

Hospital accommodation

Available on request for long-days and nights, and can be used for living accommodation long-term.

Rota coordinator contact details

Registrar rota is co-ordinated by Becca Nicholas (staff grade) email:

SHO rota is co-ordinated by the consultants with SHO assistance. (Rupert Ellis, Paediatric Consultant)

Any special interests particularly catered to?

As the local CHEDS service, it is good experience for those interested in treatment and management of young people with eating disorders

Countess of Chester NHS  Foundation Trust: List
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