Dorset County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Switchboard: 01305 251150


Foundation Programme Directors
Dr Adam Nicholls (F1 Programme Director)
Dr Tamsin Ribbons (F2 Programme Director)

Director of Medical Education
Dr Paul Murray

Medical Education Manager
Selina Freeman –

Foundation Programme Administrator
Anne Roberts – 01305 255943

The Education & Learning Development Department at DCH has a number of well-furnished and equipped training rooms of various sizes, including a lecture theatre with a 90-seat capacity.

The department works with College Tutors and Speciality Leads to ensure training provided meets educational standards prescribed by the UK Foundation Programme, Royal College, and Faculties. GMC and NHS England.  The team will ensure that all doctors in training always receive a warm welcome and the support required.

On site accommodation – House share between 2-4 people. Mix of long-term rents and short-term stays.

Monthly cost of accommodation – £350 (including bills)

For further information please contact our Accommodation Team on

Average monthly cost of renting flat near hospital – £800-£1300

24 hour library access.

PCs are available in the Library and E-suite in the education centre with 24-hour access.

There are also 3 PCs in the Doctor’s Mess.

Free parking for staff once you register. Please contact the transport team on or call 01305 255688 or 01305 253151.

Cost of the on site multi-storey car park is currently free, but this is subject to change.

The Doctor’s Mess is situated in the North Wing, 3rd floor next to the ICT department.

There are sofas, kitchenette area, TV and PC which makes a comfortable area to relax between shifts. In addition to this there is a dart board, pool table and paddleboards are available to borrow.

The subscription fee is £12.50 per month, which is deducted from your salary.  This funds not only the mess amenities which include tea, coffee, and snacks but also activities arranged by the Mess Committee. These range from sports activities, to teaching sessions, to social events such as payday parties and our famous bi-annual balls.

The Mess Committee will organise an induction week with social events for the new F1s joining the trust, to help the new cohort feel welcome and help them get to know one another.

Dorchester has good train transport and local bus routes to towns like Poole, Upwey and beach towns like Weymouth and Bournemouth.

Dorchester is a small cosy town steeped in history, with a decent selection of shops and restaurants.

There is a range of sports facilities such as gyms, sports centres with swimming pools, and martial arts centres.

Dorchester offers excellent walking and running routes, beautiful rural areas to explore, and is close to the beaches for those days off.

 Foundation Year One Doctors commence in post one week prior to the August ‘change over’ date.

Sessions are timetabled to allow incoming F1 doctors to work alongside the F1 from whom they will be taking over from to enable them to gain an insight into the role and responsibilities of a foundation doctor.

The programme for the week includes Trust induction, which focuses on the needs of the F1 doctor. 

F1s have the opportunity to meet the Foundation Leads, Director of Medical Education, and the Medical Education Team.

During the shadowing period all incoming F1 doctors receive the hourly rate of their basic salary.

F1 and F2 doctors may apply for “taster” periods in other specialities provided they have support from their Educational Supervisor and the Foundation Faculty Board.  Tasters are a good opportunity to try specialities not included in their rotations. F1 doctors can borrow 5 days’ study leave from their F2 year to undertake tasters.

Simulation is incorporated into the teaching programme across F1 and F2 and is delivered by our medical education fellow in conjunction with the education team.

DCH encourages all doctors in training to attend the monthly Junior doctor forum to contribute and participate in the delivery of medical education.  To ensure foundation doctors are formally represented, two doctors are elected.

Every Doctor in Training is assigned an Educational Supervisor (ES) who will act as Supervisor and Mentor for the duration of your programme at DCH.

The ES will provide regular feedback and advice to ensure you are progressing satisfactorily throughout the Foundation year. Information is shared with the Foundation Programme Directors. In addition to this each Doctor in Training will be assigned a Clinical Supervisor (CS) for each placement.  The CS is responsible for day-to-day clinical progress and advice relating to the particular speciality.

Protected core teaching is set for Foundation Doctors.

Foundation Doctors have the opportunity to receive funded ALS training.

The Trust is also fully supportive of F2 Doctors taking study leave to further their careers and develop wider knowledge base.

Dorset County Hospital was established in 1991 as part of a long–term project to bring together all the local services for acutely ill patients onto one hospital site. Our hospital, just outside Dorchester town centre, was completed in 1997.

We were awarded Foundation Trust status in June 2007.

Our busy, modern hospital provides a full range of district general services, including an accident and emergency department, and links with satellite units in five community hospitals.

We are the main provider of acute hospital services to a population of around 300,000, living within Weymouth and Portland, West Dorset, North Dorset and Purbeck. We also provide renal services for patients throughout Dorset and South Somerset; a total population of 850,000.

Our 3,000 staff work in GP surgeries, schools, residential homes and people’s own homes as well as Dorset County Hospital and the community hospitals.

Dorset County Hospital has around 350 beds, seven main theatres and two day theatres, and has been designed with a major commitment to Public Arts in Hospital. Related services are grouped into three connected wings: North, South and East. 

Dorset County Hospital, working with our health and social care partners, will be at the heart of improving the wellbeing of our communities.​​​

The first step in our People Strategy was to agree our Trust values.  Thanks to the feedback we received, each of our values — Integrity, Respect, Teamwork, Excellence — truly reflect what we all feel is most important.

Underpinning each of our values is a set of behaviours that we all sign up to – The DCH Way, that’s what we all expect to see in each other and the way that we pledge to behave as we go about our work within the Trust.