Neurosurgery is the diagnosis and treatment of problems with the central, peripheral and autonomic nervous system. Trainees in Wessex have access to the leading facilities and renowned experts at the Wessex Neurological Centre, based at University Hospital Southampton (UHS). At the centre, a team of 12 consultant neurosurgeons provide trainees with excellent comprehensive training in all aspects of neurological surgery, for both adults and children.

There are eight higher specialty training posts and five core training posts at the Wessex Neurological Centre. During the first two years of training, trainees will rotate between consultants and teams, to ensure full coverage of the neurosurgery curriculum.

Your training at the Wessex Neurological Centre offers all of the following neurosurgical sub-specialties:

  • Neuro-oncology
  • Vascular neurosurgery
  • Skull Base Surgery
  • Spinal Surgery
  • Paediatric Neurosurgery
  • Functional Neurosurgery
  • Endoscopic Neurosurgery

Exclusive neurosurgery training is offered from ST3 onwards, and you will be assigned to a single consultant within three broader teams for placements of between four and six months. This is to allow mentoring focusing on the consultant’s specific area of interest.

A busy timetable will normally include outpatients’ clinics, departmental and MDT meetings and theatre sessions. Additional training sessions, with consultant supervision, will help you prepare for the FRCS(SN) exam. In addition, multi-regional training meetings are held four times a year at Taunton with the neurosurgery departments from Plymouth, Bristol and Cardiff.

Trainees are expected to attend Society of British Neurological Surgeons (SBNS) conferences at least once every two years, and SENA (South of England Neurosciences Association) meetings. 

Training locations

All training – from ST1 until the end of the ST8 year – will be at UHS within the major trauma centre. This is the regional hub for neurological services, and covers a catchment area of close to three million people.

Wessex Neurological Centre includes two adult wards, a regional transfer unit and day-stay unit, an intensive care unit, neurology ward, three operating theatres, neuroradiolgy department with dedicated angiography suite, plus neuropsychology and neurophysiology departments. In addition, the hospital’s paediatric unit has a neurosurgical ward.

What makes Wessex different?

The consultant neurosurgeons leading training bring the broadest spectrum of experience, providing trainees with training in all aspects of adult and paediatric neurological surgery. Trainees will also have support in many sub-specialist areas from an experienced and committed team of specialist nurses.

We are especially pleased to offer access to leading neuro-intensive care and paediatric intensive care facilities at the Wessex Neurological Centre. In addition, various research projects are under way in Southampton. Leadership and personal development is very much encouraged for all trainees within Wessex.