Northern Training Consortium Open Day – A Virtual Success

The Northern Training Consortium (NTC) ran their first ever virtual Open Day on Friday 15th January via Zoom to explain what it is like to be an STP Trainee within NTC.

The event was organised by a past STP Trainee, Andrew Bussey, who completed the Imaging with Ionising Radiation specialism in 2019. Andrew invited current STP Trainees and STP Training Officers from the NTC to share their experiences and outline what future STP Trainees can expect.

The NTC is offering the following STP training posts starting September 2021 :

  • 4 x Medical Physics (specialism undefined)
  • 1 Clinical Pharmaceutical Science
  • 1 GI Physiology
  • 1 Reconstructive Science
  • 2 x Clinical Engineering posts.

Delegates arrived from 12:30 and were placed in breakout rooms so they had the opportunity to talk to current or recently qualified STP trainees.

By 13:00 when the talks started 130 people had joined the call. Former NTC STP trainee Andrew Bussey welcomed everyone and introduced the first speaker: Dr Emma Bowers, Deputy Training Coordinator for the NTC. Emma gave a brief introduction to the National STP scheme, an introduction to the NTC and the level of support you could expect if you cam e to the NTC.

The current 1st year Medical Physics STP Trainees shared their routes into STP and their rotational experiences. Will described his Imaging with Ionising Radiation Rotation; Vanessa described her Radiation Safety Rotation, Pierre described his Radiotherapy Rotation and finally Katie described her Imaging with Non-Ionising Radiation rotation.

Dr Emma Bowers described how the NTC was going to be taking on their first GI Physiology STP trainee this year and the exciting developments that were occurring within the GI Service across Newcastle and Durham.

Katy Hirst (2nd year Clinical Pharmaceutical Science STP trainee), explained the structure of the CPS STP Training and how is occurs between Newcastle Pharmacy Production Facility and the QC Laboratory in Stockton, North Tees.

At this point we had a break, although most delegates were keen to re-enter breakout rooms with current and past STP trainees from NTC.

We re-met at 15:00 where Mark Jagger, who will be the Training Officer for the first Reconstructive Science STP Trainee within the NTC, gave a fascinating presentation explaining the areas of Reconstructive Science.

Tom Robertson, 1st Year Clinical Engineering STP Trainee explained how well setup the Trust’s within the Training Consortium were in offering useful clinical engineering projects that directly benefitted patients, which could be used as evidence to show training competencies had been met.

Andrew then described the advantages of living and training in the North East and the opportunities available post STP.

Finally Caitlin Gallagher (1st Year Ophthalmic and Vision Science STP Trainee) and Ed O’Toole (1st year Clinical Bioinformatics STP Trainee) shared their experiences of the application process in order to gain their STP post, and the particular specifics of this years application.

Breakout rooms were reformed, and a number of delegates took the opportunity to have extensive conversations with current and past STP trainees.

We were very happy with how smooth everything went technically, obviously delegates came and went depending on what subject was being presented, but even to ‘least popular’ presentation attracted an audience of over 100 people. We had some very positive feedback, which included:

“Really good overview of program structure, perspective on number of positions that exist and variety of positions, good insight into responsibilities and career options.”

“… the application process and learning a few more branches of the NTC STP programme was very interesting. The presentations were well done and informed the different areas covered in each in a good amount of detail.”

The post-event survey was very positive with trainees rating the day 4.1/5 and 4.4/5 for enjoyment and usefulness respectively.

Presentations from the Open day can be found here: