Welcome from Dr Kim Jacobson, Head of the South West School of Pathology

Welcome to the South West School of Pathology. Supporting Training from Bench to Bedside in Peninsula and Severn PGME. 

The School is responsible for the training programmes in all the Pathology specialties offered by Severn and Peninsula Postgraduate Medical Education.  These comprise Clinical Biochemistry (with Metabolic Medicine), the cellular pathology specialties of Histopathology, Diagnostic Neuropathology and Paediatric and Perinatal Pathology, and the infection specialties of Medical Microbiology (with Infectious Diseases) and Virology.

Trainees are appointed to separate training programmes that are centred either in Bristol or in Plymouth and Exeter, but a particular strength is that the two centres work closely together, with combined training days and the possibility of secondment to maximise training opportunities across the entire range of specialist practice.  Our programmes are run by experienced Training Programme Directors and Educational Supervisors. There are strong links with the Universities of Bristol, Exeter and Plymouth.  Trainees are encouraged to play an active part in teaching pathology to medical students in all three medical schools and there are links with postgraduate academic medicine. The consultant body in each specialty includes FRCPath examiners and we have a high national profile in the organisation and delivery of high quality training.

Pathology is at a very exciting stage, with development of new techniques including molecular and genetic diagnoses, and ever closer integration into frontline clinical care. Bristol, Exeter and Plymouth are at the forefront of some of these developments. You will find the South West to be an exciting and rewarding place to train, as well as a vibrant place in which to live.

We look forward to welcoming you to the South West if you are an applicant for one of our programmes and hope you will find the School website a useful resource.  Please take a few moments to browse around the site for further information about the organisation of training in your specialty, training courses and the ARCP process.

Introduction and Background

The South West Postgraduate School of Pathology at Severn and Peninsula PGME is responsible for training in the specialties of Clinical Biochemistry (with Metabolic Medicine), the cellular pathology specialties of Histopathology, Diagnostic Neuropathology and Paediatric and Perinatal Pathology, and the infection specialties of Medical Microbiology (with Infectious Diseases) and Virology. These operate as separate but closely allied programmes in the Severn and South West Peninsula areas. 

The School provides leadership and an organisational framework to the partnership between Health Education South West, The Royal College of Pathologists and local health care providers throughout the region. The School liaises where appropriate with other Postgraduate Schools and operates a Quality Assurance process that is designed to ensure highest quality training. All our specialty curricula and assessment systems are delivered to the standards specified by the General Medical Council as described in its Standards for Curricula and Assessment as updated in April 2010. 

Within Severn and Peninsula PGME the School will support the following functions and tasks necessary to develop a high quality training programme:

  • Teaching and learning
  • Managing training programmes and posts
  • Faculty development
  • Curriculum delivery
  • Trainee selection
  • Assessment of progress
  • Quality assurance and evaluation of posts and programmes
  • Educational research
  • Resource management including the provision of educational access to all areas of Specialist Pathology
  • Development of innovative training programmes according to curricular needs

School Managers

School managers are based both in Bristol and Plymouth to support the training programmes in their respective PGME areas.  

Severn PGME

Debbie Sirett (based in Bristol), is the School Support Manager responsible training, including organising trainees' annual assessments and processing study leave.  She also provides managerial support to the Head of School and the School Board.  Please do not hesitate to contact her if you have any general enquiries about the School of Pathology or the Severn PGME programmes.  Debbie can be contacted by email or by phone on 0117 323231. 

Susan House, as Recruitment and Selection Manager, is responsible for the recruitment of trainee doctors into vacant training posts. The Recruitment and Selection Manager also charts each trainees' progress and assists the Training Programme Director in drawing up and updating rotation charts. Please contact Susan with any queries regarding recruitment or the organisation of any of the Severn Pathology Training Programmes.  Susan can be contacted by email or by phone on 01454 252677.

Peninsula PGME

Carla Miners (based in Plymouth) is the Education Programme Manager responsible for all aspects of recruitment, assessment and training.  Please contact Carla with any enquiries relating to the Peninsula based training programmes.  Carla can be contacted by email or by phone on 01752 676141.