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Wessex offers excellent opportunities for you to acquire the skills needed for a fulfilling career in ophthalmology – the study and treatment of disorders and diseases of the eye. The mix of three larger and three smaller departments will give you the right balance of support and allow you to develop confidence and expertise across a wide range of sub-specialties and academic disciplines, helping you meet the challenges of one of medicine’s most rewarding careers.

An ophthalmologist administers eye drops for a male patientAt any one time there are between 24 and 28 trainees benefiting from the high-quality training provided by Health Education Wessex. This will equip you with the skills and attributes you'll need to provide excellent care to patients during your career as a consultant ophthalmologist.

We stay in close contact with trainees and trainers, listening to and acting on any feedback. We have a great reputation for good clinical leadership and "training the trainers". The quality of our training was recognised in the GMC COPMed National training survey for 2013.

Your seven-year training programme will comprise a blend of emergency, outpatient and surgical training. There are annual reviews of competency progression (ARCPs) to help you pass the Royal College of Ophthalmologists examinations with confidence. No trainee has failed to progress or been unable to complete training because of exam failure since the start of our run-through training.

At the end of the scheme you will be ready to work as a consultant ophthalmologist. However, many of our trainees go on to undertake sub-specialist fellowships and work at internationally renowned ophthalmology units such as London's Moorfields Eye Hospital, other major centres in the UK, plus eye departments in Australia and Singapore.

Health Education Wessex offers a wide range of all the major sub-specialties, including:

  • paediatric ophthalmology
  • strabismus
  • oculoplastics
  • glaucoma
  • cornea
  • anterior segment
  • medical retina
  • uveitis
  • vitreoretinal surgery
  • cataract surgery (supported by an in-house surgical simulator at Bournemouth Eye Unit).


What our trainees say
"For me, Wessex offers a unique training experience. I've felt very well supervised here and my clinical confidence has grown steadily over the last few years in my various placements. The hospitals on the rotation are excellent, not only for their training but also for their locations  where else in the UK can you reflect on a day's work watching the sunset on the ferry back from a cataract list on the Isle of Wight, or walking on one of the sandy beaches of Bournemouth?"


Where we provide training

Your ophthalmology training will be based at three major centres:


And at three smaller units:


Other opportunities for trainees

The ophthalmology department at University Hospital Southampton, led by Professor Andrew Lotery, has established a reputation for groundbreaking research in ophthalmic genetics and age-related macular degeneration. You will have the opportunity to get involved with that research and have your work published or study for a higher degree.


What our trainees say

“…a university-backed research department with opportunities there [Southampton] and at the other centres to become involved with world-class academic projects."


What makes Wessex different?

Health Education Wessex is strong on both clinical leadership and personal development. We offer a wide range of management and leadership development programmes to equip you to take on a role as a future leader in health care.

As well as seminars and courses, we offer a range of opportunities including Medical Education Fellowships and Quality Improvement Fellowships. We fully support all our trainees through regular local academic meetings at the main centres – and a twice-yearly regional study day in Salisbury. We also support trainees who wish to pursue out-of-programme, or trainee-selected components.


What our trainees say

"I have found there is always someone to ask if you have a question  and it never seems too much trouble.”


Is this right for you?

If you enjoy a good balance of medical and surgical disciplines, are looking for a specialty which can involve many other branches of medicine, have a passion for helping people of all ages and if you have the determination to master the skills and demands of the job, then a career in ophthalmology could be for you. 

What to do next

Contact us directly to find out more. Entry to the programme is once a year via national recruitment, supported by the Royal College of Ophthalmologists and organised by Severn Postgraduate and Medical Education.


Hospital Educational Leads ( STC Representatives)

Name and Trust Contact Details

Mr Mahesh Ramchandani



Mr Jonathan Lochhead

Isle of Wight


Mr Simon Rogers



Mr Roger Humphry



Mr Debendra Sahu



Mr Alex Macleod

Hampshire Hospitals



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