Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust is proud to have welcomed its first students from Aston Medical School as part of a new partnership between the two organisations to encourage more local young people from different backgrounds to join the medical profession.
Four fourth-year Obstetrics and Gynaecology students and four paediatrics students have arrived at Walsall Manor Hospital on a six-week placement. More students will follow as more placements will take place six times a year from September to April.
Then in March 2023, 20 fifth-year students will start six weeks of foundation assistantship placements, shadowing foundation year (FY1) doctors and potentially FY2 doctors.
Additional staff from the Undergraduate Medical Education Team (UMET) – three Senior Academy Tutors (SATs), two Advanced Nurse Practitioners (ANPs) and one administrative staff member – have been recruited to support the students.
Students will spend time working across different areas, such as the delivery suite, gynaecology, antenatal clinic, obstetric theatre, paediatrics and paediatric clinics, and general medical departments.
Vicky Christian, Midwife and Clinical Skills Trainer, is the lead for reproductive health placements.
She said: “We’ve got a great programme which is going to cover allocated time in placements areas, teaching sessions, simulation and one-to-one placement support.
“It’s wonderful to welcome the new students. It’s a lot for them to take in on their first day so we try to make them feel really welcome and let them know what their placements entail. We also provide pastoral support, so if they need anything, they know they can come to us.”
Ash Matharu, 21, from Brownhills, a fourth year student in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, and pictured on the right in the white shirt, said: “Since I live locally, I am happy to help my local community and by being of service to them is my way of giving back to them. The staff here are very friendly and enthusiastic and I like the energy of the Trust.”
Andy Tams, UMET Manager, pictured back row, second from the left, said: “After a lot of extremely hard work, we are delighted to welcome AMS students, and as UMET manager, I’m very proud of all the UMET team. All students attending clinical placements here will have the very best learning opportunities.”
Andy says a lot of work has gone into the partnership, which has been four years in the making since AMS first sought local placement providers at Walsall Healthcare for its students.
“I looked at the service we were providing for University of Birmingham students and where we might have potential spaces for extra students, while ensuring we maintained our high standards and quality service we provide for all our undergraduate students,” he added.
“We want to be involved with teaching and training future doctors from within our own communities.”
Clare Defty, Consultant Dermatologist and Head of Academy at Walsall Healthcare, said: “This is a great achievement for the Trust and the UMET team and we are really looking forward to this new challenge.
“The hospitals which have already had AMS students on placement report very positive experiences, and we’re delighted to welcome them to Walsall and look forward to delivering an excellent clinical placement experience.”
A new medical school based in the centre of Birmingham taking 120 medical students per year, AMS welcomed its first group of 60 medical students in 2018 and they will graduate in July 2023.
SATs have been appointed to lead the speciality firms and Darwin Pauldas will join for paediatrics, and Amr Farag and Archana Hatti, job sharing for Obstetrics and Gynaecology.
James Davis and Pooja Siddhi are continuing their roles as SATs for University of Birmingham students, while two additional advanced practitioners (Jen Horobin in paediatrics and Vicky Christian in Obstetrics and Paediatrics) have also appointed to support each area, along with an additional clinical teaching fellow.