Undergraduate Medical Education Team

Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust is proud to host a Teaching Academy, affiliated to Birmingham Medical School, Aston Medical School and Wolverhampton University, providing on clinical teaching for medical and physician associate students.

As staff, you will come across students both in the MLCC (where the Academy Team is based and small group teaching is delivered) and within clinical spaces. Walsall is has a very strong reputation for delivering high quality teaching on placements and is very popular. We are grateful to all staff, for the time and energy devoted to student learning and work based placed assessment. Please continue to encourage students to join activities with learning opportunities as they arise. Please get in contact if you would like further support or to take on a larger role in undergraduate education.

Please check out the information below to gain a greater understanding of the student placements we offer and their work based placed assessments. The Academy Team are a group of staff dedicated to undergraduate education and would be happy to answer any questions. If you have any feedback regarding a particular student, there are links to complete commendation forms and information of on how to act on a concern.


About us and Useful Information

The Undergraduate Medical Education Team is based in the MLCC (the office is based to the right of MLCC reception). The team is comprised of:

Clinical skills trainers

At Walsall we are lucky to have a large group of professional trainers who work full time in undergraduate education. All have their own speciality of expertise and accompany students into the respective clinical areas. This model ensures capacity support for the clinical team and a genuine ‘on the job’ experience for the student. Please link with the respective Academy member if you have queries regarding specific placements or how to contribute to the teaching programme.

Clinical teaching fellows

At Walsall our clinical teaching fellows (CTFs) typically work full time in undergraduate education and join us for 12 month posts in August each year. All CTFs have completed their foundation training and usually undertake these posts before entering speciality postgraduate training.  CTFs take students for small group teaching, simulation and bedside teaching. They are keen group and undertake a PGCEMedEd during their 12 month placement with us.

Administrative team

The Academy administrative team are the key people organising student placement at the trust. They can also redirect questions to the relevant person as required. They are based in the Academy team office in the MLCC and contact details are below: umet.admin@nhs.net

Senior Academy Tutors

Senior Academy Tutors are a group of consultants and other senior clinicians within the Trust who act as firm leads. SATs take responsibility for the academic and professional progression of a small group of students and meet the students regularly during their placement. They also act as clinical examiners in the end of year OSCEs.

Academy Manager and Deputy Academy Manager

The Academy Team is managed by Andy Tams. Andy has decades of experience in education and oversees the practicalities of student placements at Walsall. He has a clinical background in anaesthetics.

Hannah Dibble is the Deputy Academy Manager and has worked for the Trust for 10 years. Hannah is from a nursing background-primarily in ED.

Head of Academy and Deputy Head of Academy

The Head of Academy is Dr Clare Defty. Clare is responsible for leading on undergraduate medical education at the Walsall and is the main intermediary between the Trust and the Medical school. She works with is Mr Fazle Alam as Deputy Head of Academy who has many years’ experience as a Senior Academy Tutor at Walsall.


UoB MBChB programme is currently undergoing transition to prepare for the new MLA (medical licensing assessment) and curriculum review. We have medical students on placement with us from Year 2, but the main clinical placements start in Year 3.

Students have access to course material on through Uob on Canvas. If you would like to view the material available to students on Canvas, please contact the undergraduate admin team.

Year 3

We have two cohorts of Year 3 Students join us at Walsall each year in 11 week semesters. The first group are with us from the beginning of October to early December and the second group, from mid-January to the end of March.

Before staring of semester one, there is a 3 week introductory period. During this time the students are on placement with us from Monday to Wednesday and are taught basic clinical skills and resuscitation.

During the main semesters the students are placement with us Mondays to Thursdays, when their timetable is based on ward experience, SAT meetings and small group teaching with the CTFs or clinical skills trainers. On Fridays, when the students are not with us, they have teaching in CBM (Community based medicine) or EBM (Evidence based medicine). During their placements, the medical school’s Interactive Studies Unit facilitates small group communication sessions at the Trust over a two day period.

Each semester the students focus more on different specialities, grouped into:

  • Cardiology, respiratory, care of the elderly, general surgery, vascular and breast
  • Gastroenterology, liver, diabetes, endocrine and upper GI surgery

Projects and assessment

Teamwork and leadership activity – TLA:  Students are required to undertake a self-directed learning project (teamwork and leadership activity – TLA) which is then presented to their firm and senior academy teacher at the end of the semester 1.

Long case: At the beginning semester 2, students undertake their long case assessments.

Exams are held in April with written exams undertaken at the medical school and OSCEs scheduled across the linked Trusts. At Walsall we examine for the Year 3 OSCEs over two days.

Year 3 Academy Lead:

Jo Evans

Year 4

Speciality medicine (SPM):

Students join for two 18 week placement blocks, commencing mid-June and mid-November (with holidays in August and over Christmas).

Each rotation consists of the following specialities:

  • Cardiology
  • Respiratory Medicine
  • Elderly Care
  • Diabetes/Endocrinology
  • Renal Medicine
  • GI Medicine/Liver
  • Oncology
  • GUM
  • Dermatology
  • Ophthalmology

Year 4 Academy lead:

Harry Madhar

Surgery and Perioperative Care (SPC):

Students join for four 9 week placement blocks, commencing mid-June, mid September, mid-November and beginning of Feberuary (with holidays in August and over Christmas).

Each rotation consists of the following specialities:

  • Perioperative care
  • ENT
  • Urology
  • Anaesthetics
  • Rheumatology
  • Orthopaedics (including two week dedicated period at the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital)

Year 4 Academy lead:

Hannah Dibble and Susanne Tams

Year 5 

Year 5 starts with a three week Selected Career Experience block in July, where students have the opportunity to shadow medical staff from a speciality of interest.

From the end of August final year students start clinical placements. Students join us for 5 week placements in Obstetrics & Gynaecology and Paediatrics with six firms joining us over the academic year.

Students also join for 15 week placements in AIP (Acute Ill Patient). This cover acute medicine, acute surgery, emergency medicine and critical care.

Academy Leads for Year 5:

Matthew Kelly and Dave Murray

Role model

Please do not overlook this important role. You are in a very good position to pass on your enthusiasm for your profession, for learning, and for patient care.

  1. How to teach medical students on your ward, Royal College of Physicians
  2. Key tips for teaching in the clinical setting, BMC Medical Education Open access article
  3. How to teach medical students, Mind the Bleep – medical education platform run by trainees

Teaching courses:

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but these are some of the popular courses to hone teaching skills.

  1. RCP Effective teaching skills workshop
  2. Oxford Medical Teach the Teacher Course for Doctors
  3. ISC medical – Teach the Teachers / Train the trainers course

Contact Us

We are based in the Manor Learning and Conference Centre; our office is the first door on the right from the MLCC reception

Please contact us on 01922 721 172 Ext: 7778 or 2389