National Recruitment ST3 up to 15

Recruitment Timetable

Apply from 3 November 2022
Closing date 1 December 2022
Invitations to interview expected 3 February 2023
Interview dates 10 March 2023.
Offers from 30 March 2023

National Recruitment 2023

On behalf of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists, Health Education England (South West) is co-ordinating national recruitment into ophthalmic specialist training at level 3 (ST3) for posts commencing August 2023 onwards.  

Candidates will be able to preference all available posts across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.  The interviews will be held virtually on the 10th of March 2023.  Candidates will not be required to attend in person. 

Before starting an application please refer to

  • "Job Description" for vacancy details
  • "Resources" for the applicant guidance and person specification

For specialty information click Becoming an Ophthalmologist and the curriculum for ophthalmic specialty training.

Update on ST3

The launch of the new Ophthalmology OST Curriculum will be in August 2024. To enable transition and starting of this new competence-based system, entry into Ophthalmology Specialty Training will be at ST1 level only from 2024. This means that the last entry at ST3 level will be at interviews in March 2023 to start in post from August 2023.  Those applying for Ophthalmology Specialty Training from 2024 onward with prior experience will need to review the new guidelines, that will be published nearer to the time, to ensure they fulfil the requirements for application. Candidates will need to explore the CESR route to Specialist Registration if they have more than 30 months of ophthalmology experience. 

All successful candidates to Ophthalmology Specialty training from 2024 will have any prior ophthalmic experience and competencies mapped against the new curriculum to Level 1,2 and/ or 3. This will be assessed at the first ARCP enabling progression to ST2 or a higher point dependent on that exercise.

If you would like further details on the new curriculum please visit the Royal College of Ophthalmologist's website

Specialty training in Ophthalmology has an entry point at level three (ST3) which will continue, subject to satisfactory annual review, until completion of training and award of CCT at level seven (ST7).

The vacancies quoted below are are indicative and the actual number of posts in each area will be confirmed nearer to the time of offers.  The start date of the posts will be the 4th of August 2023 unless stated otherwise.  

Health Education East of England 

Vacancies: 0 - 1 Post

TOP of the 2019, 2018 & 2017 GMC trainee survey: rated highest average across all 18 domains in the country out of all 15 regions. 

2019 results

  • Overall average score of all 16 domains = 80.59 (Top of all 15 regions)
  • Regional Teaching = 85.34 (Top of all 15 regions)
  • Educational Supervision = 89.34 (4/15)
  • Overall satisfaction = 86.53 (2/15)

We have split our region into 3 manageable sub-rotations based around Addenbrooke’s or Norwich (voted in the top 3 units in the country for training). This negates the issue of huge commutes yet remains flexible to trainee needs and commitments outside of work. East of England has wonderful and affordable places to work, live and bring up families. Quality of life is high.

- East (Norwich / Cambridge / Bury St.Edmunds / Ipswich / James Paget)
- South (Cambridge / Southend / Colchester / Chelmsford / Welwyn Garden / Watford / Luton)
- West (Cambridge / Norwich / Peterborough / Huntingdon / Luton)

Surgical training opportunities are vast with little competition for cases. Our trainees regularly achieve 600-1000 phacos along with significant exposure to all subspecialty operations. Final year fellowships (TSC’s) are freely available without competition and further refine skills allowing trainees to confidently apply for future post CCT fellowships.

East of England is a vibrant and friendly place to train with huge emphasis on getting lots of surgical / clinical experience and training.  Some of the highlights of our training include

  • Simulation Facilities: very very strong 
  • 3 EyESi simulators
  • 2 wetlabs 
  • Cataract & complications simulation day
  • Cadaveric simulation day (strabismus)
  • Cadaveric simulation day (oculoplastics)
  • Trabeculectomy simulation day 
  • Trauma simulation day

All the above are free to our trainees

Research Opportunities: 

  • Research projects available at all units, especially 2 teaching hospitals. Involvement in NIHR trials via the trainee network as above
  • Research training day annually
  • Research annual Prize competition

Description of what the Regional / Local teaching Programmes provide:

  • Very very strong - Regional Teaching = 85.34 (Top of all 15 regions)
  • 11 CORE regional study days (covering core curriculum with interactive lectures in the morning and afternoon OSCEs to practice examination and exam skills)
  • Friday afternoon Norwich teaching
  • Wed / Thur / Fri AM Cambridge teaching
  • Several smaller units also organise ½ day teaching in house weekly
  • 5 Simulation days (as above)
  • Senior Trainee Development Day
  • Research Training Day
  • Research Prize competition day 
  • Case Presentation competition day
  • Exam Preparation Day
  • Regional Clinical Governance Day

New Regional Allied Health Professional teaching program also starting

Trainees appointed to
Cambridge, Ipswich, Southend, West Suffolk, Luton & Dunstable, Moorfields, Cardiff, Liverpool, Southampton amongst others. Almost every one got appointed at their first interview!

For further information please contact the Narman Puvanachandra (TPD) or visit the HE East of England Website.  Please visit the https://heeoe.hee.nhs.uk/ophth  and https://heeoe.hee.nhs.uk/ophthalmologywelcome to see opportunities to come and meet us / meet some of our trainees, trainers and researchers

Health Education East Midlands

Vacancies: 0 Posts

The Northern rotation is delivered at three different site in the Trent Region, Nottingham University NHS hospital, Derby Royal Infirmary and Kings Mill Hospital. The program is structured to support an intensive cataract training period which is at the beginning of the ST3 year and this is supported by on site access to a cataract simulator. All subspecialities apart from Ocular Oncology are represented and there are opportunities to undertake most training selected training components as part of the training program. The program has close links with the academic department of ophthalmology at Nottingham University Hospital and this provides opportunities for those interested in research. For further information view the North Associate School website or contact Health Education West Midlands

The Southern rotation is delivered from four hospitals in the East Midlands South rotation with the ST1 year undertaken in Kettering General Hospital or Lincoln County Hospital. The timetable which is followed is varied to allow the trainee access to the major subspecialties in Ophthalmology. However, there is a predominance of medical retina, glaucoma and primary care/emergency clinics to facilitate completion of the ST1 competencies. This is combined with two theatre sessions focussing predominantly on developing cataract surgery skills, which is taught in a modular fashion. Most trainees complete ST1 having performed several complete cases of phaco-emulsification. ST1 trainees are encouraged to complete the Part 1 FRCOpth examination during these first 12 months

Please contact Archana Pradeep, TPD for further information.

Health Education Kent, Surrey and Sussex

Vacancies: 0 Posts

Health Education Kent Surrey and Sussex School of Ophthalmology was created in 2011. Previously our hospitals had been providing high-quality training for many years as part of the rotation combined with London. Placements at our hospitals have always been sought-after for the more extensive and varied surgical experiences they offered. This high-quality training is now safeguarded by a highly active group of College Tutors based at each hospital and supported by the School based at the HEKSS.

For further information please contact either the PGMDE Support Portal. or KSS Ophthalmology Team - https://kss.hee.nhs.uk/ophtha/ 

London Recruitment

Vacancies: 0 Posts

Ophthalmology is a vital and competitive specialty that evolves with the latest advances in medical technology. Working with a diverse healthcare population across London, trainees will treat a cross-range of patients and medical conditions in urban communities.

For Ophthalmology, London Shared Services runs a North London programme and a South London programme.

Ophthalmology is a vital and competitive specialty that evolves with the latest advances in medical technology. Working with a diverse healthcare population across London, trainees will treat a cross-range of patients and medical conditions in urban communities.

North London rotations include posts at:

  • Queen’s Hospital
  • St Bartholomew’s Hospital
  • Whipps Cross University Hospital
  • Chelsea & Westminster Hospital
  • Imperial College Healthcare
  • Gt Ormond Street Hospital For Children
  • University College Hospital
  • Moorfields Eye Hospital (City Road)
  • National Hospital for Neurology& Neurosurgery, Queen Square
  • Hillingdon Hospital
  • North Middlesex Hospital
  • Central Middlesex Hospital
  • Barnet General Hospital
  • Royal Free Hospital
  • Whittington Hospital

South London rotations include posts at:

  • Sussex Eye Hospital
  • Croydon University Hospital
  • William Harvey Hospital (Ashford)
  • Eastbourne District General Hospital
  • St Helier Hospital
  • Frimley Park Hospital
  • Gt Ormond Street Hospital For Children
  • St Thomas’ Hospital
  • Royal Surrey County Hospital
  • King's College Hospital (Denmark Hill)
  • Kingston Hospital Trust
  • Maidstone District General Hospital
  • Queen Mary’s Hospital Sidcup
  • East Surrey Hospital
  • Worthing Hospital
  • Moorfields At St George’s Hospital

For futher information please see the London Specialty School of Ophthalmology webpage or contact the PGMDE Support Portal.

Health Education North East

Vacancies: 0 Posts

Health Education England - North East & North Cumbria (HEENE) delivers Ophthalmology training based on the curriculum set by the Royal College of Ophthalmology and approved by the General Medical Council (GMC).

The training programme is comprehensive and of a high standard.

The basic ophthalmic training and surgical competency gained in prior training is used as a foundation to continue learning in ST3 and in subsequent years training is provided in all core ophthalmic subspecialties. HEENE is committed to supporting Trainees throughout their time in the region and aims to prepare them to a high standard in preparation to take up Consultant posts.

The region has the latest technologies and teaching methods to deliver excellent learning opportunities. Highlights include:

  1. Two Eyesi surgical simulators with both phacoemulsification and vitreoretinal modules.
  1. Post-graduate curriculum-based teaching
  • Simulation is incorporated into training. Structured wet lab courses in trabeculectomy, oculoplastic, squint, trauma and laser .
  • Trainee Selected Component (TSC) in advanced subspecialty training
  • Involvement in research, audit and innovation.
  • Annual Research and innovation competition
  • The region supports trainees applying for academic ophthalmology. Additional out of program research leading to MD or PhD is also encouraged.
  • Specific training on how to teach phacoemulsification in preparation of consultant supervision role.
  • Excellent exam success. Combined position for ophthalmic exam pass rate (2014 to 2019) is 3rd overall out of 17 regions
  • ST7 trainees are provided with opportunities to act up as consultant (AUC), if they wish, in their final 3 months

For further information please see the Health Education North East website / NHS Find Your Place or contact steven.callender@nhs.net  Human Resources Officer.

Health Education North West

Vacancies: 1 - 2 Posts

Cheshire & Mersey 1-1; Greater Manchester, Cumbria & Lancashire 0-1

Mersey Rotation

As an Ophthalmology specialist trainee, you are required to progress through planned training programmes designed to meet the curricular requirements of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists and delivered to standards set by them.

The rotation would include working in the following Trusts - Wirral University Teaching Hospital, Warrington General Hospital, University Hospital Aintree, Southport & Formby General Hospital, Mid Cheshire Leighton Hospital, Countess Of Chester Hospital, Alder Hey Children's NHS and the Royal Liverpool University Hospital.

For further information please see the Mersey Website or contact the Mersey Recruitment Team

North West Rotation 

The ophthalmology programme in the North West will give you an unparalleled exposure to the full range of ophthalmic disease and its management. We are a large, friendly, organised LETB, and you will receive expert supervision at the Manchester Royal Eye Hospital and the five surrounding District General Hospitals (Blackpool Victoria Hospital, Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust; Royal Bolton Hospital, Bolton NHS Foundation Trust; Burnley General Hospital, East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust; Royal Preston Hospital, Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Stepping Hill Hospital, Stockport NHS Foundation Trust) which form our rotation.

In addition to your clinical and educational supervisors, you will also have the support of a trainee mentor to help you through the early stages of training. You may also have the opportunity to be involved in international ophthalmology training initiatives.

For further information please see the North Western Ophthalmology website or contact their local recruitment team.

Northern Ireland Medical & Dental Training Agency (NIMDTA)

Vacancies: 0 - 2 Posts

Ophthalmic services are provided in two main locations in Northern Ireland; at the Royal Victoria Hospital and the Mater Hospital in Belfast and in Altnagelvin Area Hospital in Londonderry/Derry. There are some theatre and clinic sessions in peripheral hospitals which work on a “Hub and Spoke” model from the main centres.  The Training programme includes 18 trainees, 3 Foundation Year 2 trainees and academic positions.  Trainees are based mainly in Belfast but rotate to Altnagelvin for three 6 month attachments.

Clinical and Laboratory research is encouraged and those appointed to the programme are encouraged to engage in research in the Centre for Experimental Science (CEM), Queen’s University Belfast. The centre strategically focuses most of its research effort on major retinal diseases, using multidisciplinary basic and clinical approaches and enjoys income in excess of £1 million annually. The CEM is recognised for research into diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration, inherited retinal diseases and low vision.  There is academic expertise in the following areas: experimental models, epidemiology, genetics, evidence synthesis, diagnostic technologies and global eye health. Opportunities are available also on a yearly basis for ACF and ACL positions. The centre also houses a vibrant clinical research network (NICRN) which enjoys a large portfolio of both commercial and non-commercial research studies.

For further information please see the Northern Ireland website or contact the Ophthalmology Team

Specialty Executive Officer: Robert Alexander surgery.nidta@hscni.net

Specialty Administrator: Brenda Broderick surgery.nimdta@hscni.net

Hospital Specialty Training Co-Ordinator: Paula McMahon  andrew.dainty@hscni.net

NHS Education for Scotland

Vacancies: 2 - 3 Posts

There are four geographical regions within the Scotland Deanery offering training programmes in Ophthalmology (Click on the links below for more information on each region):

  • West - centred on Glasgow
  • South-East - centred on Edinburgh
  • East - centred on Dundee
  • North - centred on Aberdeen

Within each region trainees rotate through a mix of district general and tertiary referral hospitals to receive a broad training and gain from the experience of working with different teams and consultants. All subspecialties are offered with opportunities for Trainee Selected Components available.

Some of feature of training in the Scottish Deanery are: Cataract surgery training is offered from day one after doing the compulsory simulation surgery course, consultants are friendly and interested in teaching, trainees are well supported and indeed often supernumerary, the NHS in Scotland enjoys a close working relationship with optometrists, orthoptists and vision support officers whilst NHS funding is unique in that departments are directly funded to provide care rather than commissioned by the CCG's. You will find research and audit is encouraged and supported by the trainee research network. The contribution of trainees is valued, and the Scottish government has chosen not to change the Junior Doctors' Contract.

Living in Scotland offers something for everyone whatever your interests. Every outdoor pursuit is available on our doorstep. We have, a vibrant culture, no long commutes to work, affordable house prices, and excellent national and international transport links.

Scotland ranks at the top for trainee satisfaction in the GMC survey for Ophthalmology. You can look forward to experiencing the world renowned warm Scottish welcome from your colleagues, trainers, and patients.

For further information please see the Scottish Medical Training website or contact the Scotland recruitment team.

Health Education South West


Vacancies: 0 Posts

The South West Peninsula Ophthalmology training Programme provides excellent teaching and training in the beautiful environment of the South West of England. The training available is comprehensive and of a very high standard, supported by the latest technologies to deliver excellent outcomes.

Trainees will be encouraged and supported through structured teaching programmes and well-established advanced sub-specialty training opportunities within the region. Health Education South West is committed to supporting trainees and preparing them thoroughly for Consultant posts.

The Undergraduate Schools of Medicine and Dentistry have enriched the teaching and training environment in the region. The Eye Surgery Simulator in Torbay will give you the best possible start to a career as an intra-ocular surgeon.

For further information please contact: PENRecruitment.SW@hee.nhs.uk or visit the Peninsula School of Ophthalmology.


Vacancies: 0 Posts

 Seven reasons why you should choose to train in the Severn Deanery:

  • The Bristol Eye Hospital is a Tertiary Referral centre with an international reputation for translational research led by Professor Andrew Dick
  • The Gloucestershire Eye Unit, where you will spend at least two years, has had the highest trainee satisfaction scores in the GMC Trainee survey for the last two years
  • Our EYESi cataract surgery simulator allows trainees to develop their intraocular surgical skills rapidly and safely
  • There are monthly all-day regional teaching days for trainees covering all the sub-specialities
  • Our trainees have a 90% success rate in the final FRCOphth examination
  • All of our trainees in the last four years have been appointed to consultant posts in the UK or abroad after finishing the rotation
  • All the Hospitals are within commuting range of Bristol

For further details see our webpage  "Why apply to Ophthalmology", or visit the Severn School of Ophthalmology. You can also email the Severn Recruitment Team or call us on 01454 252610

Health Education Thames Valley

Vacancies: 0 Posts

The Health Education Thames Valley Ophthalmic rotation comprises 23 trainees working in Oxford, Reading and Windsor, Stoke Mandeville and Milton Keynes.  The programme has a reputation for providing extensive practical experience in all areas of ophthalmology by trainers regarded as leaders in their field.  Research is encouraged and led by a vibrant program in Oxford with formal plans to extend activity to incorporate all hospitals in the region-opportunities exist for time out to obtain MD or PhD’s.  There is an excellent track record of our trainees moving to high quality UK or international fellowships before taking up consultant posts.  

For further information please visit the Thames Valley website or contact the recruitment team. 

NHS Education for Wales

Vacancies: 0 Posts

The programme is organised by the Speciality Training Committee in Ophthalmology (STC) the chair is Mr Ryan Davies, Consultant Ophthalmologist, Royal Gwent Hospital and the Programme is also managed by Mr Ryan Davies and to whom enquiries about the programme may be addressed.

Participating Hospitals

Basic Training

  • Royal Gwent Hospital, Newport
  • Royal Glamorgan Hospital, Llantrisant
  • West Wales General Hospital, Carmarthen
  • Wrexham Maelor Hospital, Wrexham
  • Princess of Wales Hospital, Bridgend
  • Abergele Hospital, Conwy

Higher Training

  • University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff
  • Singleton Hospital, Swansea
  • Royal Gwent Hospital, Newport
  • H.M. Stanley Hospital, St. Asaph
  • Royal Glamorgan Hospital, Llantrisant
  • Princess of Wales Hospital, Bridgend

All Trainee selected Components will be based at University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff and Singleton Hospital, Swansea.

For further information email Mrs Lyn Butcher (butcheral@cardiff.ac.uk), Claire Porter claire.porter1@wales.nhs.uk  Wendy Hollifield wendy.hollifield2@wales.nhs.uk,  or visit the Wales Deanery website.

Health Education Wessex 

Vacancies: 2 Posts

Wessex offers excellent opportunities for trainees to acquire the skills needed to fulfil a career in ophthalmology – the study and treatment of disorders and diseases of the eye.

The mix of three larger and four smaller departments gives the right balance of support and allow trainees to develop confidence and expertise across a wide range of sub-specialties and academic disciplines, helping them to meet the challenges of one of medicine’s most rewarding careers.

At any one time there are between 24 and 29 trainees benefiting from the high-quality training provided by HEE Wessex, equipping them with the skills and attributes they will need to provide excellent care to patients during their career as a consultant ophthalmologist.

At the end of the scheme trainees 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.

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

  • Paediatric ophthalmology
  • Strabismus
  • Oculoplastics
  • Glaucoma
  • Cornea
  • Anterior segment
  • Medical retina
  • Uveitis
  • Neuro-ophthalmology
  • Vitreoretinal surgery
  • Cataract surgery (supported by an in-house surgical simulator at Bournemouth Eye Unit).

Training locations

Wessex ophthalmology training is based at three major centres:

  • University Hospital Southampton
  • Queen Alexandra Hospital, Portsmouth
  • Royal Bournemouth Hospital

And at four smaller units:

  • Salisbury NHS FT
  • Hampshire Hospitals NHS FT
  • Isle of Wight
  • Dorchester (Dorset County Hospital NHS Trust)

The training programme is aimed at doctors who can demonstrate the essential competences to enter at ST3 level of training. The training programme when entering at ST3 level will be for 5 years. The programme is designed to support training for a CCT in Ophthalmology. Details of essential competences and qualifications are detailed in the national person specification for Ophthalmology at ST3 which is available from NHS Specialty training website - http://specialtytraining.hee.nhs.uk.

For further information please contact Sue Ksous (01962 690347) or visit the HEE Wessex Website.

Health Education West Midlands 

Vacancies: 0 - 1 Post

The West Midlands school of ophthalmology offers training in all areas of ophthalmology, from basic skills to advanced subspeciality training in every aspect of ophthalmic care. We have a team of motivated, dedicated teachers willing to help you become a highly skilled ophthalmologist.

There are 58 trainee placements, with an average of 8 trainees at each level from ST1 to ST7, including flexible trainees. We offer subspeciality trainee selected components in oculoplastics, glaucoma, medical and surgical retina, cornea and external eye disease, paediatrics and inflammatory eye disease. In addition there are post CCT regional fellowship opportunities in glaucoma, medical retina, surgical retina and neurophthalmology.

There are ample opportunities in the West Midlands for research through the Academic Unit of Ophthalmology, University of Birmingham. We have two junior academic clinical fellows, one academic clinical lecturer and one University appointed clinical lecturer (ST3+). In addition, many regular trainees take time out of the programme to undertake either an MD or PhD.

The West Midland School of ophthalmology was voted the highest in England for overall trainee satisfaction in ophthalmic training in the 2009 GMC trainee survey. In 2013, the West Midlands was the only school with no red flags.

The West Midlands region includes the beautiful countryside of Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Shropshire and Herefordshire as well as the vibrancy of England’s second city – Birmingham, a city of culture and a shopper’s paradise, with fast links to all areas, especially to London and the North.

Whether you choose to be a service providing ophthalmologist in a district general hospital or a training ophthalmologist in a teaching Trust or a University professor, we have the team and facilities to help you achieve your goal.

For further information please see the West Midlands Ophthalmology website.

Health Education Yorkshire and the Humber 

Vacancies: 0 Posts

The Yorkshire and the Humber School of Ophthalmology is the largest outside London with approximately 60 Trainees. Reasons you may want to apply to the Yorkshire and the Humber School of Ophthalmology are:

  • Two EyeSi simulators in the Region as well as wetlab and cadavar based strabismus training
  • Regional half day teaching per week
  • Two rotations – 6 Trainees in each year in the Northern rotation spread between Leeds/Bradford/Calderdale/Hull/York and Scarborough
  • Two Trainees in each year based around the Royal Hallamshire hospital, Sheffield but having District General Hospital experience in either Doncaster, Rotherham, Grimsby or Scunthorpe.
  • Academic unit in Sheffield based around ocular oncology
  • The School received 4 green flags on last year’s GMC Survey
  • The only School of Ophthalmology with 3 National Parks

For further information please see the Yorkshire and Humber website or contact the Recruitment Helpdesk.

The information published may be subject to change throughout this selection process