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Specialty Doctor in Ophthalmology

Mersey and West Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
St Helens
£52,530 to £82,400 per annum
Closing date
28 May 2024

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Job Details

An exciting opportunity has arisen for a Specialty Doctor in Ophthalmology to join our department on a fixed term basis for 12 months, This is a whole time post offering an exciting opportunity for a highly motivated Medic to join a dynamic, rapidly expanding team delivering multidisciplinary acute care in Mersey and West Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.

The successful candidate will be offered 2 operating lists per week, and would be suitable for a doctor seeking ab initio training in phacoemulsification cataract surgery or simply wishing to increase their number of procedures performed.

Applicants must be eligible for full Registration with the GMC at time of appointment.

Interview Date:

Main duties of the job

We are delighted to offer a suitably qualified Speciality Doctor the opportunity to work within a exciting and forward thinking Ophthalmology Department. The post is full-time, 10 PA's , plus associated on-call supplement. Contributing to our outpatient services.

Four years experience at post graduate level including at least 2 years in ophthalmology is necessary with the ability to practice independently. Starting salary will be commensurate with experience.

The Eye Department, which is staffed by 8 Consultants and 7 Middle Grade Staff, is based in the new state of the art St Helens Hospital, and offers up-to-date modern state of the art ophthalmic equipment.

The Trust is committed to the delivery of high quality patient care and the Clinicians are actively involved in the management of the hospital and it's facilitates which creates a sound and friendly working environment.

About us

The Secretary of State has approved the partnership between St Helens & Knowsley and Southport & Ormskirk Hospitals.

From 1st July we have come together as a single organisation under the name Mersey & West Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.

The Trust delivers acute hospital care, intermediate care, community, and primary care services to a population of over 600,000 people with a combined workforce of around 9000 dedicated and skilled staff from 17 locations including Whiston, Southport & Formby, St Helens, Ormskirk and Newton hospitals.

The Trust provides regional services for burns, plastic surgery and spinal injuries to more than 4 million people across Mersey and West Lancashire, Cheshire, the Isle of Man and North Wales.

Our Vision is to deliver 5 Star Patient Care:

  • CARE that is evidence based, high quality and compassionate
  • SAFETY that is of the highest standards
  • COMMUNICATION that is open, inclusive and respectful
  • SYSTEMS that are efficient, patient centred and reliable
  • PATHWAYS that are best practice and embedded, but also respect the individual needs of patients

Our achievements include:

  • Trust rated Outstanding by CQC Inspection August 2018
  • Top 100 places to work in the NHS (NHS Employers & Health Service Journal)
  • Awarded National Preceptorship Accreditation (2023) for our Nursing & AHP Preceptorship Programme

Please see our Wellbeing & Benefits booklet for more information on our staff benefits. Accessible version available upon request.

Job description
Job responsibilities

This post will support the existing ophthalmic team by undertaking general ophthalmic duties in an outpatient and theatre setting. The post holder is expected to contribute to the ophthalmology out-patient and surgical activities. The starting salary will be commensurate with experience. There will be the opportunity for training in vitreoretinal surgery for interested candidates already proficient in cataract surgery.

Duties and Responsibilities

The Ophthalmology Service is based at St Helens Hospital and undertakes the whole range of ophthalmic work. The Ophthalmology Department provides support to the community children's screening clinics as well as the provision of an orthoptic service.

The Speciality Doctor post will be a middle grade post. The job will involve handling out-patient clinics and undertaking theatre sessions. It will involve 1 in 8 1st on-call duties. The on-call rota is shared with Warrington Hospital. It is hoped that the successful candidate will maintain an active interest in the speciality and take part in teaching and audit sessions. This is a non-training post but will provide good ab initio training in cataract or vitreoretinal surgery depending on the successful candidates preference and past experience.

The service is based in the new St Helens Hospital DTC with state of the art ophthalmic equipment.

Facilities of the department currently are:-

a) In-Patient Facilities

There is a Day Surgery Unit within the St Helens Hospital where the majority of ophthalmic surgery is undertaken. The Trust has a dedicated eye theatre team within the Hospital. All current adult ophthalmic surgical work is undertaken in the main theatre, and the following is available:-

2 ceiling mounted Leica operating microscopes with video facilities

3 Phaco-emulsification/ vitrectomy machines (1 Alcon constellation + 2 Infinity)

Foldable intraocular lenses are used routinely and an assortment of accessories for safe and state of the art phacoemulsification procedures.

Children are operated on at the Whiston Hospital Main Theatre Suite.

b) Out-Patient Facilities

The main Ophthalmology Out-Patient Services are provided from the Eye Clinic at St Helens. The full range of equipment in clinic includes:-

Yag Laser - Zeiss

Argon laser HGM PC EDO with indirect facility

Humphrey field analyser x 2

New digitised Fundus camera (Heidelberg HRA2)

Zeiss IOL Master

Auto Refractor/Keratomater (Canon)

B Scanner Biovision

SLT Coherent

SD - OCT Heidelberg new generation

Colour camera Canon

In addition to the out-patient clinics there are also:-

2 Contact lens clinics per month

2 outreach clinics at Newton Community Hospital: further additional sessions envisaged

Nurse led pre-operative assessment clinic

Nurse-led intravitreal injection sessions.

Nurses are being increasingly deployed to carry out other tasks eg OCT/FFA capture, post-op care etc

c) Staffing Of The Department

7 Consultants

1 Associate Specialist

6 Speciality Doctors (F/T) including this post

The clinics are supported by Orthoptists who work as an integral part of the team.

The Hospital has a clearly defined programme of medical audit. All specialities spend 8 sessions on audit annually. Ophthalmology audit meetings are held usually on a Wednesday pm . A medical audit information system has been installed.


Title - Speciality Doctor in Ophthalmology

The post is full-time, 10 PAs per week with 1 in 8 on-call.

Working Relationships

The employer is Mersey and West Lancashire Teaching Hospital NHS Trust

Managerial accountability is to the Clinical Director.

The work of the post-holder will be supervised by a Consultant.


The timetable will be in line with the new SAS contract. It is envisaged that the programme will be divided into the following activities (PAs).

6 Out-patient clinics. These can be flexible according to departmental needs.

2 Theatre sessions depending on surgical experience and interest.

1 SPA (CPD/Audit, Wednesday pm)

1 Admin/ management

She/he will participate in the regular in-house educational programme. The time table may include some evening sessions. Surgical training in phacoemulsification / VR will be provided for interested and suitable candidates. The job plan will be reviewed after two years and may change depending on the needs of the unit / other doctors at the time.

Principal Accountabilities

The post holder will:

Contribute to the care of both out-patients and in-patients

Help with emergency work during normal hours

Undertake on-call on 1 in 8 rota basis

Assist in the compilation and organisation of audit sessions at St Helens Hospital

Deputise during the daytime for absent colleagues within the agreed rota

Assist with duties outside those normally rostered but which are judged to be essential for patient care under exceptional circumstances.

Flexibility in working pattern is desirable and expected.

For more information regarding the main responsibilities and requirements essential for this role please refer to the supporting documents heading and review the job description and person specification which will outline the duties of the role including a proposed job plan.

Person Specification

  • Applicants must hold full registration with the GMC at the time of application
  • MBBS or equivalent medical qualification


  • FRCOphth or equivalent qualification

Knowledge & Experience

  • A minimum of two years' experience of a broad range of specialities
  • A minimum of two years' experience of Ophthalmology as a speciality trainee or has equivalent competencies
  • Understanding of Research Concepts


  • Wide range of experience of Ophthalmology able to demonstrate knowledge, skill and experience
  • Experience of audit management


  • Ability to communicate effectively with patients, relatives and other Healthcare professionals


  • Able to teach clinical skills


  • Ability to work in a team
  • Commitment to continuing medical education





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