Got Mersey deanery which was my 2nd choice and a job at Southport Hospital.
So far can't complain other than the hour drive into work from town. Liverpool is a really decent city to enjoy your free time and the district generals give you a lot of responsibility and opportunies to get involved rather than being a paperwork job like some other places.
Doctors up here tend to be nicer than the ones I've met in London as well. So if you fancy a new city which is good for a doctor then Liverpool is definitely highly recommended.
I applied to the Mersey Deanery...
I applied to the Mersey Deanery as first choice and have not regretted my choice at all.
I work at Warrington general hospital which has provided a very supportive environment to develop as a Dr. It should be noted that FPAS applicants will rank hospitals before choosing jobs and usually complete both years of foundation training in the same Hospital. One can seek a transfer if desired but will need to be organised about such things. Also it should be noted that except for Isle of Mann (which offers the incentive of tax free earnings) and Crewe, all other hospital are very commutable from Liverpool.
Warrington Hospital has offered a great platform for development as a Dr, there are quality teaching sessions and helpful seniors as well as an active post grad department. It is a medium sized hospital and offers such specialites as ENT, O&G and ophthalmology along with 'classic specialities'.
All in all I have had a great experience and would highly recommend the Mersey Deanery.
I work at Arrowe Park Hospital on the Wirral...
I work at Arrowe Park Hospital on the Wirral, which is part of the Mersey Deanery. I chose this hospital because it was my local hospital growing up, and as a large district general hospital, I felt I'd get good experience during my first two years. So far, I've been thoroughly satisfied.
Foundation Doctors in the Mersey Deanery spent the full 2 years at the same hospital, which I suppose is something of a double edged sword. Personally, I liked the idea of two years in the same place, getting to know the hospital and its departments and building working relationships with colleagues at all levels. I can only speak for Arrowe, but as time goes by, knowledge of the inner workings of the hospital becomes almost as valuable as clinical knowledge. Arrowe Park also has a very good teaching programme, with 2 dedicated F1 teaching sessions every week and 3 lunchtime teaching sessions that are open to all. In F2, one afternoon every week is set aside for teaching. My understand is that this is significantly more than many other hospitals elsewhere, and people find it very useful.
The Wirral, occasional home to The Open and with a very high concentration of footballers, both current and retired, is a peninsula between the Rivers Mersey and Dee, and within it lie some of the wealthiest areas in the UK. It also has some very deprived areas. Some locals will proudly claim that the UK's heroin industry began in Birkenhead. As such, the patients are overwhelmingly white and British, but vary enormously in socioeconomic status, with some parts of Birkenhead having amongst the lowest life expectancy in the country. In contrast Heswall, some 10 minutes down the road, is the 7th wealthiest neighbourhood in the country (based on 2001 figures), and very healthy octogenarians are a frequent sight on medical wards. Coming as I did from a London University it was a big shock to find that every patient speaks fluent English, albeit sometimes in an accent "exceedingly rare", and anyone who thrives off multi-cultural Britain may find the demographic a bit restrictive.
Just across the Mersey is Liverpool, home of the Beatles (which they occasionally mention) and once one of the richest cities in the world. Throughout the 20th century it experienced a downturn in fortunes, but its natives will defiantly tell you that things are very much changing. The city has undergone enormous investment and redevelopment over the last decade, and is unrecognisable from the town that I would occasionally visit as a small child. It has a vibrant nightlife, a multitude of eclectic bars and restaurants, a brand new riverside arena, two historic theatres, and dozens of secret music venues, continuing the tradition of Liverpool being a breeding ground for new bands and artists. In 2008 it proudly held the title of European Capital of Culture (which they might occasionally mention when they've finished talking about the Beatles). Most of my junior doctor colleagues at Arrowe Park live in Liverpool, which is just a short 20 minute drive away from the hospital, with the £1.40 toll for the tunnel under the Mersey only a minor added expense to budget for.
All in all, I would thoroughly recommend the Mersey Deanery and Arrowe Park in particular. It took a lot of thought and indecision to pick Mersey, and once I did, even more to pick Arrowe Park, but in retrospect I'm delighted I did.