The London School of Surgery Training Programme has become part of the standard General Surgical Registrars’ training for ST3-ST6 trainees throughout London and the South East of England.


The integration of structured laboratory training with surgical training allows skills acquisition within an environment that does not compromise patient safety, or raise difficulties about risk management. This approach will improve patient safety and meet public expectations on medical care.

 Aims of the programme 

  • To provide distributed laboratory training that matches the training stage in clinical practice (i.e. ST3 and ST4 - general/junior or ST5 and ST6 - sub-specialty colorectal, Upper GI, HPB, breast, transplant or vascular). Training is tailored to the individual trainee’s needs and abilities. 
  • To achieve a set of defined surgical competencies with exit criteria based on competence and educational objectives, rather than simply a ‘time-served’ criterion.  

Programme structure

The skills laboratory environment will add to on-the-job training, as it allows experienced consultants the time to detail the intricacies of the various procedures with the trainees, as well as allowing them the opportunity to question the consultants. This can be achieved without any risk to patient safety, which could otherwise be compromised during clinical practice. 

Trainees will be expected to attend no fewer than 80 per cent of allotted sessions (including the compulsory annual skills assessment), and this will be highlighted at their ARCPs. Trainees are responsible for organising the required dates away from their hospitals, so that no conflicts arise with clinical commitments .

The structure of the sessions will generally involve a brief presentation or structured discussion session led by the consultant trainer, followed by simulation of the procedure. Emphasis is heavily placed upon the practical side of this skills training.