Foundation doctors have a number of days available to take as taster days in medical fields of interest for further training. These may be of particular use if it is not possible to do a post in this specialty as part of foundation training or if the placement would occur after the application process.

If you are a foundation doctor interested in applying for psychiatry, we would like to encourage you to spend 1-2 days as taster days. This would involve following a junior psychiatrist and their team to learn about what the job and training entails.

Please see below for descriptions of taster days available in psychiatry along with the contact information to arrange.

  • Addictions

    Taster Day: Substance Misuse, Campbell House Bristol & St James Parade, Bath

    Description: Addictions psychiatry is a specialised service covering a broad range of substance misuse problems. Psychiatric services are aligned with local and regional third sector organisations such as DHI (Developing Health and Independence). Opportunities include outpatient clinics and experience on prison prescribing clinics.

    Who to contact: Dr Sam Forshall, contact him via secretary Fiona McCraw ( 01225 359900

    Good days to visit: Dr Forshall works across Bath and Bristol, so you can come to either his detox clinic on a Monday morning at Campbell House (renamed previously Colston) or come to Bath to St James Parade on Tuesday pm, Thursday am/pm or Friday am/pm

    Location: 1 Campbell House, Montague Place, Bristol BS6 5UB, 5-minute walk from BRI 14 St James Parade, St James Parade, Bath, BA1 1UL, 5 minute walk from Bath Spa train station or Bath Spa Bus terminal

  • ADHD

    Taster day: ADHD assessment and treatment

    Description: Adult ADHD (assessment and treatment, medication and non-medication), Psychiatry, Psychology, specialist nurses.

    Typical day: Day to day work includes mostly remote clinics, some face to face clinics, screening and triaging, liaison work with primary and secondary care in an advisory capacity, group based sessions for psychological interventions.

    Good opportunity to develop understanding of neurodevelopmental principles, ADHD symptomatology, autism, all mental disorders, particularly anxiety and mood disorders.

    Who to contact: Dietmar Hank

    Good days to visit: Tuesdays and Thursdays are assessment and treatment clinics

    Location: Petherton resource centre, 3 Petherton Road, Hengrove, Bristol, BS14 9BP

  • Assessment Service for Custody and Courts

    Taster Day: Assessment Service for Custody and Courts (ASCC)

    Description: Our service is designed to facilitate fair access to the Criminal Justice System for individuals with identified vulnerabilities. We are based in custody so we can provide early intervention to those with identified vulnerabilities to support them in the criminal justice process.

    We provide mental health assessments for people considered vulnerable based on their mental health needs, substance misuse or learning disability. An essential part of our role is to provide comprehensive reports to court outlining their vulnerability, we also provide advice and recommendations about sentencing and accessibility. If someone is acutely mentally unwell diversion from the criminal justice system may be indicated.

    Our service is ageless and begins from the age of criminal responsibility (which currently is 10 years old), the majority of service users are male but we also see females. We try and have contact with as many females as possible (even if not referred) as we have a specialist non-statutory agency for women who have had contact with the criminal justice system that we can refer to.

    A key interest in the criminal justice process is important as well as emotional resilience in working within this environment; you can be exposed to quite difficult offences and experiences.

    Who to contact: Will Johnson – 0117 976 3020 (Bristol Crown Court Practitioner) or Siobhan Parker, team leader – 0300 555 0224

    Good days to visit: The service is Monday-Sunday 8am-8pm in police custody, Monday-Friday 9am-5pm at Bristol Crown Court. Each morning the team is given referrals from the Custody Sergeant of people considered to be vulnerable. Custody can be very busy and we have been known to receive more than 10 referrals a day.

    Location: Having access to a car is handy but not essential. The admin and management are based at Petherton Road Resource Centre. The Practitioners and STR workers will either be based at Keynsham or Patchway police centres. There are also ASCC offices at Bristol Magistrate’s and Bristol Crown Court.

  • Autism services

    Taster day: Adult autism service

    Description: We offer diagnostic and post diagnostic support to adults who are suspected of having or are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders. We are a large team of over thirty people, drawn from a range of professions (nursing, medicine, psychology, OT, social work) and we cover the BNSSG (Bristol, North Somerset, South Glos.) STP and BANES.

    Diagnostic clinic work involves specialist assessment tools, parental interviews, behavioural observation, MDT decision making processes. Post diagnostic work involves running psychoeducational groups, brief interventions, family and carer support, cross agency working.

    Full diagnostic Assessment Mon to Thursday. Advice services on Wednesday and Friday.

    Patient profile:  18yo+. Majority GP referrals, ranging from people with little apparent impairment or needs to individuals with significant learning disabilities, trauma and/or mental health issues.

    Who to contact:

    Dr Jethro Purkis is Specialty Doctor with BASS Bristol Autism Spectrum Service, Clinical Supervisor and lead for psychiatric trainees at the service.

    01275 796249

    Good days to visit: Monday, Tues, Wed, Thurs. We run full day complex diagnostic assessment clinics at Petherton Road and there maybe opportunities for trainees to sit in on these assessments with the multidisciplinary team.  Please note there is a waiting list to shadow assessments / taster days but we always try to accommodate people where we can.

    Location: Petherton Resource Centre. Accessible by bike and public transport from the city centre. Oversubscribed parking, but parking available on local roads.

  • Crisis team

    Taster day: South Gloucestershire Crisis Team, Community Psychiatry

    Description: Caring for adult patients with a mental health crisis. We are a MDT team comprising OT, psychologist, Social workers, nurses, peer workers, mental health workers and doctors. There are approximately 25 staff on shifts in a 24/7 service, providing mental health crisis support to clients for between two to six weeks.

    Caring for adult patients of any age with a mental health crisis and providing home treatment.

    Who to contact: Dr Rob Dixon or Dr Ruta Kuzminskyte

    Good days to visit: Every day has the same set up: 9am – 9:30am handover planning meeting for the day and then 2-3pm feedback on morning visits with clinical visits at other times.

    Location: Kingswood Civic Centre – We have pool cars and no need for a car to go out on visits (will be with other staff)

  • Eating disorders

    Taster day: ACER Eating disorders unit

    Description: The inpatient unit is a 10 adult bed facility for both males and females. The unit accommodates informal and detained patients under section 2 and 3 of the mental health act, the unit also NGT feeds patients that are not able to manage treatment program and are becoming medically unstable.  Clients are detained under the Mental Health Act (1983) due to treatment refusal in the light of not having capacity and or intensifying physical health risk. 

    The unit is commissioned to cover the South West provider collaborative (BNSSG, Somerset, Plymouth, Devon and Cornwall), Banes patients are needing to be admitted to the Hope Spa network (Oxford health) 

    Who to contact:

    Safia Awais

    Julie Stott

    01174146645 - Nursing office

    01173784413 - Ward manger office

    Good days to visit: Monday and Tuesday we hold ward round in the AM, Tuesday PM we have our local bed and referrals meeting with the community team, Wednesday AM we have our region referrals meeting

    Location: STEPs EDU, Acer Unit, Blackberry hill, Bristol, BS16 2EW

  • ECT

    Taster day: ECT clinic

    Description: Callington Road’s busy ECT clinic runs twice a week seeing around 10 or 11 patients each day. This is a

    Who to contact:

    Marta Krawczyk

    Richard Kenworthy (Charge Nurse)

    Good days to visit: Normally deal with 8 or 9 treatments each day

    Location: Linden Unit, Callington Road Hospital, Marmalade Lane, Bristol, BS4 5BJ

  • Inpatient liaison

    Taster day: Inpatient Liaison Psychiatry, Southmead

    Description: Acute hospital Liaison Psychiatry service – composed of multidisciplinary team of psychiatrists and mental health liaison nurses.

    Broad range of activity:

    Ages 16 over - Emergency department/Acute medical unit- acute psychiatry, self-harm/ suicide assessments.

    All ages 17 over - In-patient work, medically unexplained symptoms, work with specific departments (gastro, gynae, major trauma, neurosciences)

    Educational role to non-mental health professionals (induction, core training).

    Mental health Liaison provision to large acute teaching hospital. See patients in ED/AMU as well as on all medical and surgical wards. Team of 225 members including doctors of all grades and band 6 and 7 nurses.

    Engagement support workers band 3 to support patient’s emotional and psychological wellbeing.

    Psychopathology worked with: Self harm/suicide attempts, Dementia/Delirium, Depression/Anxiety, Psychosis, Drug and alcohol abuse, Medically unexplained symptoms/Somatisation                                                                                

    A broad range of pathologies, from primary care level to high end tertiary level. NBT is a regional tertiary centre for trauma, Burns, plastics, vascular, renal and neurosciences we see high acuity cases and some very unusual things too!    

    Always new assessments on wards or urgent assessments in A&E to do.  Wednesdays are team meeting days which can be less relevant for a taster day                                                                                     

    9am: Team allocation / triage / briefing

    9.30-12.30: Acute liaison work - either ED/AMU or in-patient reviews/assessments

    Midday: Academic programme or MDT

    PM: Clinical supervision to discuss cases with seniors, admin/notes, brief urgent ward reviews.

    Who to contact:

    Joanne Smart

    Good days to visit: Can be flexible but please contact beforehand

    Location: Donal Early House, Southmead Hospital BS10 5NB. Various buses arrive here from across the city. Limited car parking- usually full after 9am, lots of places to lock a bike.

  • Later life inpatient

    Taster Day: Inpatient, Aspen Ward

    Description: We are a busy, mixed 24-bed later life psychiatric ward managing older, frail patients with functional illness and often numerous physical health comorbidities. You will see psychotic illness, including late and very late onset psychoses; depressive illnesses and mood disorders. Although this is a functional ward some dementias, such as fronto-temporal dementias, can present in patients on Aspen. Team meeting starts at 9am. Reviews and assessments occur throughout the day. We have a ward round twice a week (Mondays and Thursdays) which lasts the morning. You could combine your day with an ECT taster day, ECT is held in the same building, down the corridor on Tuesday and Friday mornings.

    Who to contact: Jonathan Hewitt (, Geoffrey van der Linden ( ward consultants, via secretary Sarah Cain

    Good days to visit: Ward rounds held on Mondays and Thursdays from 9-12

    Location: Aspen Ward, The Coppice, Callington Road Hospital, Marmalade Lane, Bristol, BS4 5B

  • Later life liaison

    Taster day: Later Life Liaison Psychiatry, Bristol Royal Infirmary

    Description: Our team of highly experienced mental health nurses and medics are the first port of call for BRI inpatients over the age of 65 who require psychiatric input during their stay.

    We receive a range of referrals from the wards daily and you can expect to see plenty of organic and functional presentations, including complex dementias and deliriums to long standing psychotic illness and affective disorders. We work closely with our colleagues in Care of the Elderly.

    The daily team meeting starts at 9am. Reviews and assessments occur throughout the day, every day. On Wednesday mornings we have our MDT meeting and we run an informal journal club alternate Fridays.

    Who to contact: Dr Seona Duroux Later Life Consultant,

    Good days to visit: Any day is good but Wednesday morning is best avoided

    Location: A214, Bristol Royal Infirmary

  • National deaf service

    Taster day: National Deaf CAMHS

    Description: See children up to 18 in south west with severe/ profound deafness and mental health difficulties. A number of children have neurodevelopmental, learning difficulties and genetic syndromes and large professional networks. We cover 7 counties, there is a lot of travel. 

    Will see ASD, ADHD, LD, emotional dysregulation, and much more.

    Typical day: Clinics and meetings in schools and at base all over regional, national meetings in London

    Who to contact:

    Reenee Barton Consultant Child Psychiatrist

    Secretary Judith Farrow

    Good days to visit: Mondays to Wednesdays. One Wed a month specialist Autism assessment.

    Location: Variable, across the region.

  • Neuropsychiatry

    Taster Day: Inpatient neuropsychiatric unit

    Description: The Rosa Burden Centre looks after patients with mental disorder as sequelae of neurological diseases, particularly epilepsy and Parkinson’s Disease; functional (non-organic) neurological syndromes; cogniform symptoms and non epileptic attacks, and neuropsychiatric sleep disorders such as narcolepsy and parasomnia.

    Consultant Dr Rayment does clinics on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoons, and an inpatient ward round on Tuesday morning. However there are other members of the team doing clinics at different times. On Wednesday there is a neurosciences post-grad teaching session from 10:30-12:00 at Southmead Hospital, which is a useful insight to other work across clinical neurosciences.

    Who to contact: Dane Rayment, consultant. Contact secretary Jenny Littler 0117 4140452/4140451

    Good days to visit: Inpatient ward round on Tuesday morning, outpatient clinics run on other days.

    Location: Rosa Burden Centre for Neuropsychiatry, Southmead Hospital, BS10 5NB

  • Personality disorder service

    Taster Day: Personality Disorder Service

    Description: We are a tertiary service working with male and female service users with a diagnosis of personality disorder who are involved in the criminal justice system. We are a small MDT made up of one administrator, two psychologists, a psychiatrist, social worker, occupational therapist, nurse and a psychotherapist.

    We work primarily with people with a diagnosis of personality disorder, mainly Anti-social/Dissocial and/or Emotionally Unstable/Borderline, who will often display behaviours which either cause other people harm or put others at risk of harm. Some service users have very complex and severe personality disorders and have been in secure hospitals and/or prisons for several years. There can be challenges around forming and maintaining relationships, difficulties in adhering to boundaries, impulsivity, recklessness and a lack of consequential thinking. There are often co-morbid conditions such as psychosis and/or addiction.

    A typical week varies according to each practitioner, however generally there will be one or two gatekeeping assessments to be completed, visits to service users in out of area hospitals, professionals meetings with outside agencies and attendance at CPAs. We provide consultation and formulation to community and inpatient teams, we also deliver training if required.

    Who to contact: Contact our administrator Julie Dexter on either 0117 378 4600 or who works Monday to Thursday 0800 – 1600.

    Good days to visit: Attending our Thursday meetings would be the best way to meet the team and get an idea of what we do. This will include our weekly referrals meeting and either team reflective practice or clinical supervision.

    Location: We are based at the Acer Unit, Blackberry Hill Hospital (next to the Fromeside Clinic). Bus routes that take you to the hospital are numbers 5 and 48A. Car parking is available.

  • Psychiatric intensive care unit (PICU)

    Taster day: Men’s intensive care unit

    Description: Hazel Unit is a 12-bed Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) for Male Patients. The team consists of specialised nursing and medical team with support from OT, Art & Music therapy, Physiotherapy and in reach from Psychology, Physical Health Nurse, Community Teams, Crisis Team, Forensic, Specialised Drugs and Alcohol and Rehabilitation services. We have frequent Liaison with A&E, Psychiatric Liaison Service in Southmead and BRI.

    We manage all psychiatric disorders requiring interventions for acute behavioural disturbances, violence aggression management during the acute phase of their relapse. Most patients are Schizophrenia spectrum and Bipolar spectrum. Complex Needs, Treatment Resistant and Dual Diagnosis with Drugs abuse, Autism, Personality issues are common admissions.

    A week will consist of ward rounds, Handover meetings, Mental health work and tribunals, patient assessments, in seclusion assessments and urgent and emerging medical nursing input for patient management relating to behavioural escalations, boundary management, de-escalation input and meetings and pharmacological re-planning based on ever changing needs of our patient day to day and hour to hour. Hazel Unit is exciting place to be where rapid decision making and managing emergencies is part of the day as well as is the satisfaction of providing support and care to seriously unwell psychiatric patients during their most difficult hours.    

    Hazel Unit caters to the whole of AWP geographical area except Wiltshire. We are an Adult Male only Unit.

    Who to contact: Team Secretary Debbie Hobbs ( or Consultant Dr Narendra Singh ( any time during working hours. You may also contact Hazel Unit via Callington Road Switchboard (01225 325680). Please use your Academic or NHS email address to contact. If you are allocated a Placements Coordinator by the Trust or have a Supervisor, please let us know their contact details.

    Good days to visit: Ward rounds will be most useful followed by nursing handovers. Ward rounds are on Tuesday and Thursday mornings and Nursing Handover are every day in afternoon for 1 hour starting 1.30 pm.

    Location: Hazel Unit, Callington Road. There is ample parking on hospital grounds and Callington Road Tesco Store 24 hour parking on the road opposite.

  • Prison psychiatry

    Taster day: HMP Eastwood Park

    Description: General Adult Psychiatry in a prison setting. Will see a broad range of presentations, but a significant amount of psychosis and co-morbidity. Lots of complex presentations.

    Clinic runs throughout the day starting from around 9.30am. Prisoners are seen in the clinic but sometimes we will visit them in their cell or elsewhere in the prison

    Who to contact: Dr Charlotte Illingworth, Consultant Psychiatrist

    Good days to visit: Tuesdays and Thursdays

    Location: HMP Eastwood Park, Falfield, Gloucestershire, GL16 8DB - you will need a car to get here since public transport links to this Gloucester village are poor.

  • Recovery

    Taster day: Can be arranged with either the North or South Bristol team.

    Description: Multidisciplinary team and manages service users in the community. Clients are referred to us for assessment from primary care and are either taken on by the service or continue to be managed in primary care with support and advice from the team. The team manages a broad range of psychopathology in adults

    Who to contact:

    North Bristol:

    Dr Ivan Nikolov

    South Bristol:

    Dr Josie Rimmer

    Dr Benjamin Wright

    Good days to visit: Assessments daily


    North Bristol: Avon & Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust, BMH Assessment and Recovery North, Greenway Centre, Doncaster Road, Bristol BS10 5PY

    South Bristol: Petherton Resource Centre, 3 Petherton Road, Hengrove, Bristol BS14 9BP. Accessible by bike and public transport from the city centre. Oversubscribed parking, but parking available on local roads