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Psychiatry of learning disability higher training


There are two training schemes in Wales for Psychiatry of Learning Disability (LD), one in south Wales and the other in north Wales. We currently have four specialist registrar posts in south Wales and one in north Wales. All of the posts within south Wales are within an hour commutable distance from the capital city Cardiff.

We have a large friendly body of Learning Disability Consultants across Wales who offer a number of training opportunities through the three years.

Training in Wales

The training is flexible to meet your needs and interests.

Special interest opportunities include Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) LD, epilepsy, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism, medical genetics and forensic services. Wales has particularly strong links with neurology and has a tertiary service for patients with Learning Disabilities and complex epilepsy in South Wales.

Teaching and research activities are encouraged with links into various universities within learning disabilities and medical genetics.

Your training will also include a weekly term time learning disability academic programme. Presenters are both internal and external updating on the latest topics within the field.

You will become a part of the learning disability specific Balint group throughout the training, to continue to develop psychological reflections around cases.

There are specialist teams such as the Specialist Behaviour Team, that trainees can shadow to gain further insights into positive behaviour support, as well as with the Learning Disability Intensive Support Team.

All posts within Wales are split between inpatient and community services offering an excellent experience of both. There are also longer-stay rehabilitation beds called Specialist Residential Units (SRS).

Oncalls within Wales vary depending on the Trust you are working for. There are some rotas that are learning disability only and others which are combined with general adult psychiatry.


Example Time Table (subject to change)



Ward rounds, Acute Assessment Unit

 Audit meeting-Frequency varies


Academic learning disability programme (spring and autumn terms) or monthly learning disability Balint group

 SRS ward rounds

Community learning disability team referral meeting


Outpatient learning disability clinic

Admin time


Admin time

Home visits


Special interest

Special interest



Dr Abigail Swift ST5

 “I completed my core training in England and came across to Wales to specialise in Learning Disabilities for the strong links with the University and research. I have enjoyed taking on various teaching roles along with becoming the Wales higher LD trainee rep and National higher ID trainee rep”

Dr David Medhurst, Consultant (completed training in August 2022)

“I had such a great experience as an ID trainee in South Wales. The 3 different jobs I did were really engaging and I had great support and supervision from my consultants. I was able to explore a lot of my interests and shape my training to this. Clinical experience was very good too and I felt well prepared to take on consultant life at the end. I also had great peer support and the weekly academic programme was great for networking and getting to know everyone.”

Dr Catherine Walton, Consultant (Completed training in August 2021)

“As part of the Wales Clinical Leadership Fellowship I had the opportunity to work at the General Medical Council (GMC) in Wales, Cardiff office. I had a wide range of opportunities – including working on Caring for Doctors, Caring for patients project – in the main working as a ‘critical friend’ and considering how the report would be received by my peers. Other opportunities included working with the Supporting a Profession Under Pressure team – and learned about project management through from the Executive to Devolved Nations. Learning about working with local stakeholders to improve collaboration on this work. I also completed a project ‘Fairer Feedback’ with another Leadership Fellow based in GMC Scotland.”