09 Nov 2017
Whilst I was on my first Elizabeth Garrett Anderson residential it was really apparent how widely people were spaced across the country. Consequently, people were talking about the different regional challenges they had. We often think as the NHS as a national brand, but often forget to truly consider the massive regional differences within this.
I am Lincolnshire born and bred. I have been placed within the East Midlands, and my first placement is firmly within the Lincolnshire region. I was with a national group recently and none of the other members could tell me where Lincolnshire was. So that’s where I shall begin! Lincolnshire is south of Yorkshire, east of Nottinghamshire and north of Cambridgeshire. The major cities are Lincoln and Boston, but there are many smaller market towns dotted about, and hundreds of lovely little villages. I thought below I would mention some of the healthcare challenges which are in Lincolnshire, many of these are not specific to Lincolnshire but are common in other rural counties:
- Staffing – it can sometimes be hard to encourage staff to move to Lincolnshire. Many of the Trusts struggle to get many of the professional groups to fill the posts (such as nurses or GP’s). Lincolnshire has certain difficulties such as no medical school, the large area it covers and poor transport links. We do have many very good schools, cheap housing and lovely cities to make up for this though!
- Poor transport network – we sadly have poor public transport which makes it difficult for people to get around the county. Something I have noticed is the time it takes to get from meeting to meeting due to the poor road system. We are trying to get round this by increasing the use of digital technology and digital meetings – work in progress!
- Rural population – It can be difficult for people to get to appointments and to go to their local hospital because of the rural location in which they live. As mentioned above, transport networks are poor and many people are socially isolated. This means we have to work hard to ensure our clinics and hospitals are as accessible as possible. Additionally we have to make sure some of the groups and social prescribing activities we offer are in as many communities as possible!
Lincolnshire also has many benefits some of which I have included above. I also wanted to mention though that we do have access to some amazing social prescribing activities including horse riding, farming and agricultural based activities. We have loads of beautiful scenery, lovely walks and a fantastic heritage. Being outside is good for us!
So please give Lincolnshire a thought – it really does have a lot to offer. Feel free to contact me via twitter on @HSCRachel and I can try and answer any questions you have about the Graduate Scheme (or Lincolnshire!).