May 18, 2023, by Aisia Lea
Living Away from Nottingham While on Placement
Hello all! I’m Aisia, a third-year medical student. This blog post will serve to detail what to expect if you’re placed somewhere with hospital accommodation on your healthcare placements. Once you’ve finished your dissertation, you’ll start foundations for practice (FFP) which is formed of five six-week placement blocks: specialty skills (dermatology, ENT, and ophthalmology), surgery, primary care (GP), medicine, and psychiatry. You will be allocated either the Nottinghamshire or Derbyshire hub for FFP. Whichever one you’re not allocated will be the one which you are allocated for advanced practice (AP) in fourth year. The two placement sites where you will be allocated accommodation are King’s Mill Hospital (Nottinghamshire Hub) and Chesterfield Royal Hospital (Derbyshire Hub).
Living at King’s Mill (learn more about King’s Mill Hospital here)
If you are given accommodation at King’s Mill, you will be living in a flat with 3 other people. As for the rooms, you have an ensuite bathroom, a single bed, a wardrobe, a desk with drawers, a bookshelf, a notice board, and a bedside table. There isn’t a chest of drawers. There is also a lamp on your desk and one above your bed. You don’t need to bring your own towels or bed linens if you don’t want to – they are all provided. I brought my own to make it feel a bit more homely, but if you want to save on packing, ditch the sheets! Your towels and bed linens can be washed weekly on Tuesdays if you place them outside of your room.
You don’t need to pay any bills – heating, electricity, internet, and water is all included for the low price of free!
The kitchen is quite large, with a TV, dining room table and two sofas if you want to hang out with your flatmates. The kitchen has a washing machine/dryer too, so you can do all of your washing at the accommodation – no paying for circuit laundry! There are also clothes airers if you need them, but you’ll have to bring your own detergent. Pots, pans, glasses, mugs, and utensils are all provided, however, I found that there wasn’t enough for all four of us, so I brought my own, but you probably could make do with what’s provided. You’ll have to bring your own washing-up liquid and sponges, too. You’ll be allocated two cupboards to put your food and other things in. Cleaners at the accommodation empty your communal bins for you – but they don’t empty your bedroom bins. They may also clean around the kitchen if it needs it!
All of the staff at the hospital are lovely, and your teaching sessions will take place in the education centre. There is also a library where you can do single or group study sessions. In the hospital, there are multiple restaurants and cafes – the cheapest is the Daffodil café, run by volunteers!
There is a Morrisons a five-minute walk from the accommodation. It has a petrol station and a café. It has a salad bar, deli, and hot food counter too, so lots of variety to pick from when buying food.
It’s around a 40-minute drive to get to King’s Mill from Nottingham depending on the traffic, so you are welcome to commute if you’d prefer, but with early starts – staying over is definitely quite nice! Also, there’s a reservoir with a café right next to the hospital that takes about half an hour to walk around and is great when you need a break from placement.
Staying at Chesterfield (learn more about Chesterfield Royal Hospital here)
I personally haven’t stayed at Chesterfield, so I asked a friend who has to tell me a bit about it. Once again, you don’t have to stay, you can commute, which will take around 45 minutes.
You will also be in a flat of four students, who will either be in third or fourth year. Similarly to Mansfield, the rooms are single bed, and things for your kitchen are provided, although you may want to bring your own. Washing machines are not free at Chesterfield.
You can access the medical education centre library 24/7 and there are a few restaurants in the hospital to choose from. There is a large Tesco a 5-minute drive away, or if you don’t have a car, you can walk to the Co-Op.
I hope this has been useful and has given you some insight into what to expect if you have to live somewhere else whilst on placement! I wasn’t necessarily looking forward to moving away, but I’m glad that I did! It was a great change of scenery and a fantastic experience!
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