My Erasmus+ Placement in the Community Care of Carlisle
Travel & Accommodation
Arrival: The cheapest tickets to get to the North of England are with KLM airlines. I flew to Newcastle Airport which is about 100k from Carlisle. It takes 2-3 hours from Newcastle Airport using the metro and then the main line train to Carlisle. By car the journey would take about 1 hour.
Carlisle is less than 15 minutes from Gretna and the Scottish border on the train. There is also a regular bus service.
The journey to Keswick in the North Lakes can vary from 1hour to 2 hours by bus depending on the route.
Accommodation: It is difficult to find a cheap accommodation or a flat share for a short-term rent. I asked a few people over couchsurfing.com if they could recommend something. One offered to rent his guestroom to me for a very good price, Jackpot!
Professional – Work Place
First Day: I wasn’t quite sure, where I would be in the end of the day, because I got different Information. My last Information was that I was going to the Solway Clinic next to the building I ended up in. Lisa one of the Health Care Assistant, kindly picked me up from there and introduced me to the staff in the office.
This is a non NHS building, over 4 floors. The ground floor is a community clinic for outpatient appointments such as podiatry, retinal screening, children’s nursing and many others.
My work place was on the 1st floor. This is a big room with lots of desks, a busy work place which is shared by a variety of Community Teams; Early Supported Stroke Discharge Team, Neuro Physio, Out Of Hospital Care Team (OOHC), District Nurses, Rapid Response Teams, Home First, Community Rehabilitation Team, Speech & Language Team and others. The teams are multi-disciplinary, with Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists, Nurses, Health Care, and Social Workers along with admin support. They work in their specialisms but also work as an interdisciplinary team and refer patients across teams to meet their particular needs.
This is the first time I have worked in “out of the hospital care” so I never associated nursing with an office where there were no patients in sight and it was quite confusing!
I worked with the OOHC, Rapid Response and the District Nurses, but also had the opportunity to accompany Allied Health Professionals ( AHPs) Physiotherapists and Occupational Therapists and visited patients in their home environment.
OOHC are mainly responsible for palliative and personal care. Rapid Response team are responsible for IVs and take referrals for everything else that needs to be done which is unscheduled, i.e. a leaking dressing. District Nurses are responsible for scheduled injections, dressings, blood sugar monitoring and lots more
Getting around in Carlisle
Traveling in Carlisle: The most important thing first, the left hand driving in England is really confusing! Watch out!
For travelling around Carlisle, the best thing is to buy weekly bus tickets for £11 per week. It is a little bit tricky to get to used to the bus stop system, because the next bus stop is not shown on a display inside the bus and most of the bus stops do not have a name written on their shield and are called near Morrisons on Google Maps for example. Maybe a quick chat with the driver when starting on the journey could help.
Traveling in and around Carlisle after work:
Carlisle is a lovely place with lots of spots to discover. There is a historical quarter with the castle, cathedral and museum. The town centre has a variety of shops in the Lanes, indoor shopping centre. There are parks within walking distance of the town centre. There is also the Sands, which is a leisure centre and home to entertainment and shows. The weather can be inclement so I would advise anyone to be prepared.
Tullie House Museum
Dalston – village on the outskirts
City Centre (English Street, Scotch Street)
Hadrian’s Wall – on a bus journey
(The tiny Coffee Shop next to Debenhams!)
Around Carlisle – Rural locations accessible by bus or car
The Lake District & Gretna Green
..and lots of more places!
Edinburgh, Glasgow & Newcastle are the main towns which are accessible by regular train service. The railway station is in the town centre.
I would advise, to get the most out of your time in the North of England, spend a bit more time and money travelling to experience the Cumbrian locality than shopping J