Royal Blackburn Teaching Hospital

RB4
Lancashire Newborn Centre
Janine Royal Blackburn Hospital
Royal Blackburn 2
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DISCLAIMER: This site is no longer available in the UK, but we felt it was important to post since it may be comparable to other sites in the UK.  

 

GENERAL:

Royal Blackburn Teaching Hospital (RBTH) is in Blackburn, Lancashire— around a 45 minute drive/1 hour train ride from Manchester. It has 700 beds and serves a large population making it an exciting place to work. Unfortunately, they may not be offering sites in the future- but either way, I highly encourage doing some cores in the UK.

The people are friendly and patients are particularly interested in speaking to you because you’re the one with an accent. You will see interesting, rare cases since there are patients of diverse backgrounds and consanguinity isn’t uncommon. We even saw a few cases of TB! Many doctors are willing to teach and help you get the most out of your rotation. There are plenty of opportunities to get involved with audits, presentations and research with junior doctors and consultants alike.

Every week, you will meet with our Site Coordinator Dr. Helen Coutts who is a Consultant Pediatrician. It is a good time to check in, do CS practice simulations, do case presentations, or any areas you’d like to work on with Dr. Coutts.

I must admit- the weather is not the best, but doing UK electives is the perfect opportunity to balance work and travel.

 

FOOD

  • Onsite

    • Cafeteria: reasonably priced at 2-4 GBP/meal. Meatless Mondays and daily meal deals. The British looove their potatoes so most meals are carb-heavy.

    • Costa: their coffee shop with some sandwiches and snacks

    • WH Smith: Smaller version of Walgreen’s that serves M&S prepared meals

  • Offsite

    • Unfortunately, there is not a large selection of food, especially healthy meals in Blackburn. There is a meal prep service called Healthy Chef Ltd. that wasn’t bad and popular UK chains like Nandos and Turtle Bay.

    • Groceries are affordable. Morrison’s and Asda are the main chains in Blackburn.

BADGES/ACCESS

  • During orientation, you will be given a username + password to access all computers, EMR, and Diagnostic Imaging. There are some core-specific applications you won’t have access to.

 

ENTRANCE

  • Badges work almost everywhere at RBTH, but not at Burnley General Hospital (mainly OBGYN).

 

ATTENDANCE

  • 100% attendance. You are allowed up to 4 days of LoA every 6 weeks.

  • For your days off, you have to make up ½ the time. You can choose to take your exam on a Wednesday and use 2 of your days to travel on Thursday and Friday.

  • You cannot miss the first 4 days of your rotation.

 

TRAVEL

  • A huuuge bonus of doing your electives in the UK is travelling! You can do your Shelf Exams anywhere in the world that offers a Prometric Testing centre. We were able to find roundtrip flights for 2 to Rome for 120 USD, Paris for 75 USD… you get the deal. For example, we would take our Shelf Exam on a Wednesday in Berlin and spend the rest of our trip exploring Germany (+ checking out Oktoberfest). Definitely take advantage of your time in England—in fact, your supervisors will encourage it!

Thailand Janine.jpg

Vacation to Thailand

DRESS CODE

  • You are given a colored tunic to wear in the hospital since they don’t wear white coats in the UK. Other junior doctors also wear colored uniforms to help with identification. In psych, you can wear smart casual.

  • Bare below the elbow. You can wear long sleeves, but they must be rolled up.

  • No nail polish

 

OVERALL

 

Pros

  • Very friendly teaching environment

  • Felt supported by staff like Dr. Steve Ash, Dr. Ian Scobie and Dr. Helen Coutts

  • Exposure to a different style of healthcare

  • Travel!

Cons

  • Weather… buuut that gives you an excuse to travel somewhere sunny

  • Less experience in the US healthcare system… buuut you’ll be spending the rest of your life in an American hospital, so why not try something new

 

PARKING

  • They have hourly rates and parking passes available to medical students—don’t know the price.

 

PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

  • I lived off campus and each trip was around 1.50 GBP with the 12 trip pass for 18 GBP.

SHUTTLES

  • There is a free shuttle from Royal Blackburn to Burnley General Hospital every 30-45 minutes that is almost always on time. The trip is around 25-30 min drive.

 

HOSPITAL LOCATIONS

  • It all depends on which rotation, but it will primarily be at Royal Blackburn Teaching Hospital (RBTH) or Burnley General Hospital (BGH).

  • Internal Medicine: 100% RBTH

  • Surgery: 90% RBTH; Outpatients, Minor Injuries, Ophthalmology is at BGH; Less than 5 shifts are in Accrington

  • Psych: the first 2 weeks RBTH. The next 4 are in different community clinics that are accessible by public transportation or walking. Child and Adolescent Psych is at BGH for 3 days.

  • OB/GYN: 98% in BGH. They might have 1-2 clinics at RBTH

  • Pediatrics: 90% RBTH. NICU is in BGH. 3-6 shifts in Accrington for Community Pediatrics and Neurodevelopmental Disorders.

HOUSING

  • Blackburn had very affordable housing. We paid around 475GBP/month for 2 people… onsite was 300GBP = 290USD/month. However, it is pricier if your site is closer to London

  • ONSITE

    • Most students completing partial cores stay onsite. It is around 300GBP/month= 390USD. It looks like a typical single bed dorm room with shared kitchen facilities. It’s right across from the main hospital making it very convenient.

  • OFFSITE

    • Blackburn has affordable housing. I lived offsite with my boyfriend for 475GBP =620 USD excluding utilities, which is typical. There are places near the hospital, but they were booked very quickly. Quite a few AUC students lived in the Blackburn Town Centre close to the bus and train station. It is a 15 minute bus ride at 1.50 GBP from the main terminal to the hospital.

Best of luck with your rotations in England. Feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions about rotations in England. 

Janine Fung, MS3

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