Trains: Westcliffe is the nearest station; it’s 10-15 mins walk to the accommodation and about 25 mins walk to the hospital. South Vic station is 15-20 mins to accommodation and about 45 mins walk to hospital. You can get the train from either Limehouse, Stratford or West Ham; West Ham to Westcliffe C2C trains are frequent. If you live in Shadwell, Limehouse works well!
Walking: Most places are close enough to walk to; accommodation to the hospital is about 25 mins walk or under 10 mins cycle if you bring your bike up. 15 mins walk to town from accommodation
Bus: There is a shuttle bus (which is free) to the hospital in the morning and back to accommodation in the evenings- check timings of these
Driving: Pretty quick (about 1 hour) and easy drive from East London
Spacious, shared with 6 others in the flat, cleaned everyday. Cutlery, pots, pans, plates etc. usually all provided but is varied between different flats. Has fridge, dish washer, washing machine and dryer. Everyone gets their own cupboard and drawer. Only had one fridge between 7 so don't take too much food when you first move in!
Cleaned once a week, plus bedding and towels changed weekly which are provided so no need to take your own. Heating is controlled in your room, although the bedding is a bit basic so it might be worth bringing a blanket. Rooms have good storage and en suite bathroom.
Things to do
Out of food and want chicken? Southend Piri Piri (formerly Roosters) is just a 9 min walk from accommodation. Creams is also down the road for that sweet tooth fix! The Cricketers (5 mins walk away) has a good pub quiz once a week. There are lots of other pubs around the local area too.
Doctors run a mess night out once a month at one of the local nightclubs. There are some great clubs in town, in particular, Thursday night at Talk which the doctors often go to as well.
Town is 15 mins walk away where there is a big Sainsbury’s, shops, cinema and more! Pop down to the beach have a nice explore and there is plenty to do. Be sure to visit the world’s longest pier! Lots of restaurants, such as Nandos and Ice Cream shops are available too. There's a nice (and cheap) gym (Rush fitness) about 10-15 mins walk away.
Southend is really nice and it's good to get away from London for a bit!
Wifi is available in the accommodation but can be quite unreliable especially in particular rooms/flats.
Make sure you bring your own Ethernet cable and an adaptor if you need one e.g. for Macs! The connection seemed good once connected in your room. In hospital, the WiFi is very good.
The F1s are amazing in Southend, they are always willing to help make friends with them in your first few weeks and they will help you out. Teams are generally quite nice there, so turn up with a smile. Any issues? Let the Student team know, they're quite supportive.
Make sure you have comfortable shoes because you'll probably end up walking to the hospital if the bus times aren't suitable, which is a 20-30 min walk. Really nice placement, lots of teaching and opportunity to clerk. Don't stress if you don't know people going as you all make friends out there!
You will be provided with lockers at the beginning of term for a £10 deposit to store belongings during the day.
Take hospital or student ID as Southend only give you a white badge that says medical student and some consultants and patients like to read your name. The library at Southend hospital is quite good with a good working area and books available.
Regular trains from Liverpool Street or Stratford, 15-20 minute walk or £5 taxi to the hospital. Trains from London on a Sunday are suboptimal. Best to do early commute Monday morning.
Walking distance to supermarket, accommodation on site
45 mins from East London. Very easy drive via the M11. All students (who take a room) get a free parking spot directly outside the room. This is highly recommended as the accommodation is next to the building where you have to tap-in anyways.
Pretty basic but on site right next to hospital (3 mins walk to education centre and 5 mins to ward) Shared house with 4 rooms. Shared bathroom and kitchen.
Bedroom: Sink in the room along with a shared shower room and bathroom. Bedding is not great- so might be worth bringing your own duvet and pillow if you’re fussy!
Kitchen: Generally a good supply of appliances and utensils in the kitchen but this varies from house to house. If you want decent mugs, glasses or a sharp knife maybe pack your own. Kitchen is spacious with fridge, dish washer, washing machine and dryer.
Accommodation people are helpful and resolve issues quickly if you let them know.
Things to do
The park in Harlow is large and very nice. Canal is beautiful as well for a run, especially in summer. You can hire kayaks from Redrick's Lane, where there is also a triathlon and open water swimming club, plus outdoor yoga in the fields. It's a long walk/short jog from the accommodation, or you could drive if someone has a car. Check out the rock climbing centre.
There's a bowling alley. King Du noodles is best place to eat in town (use your NHS discount!).
PureGym is a good, cheap high-street gym. 'Ripped Gym' is a bit more hardcore (if you're into that). Fit4Less used to do deals for students on placement that works out pretty cheap.
The Hare pub, opposite the road from the Hospital is a gem and with 2 for 1 on food works out very cheap! Plus they have a reasonable pub quiz on Wednesday nights. Also drinks are much cheaper here than London! Right next to the town there is a large Sainsbury's nearby (5-10 min. walk) where most things can be brought - including homeware.
Non-existent levels of patchy and slow. There is also no WiFi in the library.Wifi is however being improved slowly compared to previous years – Only allows one device at a time though! Be prepared for wifi issues!
24hr access to computer room and free printing too.
The MedEd centre will reimburse dongles (make sure you check mobile coverage before picking a tariff). No Wi-Fi in hospital. MedEd centre is 24h and speed not terrible however Facebook, YouTube etc... are blocked.
Get to know your neighbours - hospital staff are all really friendly!
Great teaching, 24h library and access to the clinical skills room esp. useful running upto finals! The staff are happy to help with teaching and getting things in the log book done. FY1’s are very friendly and helpful.
Harlow offers some really unique teaching opportunities. You get to learn things you don’t at other firms e.g. Mock MDT, on call and simulation sessions.
Bring a good book and a blanket from home.
Trains: Trains from Liverpool Street or Stratford to Chelmsford are very frequent and take around 30 minutes, then need to get a bus. There is a ticket office by the station where you can buy 12 tickets for £12!
Bus: From Chelmsford Bus Station which is just opposite the rail station. Take the 70 or 42 bus from Chelmsford Station to Broomfield Hospital -have cash ready for bus (£2.80 one way). The wait for a bus here can be variable but will only take 15 minutes to the hospital once you are on board. It’s recommend that you visit the NHS travel desk that is situated opposite M&S in the main hospital on Wednesday's where you can buy 12 bus journeys for £12 and save on bus fares.
Bike: Useful to take a bike as the hospital is a couple of miles from the town centre and its quicker and cheaper than getting the bus to go to the shops etc. (you can take it on the rush hour trains *out* of London).
Flats are all ensuite, they provide towel and bedsheets. Single bed, spacious room. There is no cleaning service provided at this outfirm.
Shared Living room and kitchen with TV between 4 of you. Kitchen equipment is provided but is very variable to what you actually have. Bring own tea-towels and washing up liquid advised
You can ask for a parking permit and use the resident’s car park which is great.
If something isn't right then say- they do try and make improvements for you.
Things to do
The Angel pub is a 30 minute walk away/a few mins on the bus. But the buses stop quite early so don't get stranded! If you want to find something to do in the evenings you are best off taking the bus to Chelmsford town centre (15 mins) where you will find lot of restaurants (including Nandos), a large Tesco, some bars and pubs where you can watch the football (people often visit The Golden Fleece just by Chelmsford station) but there are very few buses after 9pm.
There are a few gyms around including The Gym and Anytime Fitness. Having a car is super useful as there’s not much close by. I went swimming a few times - but check the timetable, they have ladies nights etc.
No real grocery store within walking distance from the hospital. There's a small M&S in the hospital. Town centre is close to Chelmsford station, most shops are available there but it's somewhat of a trek from the hospital. I would suggest that you purchase groceries online with the rest of your flat to save money.
There is a reliable WiFi connection available in all rooms.
The WiFi in the hospital or library is also quite good!
Medical academic unit is open 24/7 so you can sit there and use the wifi whenever you want. Because the Internet is so rubbish and there's not a lot to do, it's definitely worth taking some actual books with if you want to do work.
If you have hayfever, “it's the most allergenic place I've ever been to” so if you're there in spring stock up on antihistamines.
Although it's a bit isolated, the hospital is lovely, all the doctors are very keen to let you do things, and I have had some nice placements there. The leads of the Academic Unit, Melanie and Nicole are super friendly, so ask them if you need anything and the general atmosphere at the hospital is super friendly and supportive. There's lots of good quality teaching and most consultants are great in respecting students and teaching.
Apart from internet and lack of entertainment in the vicinity, it's a great hospital placement.
Be sure to take your NHS ID Badge with you!