Rhi: I wanted to study medicine to help people and make a difference but also to see a side of people that you wouldn’t otherwise get to see. It’s the people that make the healthcare experience, especially on placement.
Jodie: I’m a people person too. Talking to patients and interacting with them isn’t something you get if you’re doing lab work! The women we’ve met here – we’ve definitely had different sorts of conversations than in other placements. It’s been great to hear their stories, where they’ve come, the lives that’ve led them here. It’s made me much more aware of people I might pass on the streets – their backgrounds and how people don’t deserve to be judged.
R: In hospital placements we’ve worked with people, say, who are drug users but it’s still in the clinical environment. But here, when people come in straight off the street, they’re very honest with you.
J: Yeah, they’ve been so open. And rather than in a hospital, here it’s like we’re on the same level, just two people talking to each other rather than ‘being the doctor’. Here there’s the time to speak with people rather than being so busy you can only focus purely on the medicine side.
R: One25 has a really friendly, person-oriented atmosphere. And the fact that women can access health services here… With chaotic lives, a rigid GP appointment system with a strict ten minutes won’t work. This is a lot more flexible and gives people the chance to open up – you take the time you need, if you want to finish your food first that’s fine. I think that’s what people in this position need.
J: And there’s less pressure. It takes a lot for some of the women to go to a doctor. Going to a normal GP or to A&E can seem too daunting, or they might feel the doctors won’t understand them, their embarrassed and don’t want to be looked down on or judged. Whereas here, they’ve got to know Dr Lucy who’s here two days a week. Even us just having been here for a month, women say ‘oh hi, I recognise you…’ and ask questions and we can build a relationship which is really important for these women.
R: The NHS is founded on the principle that everyone should have access to healthcare, free at the point of delivery and so on… but if you are in a place where your life is chaotic and difficult complicated, then you can’t and we’re not delivering what we set out to deliver. Having One25 and having that GP service allows people to get that healthcare.
R+J: Thanks for having us!