I joined Walsall Healthcare as a Palliative Medicine consultant 10 years ago, after 15 years as a Registrar and then Consultant in Leicester. I moved because of my husband’s job, and it did feel like stepping into the unknown as I had no professional contacts in the West Midlands.
It didn’t take me long to feel at home! The palliative care community was very welcoming, and I was delighted to be working with a very supportive group of consultants in the Black Country and the wider patch. With regular W Midlands consultant meetings (now on Teams and therefore easy to get to!) and Black Country collaboration, I got to know people quickly, never felt alone and always felt I had help near to hand. Palliative care here is very innovative with lots of changes and new ventures – from virtual wards to Applied Improv (see below), and from new collaborations to old partnerships. It is certainly a place where consultant input is valued, and consultants feel supported.
I now live in Walsall where my family has put down roots and we have a good life, with cheap(ish) housing and good amenities. Local schools have served my two children well and we have had plenty of choice. We all enjoy the beautiful Arboretum and the local cricket club! ‘Real’ countryside isn’t far away either, with the Lickey Hills and Clent Hills to the South, and the Peak District surprisingly near to the North. And Wales, with its beautiful countryside and coastline, is easily accessible.
Birmingham has been a revelation – somewhere I didn’t know much about when I arrived, it really does have something for everyone. There are lots of cultural activities going on and lots of things to do; it has the youngest population of any European city and feels very vibrant. I have been fortunate enough to find the improv scene, where I am able to train and perform in comedy improv as well as develop my communication teaching skills using Applied Improv (contact & info). Whether you are into amateur dramatics, orchestras, choirs, art classes or yoga (or anything else) you will find lots of choice and energy in the West Midlands
I am very happy to speak to anyone interested in coming to the West Midlands – get in touch via our contact form here .
by Esther Waterhouse