Feedback from placement students
I am Nick Ives, and I am an undergraduate Computing student at the University
of Gloucestershire. This past year, I have been on placement at Gloucestershire
Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust thanks to funding from SWAG and the CCG.
For the duration of this placement, I have been collaborating with another
placement student, Joe Channing, and Dr Mark Bailey, who is a speciality
doctor in Respiratory Medicine and Clinical Informatician.
During the course of this placement, we have built a prototype system for
managing a patients journey along a lung cancer pathway. We have focused on
improving the user experience of presenting information to a doctor so they can
then make requests based on that information. We achieved this through using
modern web technologies to allow us to rapidly iterate our designs. We
presented our work at the Let’s Talk Digital conference in March, and were able
to attend the Digital Health Summer School in York.
Over the course of this placement I have learnt about developing modern web
applications, how to develop software that operates in a clinical domain, and
had many opportunities to meet and discuss with clinicians the kinds of
experiences they would like to have while interacting with clinical applications.
We have been fortunate to collaborate with NHSx Oxford University Hospital.
None of this would have been possible without funding from SWAG and the
So, as this placement year finishes and I head into my final year of study I am
grateful for this opportunity and all it has given me. Upon completing my
studies I aim to continue developing software, and hopefully can continue
making clinical software to improve the lives of patients and clinicians.
I’m Joe Channing, and I’m an undergraduate Cyber and Computer Security student at the University of Gloucestershire. I’ve been on placement at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust over the past year. I cannot thank both the SWAG Cancer Alliance and Gloucestershire CCG enough for funding my placement and opportunities. I have been working with Nick Ives, a Computing student on placement with me from the University of Gloucestershire; Dr Mark Bailey, a speciality doctor in respiratory medicine and clinical informatician; and Dr Grant Vallance, Oxford University Hospital’s Information Manager for clinical haematology.
The placement has been focused on developing a proof-of-concept digital pathways platform with the aim of reducing patient referral-to-treatment times, and bettering clinician experiences – benefitting both the patient and clinician by freeing up more time for patient facing activities. I’ve been able to discuss and present our work on the digital pathways platform at events like the Let’s Talk Digital conference earlier this year, and at an NHS Pycom presentation in April. In July we were able to attend Digital Health’s Summer School where we watched presentations on projects from other trusts, and we were able to see and discuss the successes and problems others had faced when working on clinical systems.
Coming into this placement, I didn’t have much experience working on web applications and I had no experience working as a software engineer in a professional environment, nor working as a team. My previous experience went as far as small personal adventures, so I’ve really benefitted professionally and personally from this placement. I have developed my technical skills relating to the project, as well as soft skills, such as interpersonal and communicative.
Using the experience I’ve gained from this placement, I have come out with a full-time job working at Oxford University Hospitals as a Systems Analyst, and I hope to remain a member of the clinical informatics space.
The placement has changed the course of my working life, as I didn’t strongly consider a role in software engineering prior to the placement opportunity. I cannot thank everyone involved enough.”