With a population of 1.8 million people spread across six distinct and unique counties - Antrim, Armagh, Londonderry, Down, Fermanagh and Tyrone - Northern Ireland is one of the most beautiful and welcoming areas of the United Kingdom. It is here that you will find our five HSC Trusts’ hospitals and services.
Northern Ireland is not only a region of outstanding natural beauty, filled with dramatic mountain landscapes, verdant forest parks and sparkling lakes, but it’s also a place populated with bustling cities and historic towns and villages. In short, you’ll find the perfect mix of outdoor, indoor and social pursuits where there’s always plenty to see and do.
There’s an excellent education system, a world-class healthcare service and all types of affordable property, all helping to ensure a high standard, yet low cost of living. Northern Ireland may be renowned for its work ethic, but it places equal emphasis on the friendliness of the people and the quality of life.
Living in Northern Ireland means there’s always an adventure to be had. You can cross the country by car in about two hours – north to south, or east to west- and in between you’ll find a rich variety of eye-popping scenery, captivating leisure and outdoor activities, and a host of distinctive cultural attractions. In no time at all, you’ll be exploring our dramatic coastlines, castles, mountains and lakes.
For the more intrepid, there’s action-packed watersports, superb ocean and freshwater fishing, and a huge range of walking trails - from casual strolls to challenging peak climbs. And for those who like to take things at a slower pace, there’s no shortage of breathtaking drives, historical landmarks and some of the best golfing in the world.
If you love great social life, Northern Ireland offers many fine restaurants, cinemas, leisure centres, and renowned theatres, galleries, arts and entertainment centres - there’s something for every lifestyle! And if all that isn’t enough, 2012 saw the opening of the Titanic Exhibition Centre in the Belfast shipyards, and the new visitors centre at the legendary Giant’s Causeway.
Derry-Londonderry was the inaugural UK City of Culture in 2013 and Belfast, the capital city of Northern Ireland, has been voted the top UK tourist destination by readers of The Guardian and Observer (March 2016).
But that’s only the beginning. Here are some of the other visitor attractions you will find in the different counties:
Not only the home of the eclectic city of Belfast, but also the starting point of the gorgeous Causeway Coastal Route that takes you to other amazing places such as the Giant’s Causeway, Dunluce Castle, and the Carrick-A-Rede Rope Bridge.
Gaze at the heavens at the Armagh Astronomy Centre and Planetarium, spend some time reflecting at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and enjoy the best of life at Gosford Forest Park.
Walk along the City Walls of Derry-Londonderry and be part of its living history. County Londonderry is also where you’ll find the stunning Roe Valley Country Park and the enticing Castlerock Beach.
Home to the mighty Mountains of Mourne, Tollymore Forest Park, family friendly beaches, the forest walks of Crawfordsburn Country Park and much, much more.
Although known as the land of lakes, you can also step into a marvellous subterranean world at the Marble Arch Caves or shop in Enniskillen - the choice is yours.
Take a journey back in time at the Ulster American Folk Park or create your own adventure in one of the many forest parks.
Northern Ireland is known for it's high education standards, with over 60% of young people leaving secondary education and going on to university or college. School education for children up to the age of 18 years in pre-schools, primary schools and post-primary schools in Northern Ireland is nonfee paying. Two world-class universities, Ulster University and Queen’s University Belfast (both having close links with the Trusts), together with an extensive network of Further Education Colleges, provide outstanding vocational and academic training for young people. In addition, the Open University offers excellent part-time routes into Higher Education, with a variety of courses with no entry limits. This gives the option to study at your own pace, no matter what your academic background may be.
Northern Ireland is one of the most affordable places to live, compared with most other areas in the United Kingdom.The British Council have said that Northern Ireland has the lowest cost of living in the UK. Property prices in Northern Ireland are the lowest in the UK. Renting a room in Belfast, the country’s capital costs just £250 per month on average, and renting a two-bedroom apartment in the city will cost £450-£650, depending on location and size. As well as the affordable rent and property prices, the cost of transport, food shopping, entertainment and leisure are all lower too!
Northern Ireland enjoys excellent public transport, with extensive rail and road networks (meaning less time commuting to and from work!), five commercial ports and three airports. Most places can be reached by road and rail, and global connections to Great Britian, Europe and beyond, are excellent. Public transportation to the five Trust locations is widely available. Distances from airports to the HSC Trust areas are as follows:
Belfast HSC Trust
• George Best Belfast City Airport: approximately 8 miles
• Belfast International Airport: approximately 20 miles
• City of Derry Airport: approximately 70 miles
Northern HSC Trust
• George Best Belfast City Airport: approximately 30 miles
• Belfast International Airport: approximately 15 miles
• City of Derry Airport: approximately 43 miles
Southern HSC Trust
• Belfast International Airport: approximately 28 miles
• George Best Belfast City Airport: approximately 33 miles
• City of Derry Airport: approximately 67 miles
Western HSC Trust
• City of Derry Airport: approximately 8 miles
• Belfast International Airport: approximately 55 miles
• George Best Belfast City Airport: approximately 92 miles
South Eastern HSC Trust
• George Best Belfast City Airport: approximately 11 miles
• Belfast International Airport: approximately 30 miles
• City of Derry Airport: approximately 80 miles
Stephen Cluskey is a young Irish entrepreneur on a mission to raise awareness in Irish society of what daily life is like for the 600,000 people with increased access needs across the country. On Friday night’s Late Late Show, Ryan Tubridy spoke to Stephen, along with TV presenter Kathryn Thomas and former Irish soccer international Kevin Kilbane, about Challenge Access Week – a campaign with which TTM Healthcare is proud to be partnered. A to B: Not So Easy Kathryn and Kevin - each confined to a wheelchair - were tasked with getting from one location to another in Dublin City Centre on a typically busy afternoon. They had one hour to get from their point A to point B – for a fully mobile person, more than ample time. Kathryn ran into a number of obstacles along her way: Footpaths not properly adapted to allow a wheelchair to ramp up with ease Large wheelie-bins belonging to local businesses blocking the footpaths Cobbled streets with no smooth areas to accommodate wheelchairs Meanwhile, Kevin was hindered by: Difficulty getting on the LUAS easily A broken elevator blocking his access to street level from the train A Dublin bus with its on-boarding ramp not functioning A Dublin bus which did not stop for him A 30-minute wait for a wheelchair taxi .@kdkilbane77 on trying to get to the Aviva - broken lifts, faulty bus ramps and buses flying by him #latelate #challengeaccess pic.twitter.com/Fdo7y1XLgG — RTE One (@RTEOne) April 7, 2017 Both found the experience frustrating and disheartening, concluding that even the simplest journey would require precision planning - anything spontaneous would prove very difficult. One Simple Change Stephen Cluskey himself is no stranger to the challenges of navigating a world not designed for wheelchairs. This was the impetus for founding his latest venture Mobility Mojo – an award-winning user-generated website in the same vein as TripAdvisor, but with a focus on access. “As a wheelchair user myself, I know that people with higher access needs can be unwittingly isolated in society. Barriers in our physical environment can be more disabling than the disability itself but small changes have the power to make a world of difference to people dealing with mobility, visual, hearing and cognitive challenges. Imagine trying to meet friends for dinner but there isn’t enough spac.e between the tables for you to navigate your wheelchair around. Imagine trying to decide what you’ll order if you can’t see the menu. Things that many people take for granted as being simple can become major barriers for people with higher access needs, so small changes can make a huge difference.” Everyone deserves to live the most independent life possible. By raising awareness and making simple but valuable changes in our local communities, we can contribute to a better, more inclusive society that benefits us all. Register your business as an accessible location at https://mobilitymojo.com/ How Can You Help? Every individual can make a difference, no matter how small. How will you challenge access this week? Check out the Challenge Access website for lots of great ideas! Suggestions less than €200 Suggestions between €200 - €2000 Suggestions more than €2000 Change the Conversation Missed Stephen, Katherine and Kevin on Friday’s Late Late Show? Catch the segment on RTE Player until May 7th http://bit.ly/2nx1Uwx Contribute your two cents at #challengeaccess on Twitter and Facebook Make one simple change at ChallengeAccess.ie Writer Evelyn Moriarty, Content Specialist Evelyn Moriarty is a Content Specialist at TTM Healthcare, based in at our Irish headquarters. Joining the company in 2016, Evelyn specialises in both on and offline content creation for the health and social care market. Company Bio TTM Healthcare is a specialist health and care recruitment company established in 2002. Now recruiting highly skilled medical professionals from all over the world, TTM has offices in London and Preston, as well as Ireland. A leading framework supplier to the National Health Service, TTM Healthcare was the ‘UK Recruitment Agency of the Year’ finalist (Recruiter Awards 2015), Public Sector Agency of the Year (Recruiter Awards 2016), and Professional Services Agency of the Year (Recruiter Awards 2016 & 2017). We are also proud to be recognised as a Recruitment International Top 500 company.
TTM Healthcare (TTM) is now accepting applications for the Academy@TTM 2017. Designed for ambitious individuals with no previous recruitment experience, the Academy@TTM is a full time, paid, permanent position based in TTM’s Headquarters in Ennis, Co Clare. Successful applicants to the Academy benefit from bespoke training and hands on experience with Ireland’s market leading healthcare recruitment company. About the Academy@TTM Academy recruits work across TTM’s dynamic desks, trying their hand at temporary and permanent recruitment, compliance, resourcing and account management to discover the position that best suits their talents. They attend masterclasses with TTM’s experienced consultants and have the chance to study with the company’s in-house Learning and Development Department. Former graduates of the Academy@TTM have gone on to become Recruitment Consultants with TTM’s Medical, Social Care and Nursing Divisions and to hold various roles across the company’s Shared Services Teams. “The best career choice you’ll ever make” Speaking about the Academy, TTM Healthcare CEO, Brian Crowley, said, “These new recruits get unrivalled access to the best and brightest minds in recruitment, and the benefit of our team’s experience. We want ambitious, energetic people who can hit the ground running and learn everything about the recruitment industry from the inside out. TTM is growing bigger and better every day, and for those with a will to succeed, I believe the Academy@TTM will be the best career choice they’ll ever make.” Don’t miss out! Deadline for applications is Monday 20th March Eight successful applicants will be selected to take part in the Academy@TTM. To apply for one of these sought after places please complete the official application form on www.ttmhealthcare.ie/academy by Monday 20th March. Shortlisted applicants must be available to attend an Academy Entrance Assessment Day in TTM’s Ennis Offices on Thursday 6th April 2017.
“This isn’t a Brexit scare story. If we don’t do something soon, the gap is going to get too big to fill.” Barry Pactor, Managing Director of TTM Healthcare speaking on Channel 4's Dispatches programme. In Brexit: Crisis on the Wards, Dispatches, Channel 4's award-winning current affairs programme, has turned its investigative sights on the NHS’ staffing struggles and on how leaving the EU could be about to make things infinitely worse. Startling statistics With 24,000 nursing vacancies across the UK, our health system has become increasingly reliant on European health workers in recent years. Dispatches revealed a 90% fall in European nurses registering to work in the UK after last June’s vote and, of the EU workers at 271 trusts surveyed by the programme, a worrying 42% are considering leaving in the next 5 years. A litany of challenges The dramatic statistics revealed by Dispatches may have shocked many but they confirmed the reality that TTM Healthcare’s international recruitment teams have been grappling with daily. Working in an increasingly challenging climate, we remain convinced that the impact of Brexit is proving this detrimental because, as set out in How the UK is losing the race for healthcare skills , it follows a litany of changes in regulation for overseas workers, impossibly high English language requirements and mounting global competition. Desperate for change In conversation with Dispatches' presenter Morland Sanders, Barry Pactor stressed the need for change. "Companies like TTM Healthcare, together with the NHS, with the help of government need to make it clear to overseas nurses that the UK is open for business. Because, at the moment, the noises we are making as a country are turning away staff that we desperately need." Missed it first time? You can watch Brexit: Crisis on the Wards on the Channel 4 Play Back facility here. The episode will be available to view until 5 April 2017.