Claire Blissett

Claire Blissett

Claire Blissett is carrying out a project with two project hosts – the Environment Agency and the Yorkshire Ambulance Service.  She’s looking at how future climate change, particularly flood risk, will impact on the delivery of acute healthcare and ambulance services.

Why did you choose this project?

I wanted to do a project where I was going to be producing something useful and practical which would have wider benefits within the organisation. I also thought that it was a good opportunity to explore how public sector organisations work, knowing that this would be different from any other organisation that I would possibly work for in the future.

So far, what's the most interesting thing you've found out?

I have been amazed at the variety of the Environment Agency. All I really knew about the organisation before starting the project was that they dealt with floods and rivers! I was, maybe a bit naively, oblivious to all the other areas they work with (climate change, waste, planning, legislation etc.). The nature of my project means that I get to explore the links between departments and I am finding the challenge of getting data from different departments an invaluable experience.

Are you finding any links between the taught part of the course and your project?  Are there any modules in particular that gave you information or techniques that you're using?

During the year we have been encouraged to keep an open mind and consider all the elements of sustainability, whilst being critical. I think this is helping me view my project in the wider context of sustainability and explore the interrelationships that I might not have considered beforehand.

The project management skills I have learnt during the past months have been particularly useful, especially considering the tight timeframe of the project. Knowing how to apply even the most basic methods of project management in a real-life situation has definitely benefited me, especially when dealing with other departments for data collection. Not only do they help you keep on track, but they make you realise you have achieved something – never a bad thing.

How do you feel about the next 5 weeks, the second half of your project? 

I have a lot to get through in the next 5 weeks so I am going to be busy but I would much rather it be that way. I definitely think that the length of the project is enough to give you a flavour of a professional environment whilst short enough to ensure you make good use of the project management skills.