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An interview with Lysanne Wilson: Health Development Manager at Seafarers Hospital Society

Posted on 1/11/2017 by Rob Muddiman

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In the first part of our Health & Social Care interview series, we sat down with Lysanne Wilson, Health Development Manager for Seafarers Hospital Society. In this article, Lysanne tells us about her experience in the sector, the interesting places it has taken her and describes her experience with the team at TPP.


1. What is it that you do?

I currently work as a Health Development Manager for Seafarers Hospital Society - a long-established maritime charity dedicated to meeting the health, welfare and advice needs of seafarers.


2. What did you want to do when you were a child?

When I was young I always envisioned myself as a farmer's wife. As I matured my thoughts changed and I wanted to be a physiotherapist.


3. How did you get into your current role?

I was previously working for a small charity that suddenly expanded. Due to the increase in size, I searched for another role. I’m not a fan of working in large organisations, as I believe it comes with increased bureaucracy and lack of flexibility and innovation.  


4. How many languages do you speak?

I studied French and German at university a long time ago - so while no longer fluent, I can easily get by when there. I can speak functional Egyptian Arabic and little Swahili from my work abroad. I can get by in Spanish also and understand some Dutch.

5. Which one is your favourite?

I would say my favourite is Egyptian Arabic - as it’s lovely to speak! It’s difficult to learn and an interesting language to write.


6. What’s the greatest challenge facing Seafarers Hospital Society, and how will it be overcome? Increasing austerity means that more and more vulnerable people will need social and NHS support, which will result in a greater demand for our resources. To combat this, we will need to develop more health prevention/self help programmes to encourage people to look after their own health and wellbeing.


7. Has your career taken you to any interesting places?

Lots! I have worked in Bangladesh, Kenya, Uganda, Egypt, Lebanon, West Bank and Gaza. I also lived in both France and Germany for some time.


8. What is your favourite country? Impossible to say but Uganda has to be up there somewhere.


9. What’s the greatest challenge facing the Healthcare sector right now?

One of the biggest challenges affecting the sector right now is the lack of funds available. There’s not enough money to keep up with the ageing population who have more complex needs, whilst also ensuring technology systems are up to date.


10. How has the sector changed in your career?

A main change that I have observed in the sector is the increased power and autonomy of both staff and patients. They now have much more say in what they need and how they want it - far greater than when I started as a physio.

There’s also more focus on community care than hospital care and technology has revolutionised healthcare - and could do so much more!​


11. How is Seafarers preparing its workforce for the future? A priority for us is keeping up with national developments and working closely with partners and stakeholders to make the best use of all our resources.  


12. If you could give any advice to someone joining the sector, what would it be?

If it's not something you love don't do it - people do not work in health for the money!


13. How have you come into contact with TPP?

I came into contact with TPP while looking for jobs over several years. They have helped place me into a number of roles over the years, including my current position.


14. How would you describe TPP in one word?