Fran's 67 mile challenge

As a challenge and metaphor for The Virtual Doctors, our volunteer Medical Director, Dr Fran Fieldhouse has decided to spend a couple of weekends running the undulating 67 mile distance of the Oxfordshire Way and if that’s not hard enough, she has set a £2,500 fundraising target to keep herself motivated.  Now… Fran claims it is “an overambitious goal”, but knowing her as we do, we have no doubts she will achieve it on both counts.  Her fundraising page is already racing ahead!   

Fran, who is herself a GP in a busy practise, is one of those busy people who gets the job done!  She has been involved with the charity for the past four years and has made time in between her family commitments, study and a busy job, to make a huge contribution towards the development and progress of the Virtual Doctors. If that’s not enough, she is now managing to fit in long training runs in the company of her trusted four legged companion and has been battling the elements of the recent snow and now the inevitable muddy terrain that follows in the thaw, which must  be hard going.

Fran says

Fran & training partner

Fran & training partner

In rural Africa patients often walk miles to their local health centre. And once there the healthcare worker may not have the knowledge or skills to treat their condition, requiring ongoing travel to an even more distant hospital. With the Virtual Doctors, the healthcare worker can now readily access specialist advice, treating the patient in situ. This improves health outcomes and reduces unnecessary referrals which place a financial burden on the patient (and healthcare system). It also educates the healthcare worker giving them the knowledge and skills to treat the condition when they next encounter it.

Since I became involved with the charity we have expanded into 40 clinics and now have over 50 volunteer Drs in the UK. In addition I have developed an educational forum including short audio podcasts. These are tailored specifically for healthcare workers in rural Africa, helping them continue to learn up to date clinical medicine. 

Please support me in my attempt to run the length of the Oxfordshire way over 2 weekends. I'll average 16 miles a day which is often less than the distance patients walk to hospital. 

Your money will help the Virtual Doctors expand into more clinics, helping more patients receive good quality timely treatment. “

You can support Fran by going into her Justgiving Page

Watch this space too because we will be updating you on Fran’s progress and hopefully in the next photo the dog might be looking a little more enthusiastic!!  (This was him after a 14 miler….awwh those poor little legs!).  Good Luck Fran!

Listen to Fran talk about the Virtual Doctors and preparing for her challenge on Radio Oxford (Wednesday 4th April 2018):

Copyright BBC Radio Oxford. Used with permission.

Ros Bird