Former NHS chief to speak out on international health issues

Lord Nigel Crisp

Former NHS chief executive Lord Nigel Crisp is to visit Southampton General Hospital next week (Thursday, 17 September) to raise awareness of global health issues.

He will discuss the benefits of overseas partnerships with staff as part of the Southampton Overseas Health and Medicine (SOHMED) open evening.

Lord Crisp, an independent crossbench member of the House of Lords, played a major part in securing government support to aid health authorities around the world through his 2007 report Global Health Partnerships: the UK contribution to health in developing countries.

Central to the report was a call for NHS staff to volunteer their services abroad.

SOHMED, a voluntary group for all Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trust staff which aims to promote strong working links with developing countries, is leading the way in meeting Lord Crisp’s recommendations.

In 2008, three consultant anaesthetists headed out to Nepal for the fourth time to begin long-term projects with hospitals in Kathmandu and Western Nepal, while consultant radiologist Jo Fairhurst made a trip to Bolgatanga in Northern Ghana earlier this year to provide training in ultrasound.

Superintendent radiographer Jane Spring visited Ghana in March to donate surplus x-ray equipment and teach local staff how to operate it. SOHMED also supports a radiography link in Swaziland.

Consultant nurse Rob Crouch is fronting the latest initiative, where the Emergency Department in Southampton is working to develop an efficient triage model at a large Nepalese teaching hospital.

Dr Ollie Ross, consultant anaesthetist and SOHMED lead, said: “Lord Crisp’s vision of the NHS helping developing countries create solid health services is at the heart of SOHMED’s values and we are delighted he has chosen to support us by coming to Southampton.”

Posted on Friday 11 September 2009