The orthopaedic department at North Cumbria Hospital has been linked with Beit Trust Cure International Hospital in Malawi for over ten years. The link began after Mr Jim Harrison, a former Senior Registrar at the Cumberland Infirmary, left the UK and moved to Malawi to become Medical Director for the country’s first ever elective orthopaedic hospital for children. Before leaving the UK, Mr Harrison spoke with Matron Clare McKenzie about his new role and from this conversation, the orthopaedics department in Cumbria pledged their support to the hospital.
The link has involved numerous exchange visits with nurses coming to Cumbria from Malawi to receive training and returning to their country with increased skills and experience. Likewise, nurses from Cumbria, including Matron Clare McKenzie, have been out to Malawi several times to provide support, training and teaching and donations of much needed equipment. Clare and her late colleague, Pauline Stratton, were jointly named Nursing Standard’s National Nurses of the Year in 2003 for their work in Malawi.