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UK government deploys clinical team to help in Philippines

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Three nurses are among the members of a clinical team being sent by the UK government to help with recovery efforts in the Philippines in the wake of the super typhoon that decimated the Pacific island group last week.

The Department for International Development has announced that it will deploy 12 emergency clinical staff, including surgeons, doctors and accident and emergency nurses to the Philippines.

International development secretary Justine Greening said an initial medical and surgical team would include two A&E nurses and one theatre nurse.

It will also comprise three emergency physicians, two orthopaedic surgeons, one plastic surgeon, two anaesthetists and a specialist physiotherapist.

The deployment of the team follows a direct request from the Philippines Department of Health and will form part of the UK government’s £10m relief efforts for the disaster.

The team, which is preparing to deploy at the earliest possible opportunity, will be led by Professor AD Redmond, a specialist in international emergency medicine from the University of Manchester.

As Nursing Times reported yesterday, the Philippine Nurses Association of UK has launched its own appeal to help the survivors and has organised drop-in donation sessions in conjunction with the Philippine Embassy in London.

Meanwhile, the Royal College of Nursing said its members had been calling with offers of help.  

Peter Carter, the college’s chief executive and general secretary, said: “The RCN, like so many others, is shocked by the scale of loss of life and the damage caused by Typhoon Haiyan.

“We are standing in solidarity with our health care colleagues involved in the emergency response, and with the many nursing staff working in the UK who are from these areas and may be worried about their loved ones,” he said.

Meanwhile, the union Unison said it had made a donation of £10,000 to the Disasters Emergency Committee, a coalition of 14 leading UK aid charities.

Unison general secretary Dave Prentis said: “We’re sending a message of support to all those in the Philippines whose lives have been devastated, and solidarity to the public service workers working so hard to clear up the wreckage.”

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