An emergency department nurse from University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust has been selected by the Army to help provide healthcare to people in Kenya.
Sue Thompson, emergency department deputy sister, will be joined by colleague Marianne Elloy, a paediatric ear, nose and throat consultant at the trust, for the “life-changing” trip.
“I think sometimes we forget how lucky we are and this will certainly be eye opening”
Both were chosen to fly out to Askari Serpent in Kenya to work alongside Army Medical Services and help take vital healthcare services to remote areas.
Ms Thompson said she was looking forward to the trip, but was “excited and nervous at the same time”.
“I’m looking forward to visiting an orphanage, and there is a camp which ill people travel for miles to reach to get treatment or advice,” she said.
“I’ve heard that they may be holding some HIV drop-in sessions to give people advice and that should be interesting,” she added.
“Marianne and Sue will be able to share what they see and learn with their colleagues”
Meanwhile, Ms Elloy said she was preparing for what would be a “life-changing challenge”.
“I think sometimes we forget how lucky we are and this will certainly be eye opening,” she said. “We think we work in a challenging environment in the NHS but this will be completely different.”
Ms Elloy said she particularly interested in learning about approaches to training, education and leadership.
“I’m hoping that as well as learning a lot, that there are things that I can share with army colleagues which they will find useful,” she said.
The pair will be joining the number 2 Medical Regiment out in Kenya, which is helping deliver healthcare to “extreme locations” that would not normally get this type of support.
A&E nurse from Midlands to help with healthcare in remote Kenya
This includes sending out Remote Area Treatment Teams, who provide much-needed medical and dental care and help train Kenyan medical staff.
“We are pleased that Marianne and Sue can join us to support our medical teams and build the relationship the Army have with the NHS,” said Major Alex Smith, who will be accompanying them to Kenya.
“It provides an excellent scenario for representatives from Leicester’s hospitals to experience what the regular and reserve army are involved in and are capable of doing, and our staff will see NHS staff supporting them,” he said.
He added: “Marianne and Sue will be able to share what they see and learn with their colleagues and hopefully provide a positive picture of what the Army Medical Services do.”
The two fly out to Kenya on 3 May and the trust plans to post regular updates on their adventures on social media.