Hartlepool health worker leads mercy mission to Cambodia

Sue Smith feels the work done by the team could make a "big difference" in Cambodia.
Sue Smith feels the work done by the team could make a "big difference" in Cambodia.

A Hartlepool NHS worker has spoken of her ‘amazement’ after leading a team on a trip to make a ‘big difference’ to healthcare in Cambodia.

Sue Smith, 53, and a host of NHS staff from across the north of England travelled to the Battambang Referral Hospital with the charity Transform Healthcare Cambodia.

Sue Smith feels the work done by the team could make a "big difference" in Cambodia.

Sue Smith feels the work done by the team could make a "big difference" in Cambodia.

They shared their experience and knowledge with 60 Cambodian healthcare staff and medical students at the hospital.

The training focused on airway, breathing and circulation, and Sue – who helped to set up the charity when she was executive director of nursing, patient safety and infection control at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust – led the team.

She said: “The team really enjoyed working alongside our colleagues in Cambodia and to be able to share their clinical and professional experience to empower them to improve health care, while gaining a better understanding of working within a challenging, often under-resourced environment, while being respectful of cultural differences.

“We were encouraged to walk around the wards and we were able to identify resources that were needed.

I am in complete awe of our Khmer doctors, nurses, midwives, physiotherapists and medical students who do an amazing job day-in-day-out

Sue Smith

“We purchased 20 resuscitation boxes so every ward now has these, brushes for cleaning equipment, nasal cannulae and suction tubing.

“Resources are such in Cambodia that often, things such as suction tubing are cleaned and re-used. These small things we can do will make a big difference.”

Sue, who is now executive chief nurse at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust, first visited the Cambodian hospital in 2009.

She added: “I feel very fortunate and privileged to be joined by a team of experienced, like-minded people and I always look forward to meeting and working alongside the incredible staff both from the UK and particularly the staff at the Battambang Provincial Referral Hospital.

Sue Smith feels the work done by the team could make a "big difference" in Cambodia.

Sue Smith feels the work done by the team could make a "big difference" in Cambodia.

“I am amazed by the changes and improvements I have seen and I am in complete awe of our Khmer doctors, nurses, midwives, physiotherapists and medical students who do an amazing job day-in-day-out.

“I believe you should live your life in the right way and use your privilege to make things better – whether that is on a local, national or global level – everyone can make a difference each day.

“It’s the small things that count.”

The next team from Transform Healthcare Cambodia depart for the Asian country in February.

Sue Smith feels the work done by the team could make a "big difference" in Cambodia.

Sue Smith feels the work done by the team could make a "big difference" in Cambodia.

To find out more about Transform Healthcare Cambodia, visit www.transformhealthcarecambodia.org.uk