A CONSULTANT surgeon at the Great Western Hospital is among surgeons and nurses across the UK whose voluntary work has been shortlisted for a national health award.
Angus Waddell volunteers for the charity BRINOS, Britain Nepal Otology Service, a charity dedicated to the prevention and treatment of deafness in Nepal.
The charity’s work has been shortlisted for a British Medical Journal Group Award, the Karen Woo Surgical Team Of The Year Award.
BRINOS was founded in 1988 by Neil Weir, Consultant Ear, Nose and Throat Surgeon to the Royal Surrey County Hospital, Guildford.
As a survey of disability conducted in 1981 found deafness to be the largest single disability in Nepal.
Angus, and three UK surgeons, two UK nurses, anaesthetists and trainees have worked alongside a Nepali surgeon and two Nepali nurses running special ear camps in Nepalgunj, in the south west of Nepal.
The ear camps have been run in Nepal, twice-yearly since 1989 and three times a year since 2008.
Angus said: “One of the trainees who attended the latest Ear Camp nominated BRINOS for the BMJ Group Awards and we are delighted our group has been shortlisted for Surgical Team Of The Year Award.
“It is nice to have recognition for the work of BRINOS and for those involved in the ear camps, we all volunteer, and cover our own expenses for the trips. “It is a different experience to working in a UK hospital.
“And it is great to be able to reach out to those suffering from ear disease and assist Nepalese ENT surgeons in providing expert treatment to them.
“Hearing loss is common in Nepal. It is a poor country with a lot of respiratory infections, chest infections, holes in ear drums and ear discharge. “November 2012 was the charity’s 49th ear camp.
“The camps involve intensive surgery and we can perform up to 17 ear operations in a day out there, 120 operations per week; at GWH we can do 120 ear operations in a year.”
Since the charity started there have been more than 4,500 major ear operations carried out in Nepal.
“The ear camps last nine days and are long days, working from 8am to 8pm,” said Angus.
“We do have one day off where we all go for a picnic together with the Nepali people, which is very enjoyable.”
While most BRINOS operations are carried out under local anaesthetic,GWH anaesthetists Julian Stone and Mike Entwistle, have also attended the ear camps to give some general anaesthetics. T The equipment used for ear operations is either equipment that has been funded by the charity or is old NHS equipment.
Angus will attend the award ceremony in London on May 9.
To find out more about BRINOS, the work they do and how you can support them visit www.brinos.org.uk.