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Saturday, 27 December 2014

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Two new consultants at north Cumbria's hospitals

North Cumbria’s hospitals have appointed two new permanent consultants to work in orthopaedics.

Hospital consultants photo
Tim Petheram, left and Biju Sankar

The Cumberland Infirmary and West Cumberland Hospitals have historically struggled to fill vacancies, especially at consultant level. As a result they have been forced to rely heavily on locum staff to fill any gaps.

So the appointment of two permanent consultants to work at the Carlisle and Whitehaven hospitals will be seen as good news.

The new members of staff, Tim Petheram and Biju Sankar, are now in post.

Mr Petheram recently completed a six-month fellowship in hip and knee replacements at James Cook Hospital in Middlesbrough.

It followed a year of specialist fellowship training at the Princess Elizabeth Orthopaedic Centre in Exeter – a world-renowned centre for orthopaedics and in particular hip replacement.

His previous roles were at King’s College Hospital, London, and various training posts across the north east and Cumbria – including the Cumberland Infirmary.

Mr Petheram said: “Having worked in some of the country’s major orthopaedic centres, I have always preferred working in district general hospitals where there is a real sense of community.

“The staff in north Cumbria are local people who are passionate about looking after their community and they really identify with their patients’ needs.

“I am delighted to join the trust at a time when there are many exciting changes taking place to improve patient care, and as we look forward to the opening of the new West Cumberland Hospital next year.”

Mr Sankar also returns to the trust following a stint as a locum consultant in north Cumbria last year, and before that working as a trainee registrar in Carlisle.

He moved to the UK in 2001 from India and trained in the north east, then completed fellowships at the Golden Jubilee National Hospital in Glasgow where he specialised in computer-assisted knee replacement surgery and, most recently, at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle.

Having trained as a registrar in the Cumberland Infirmary in 2008, he said he has always wanted to return – this time with his wife.

“My wife is a breast radiologist and will also be starting with north Cumbria in September,” he added, “so we are moving with our two children and looking forward to living in the beautiful countryside.”

The two will be looking after urgent orthopaedic trauma cases arriving at the Cumberland Infirmary round the clock, as well as the thousands of patients having planned operations.

Mr David MacKay, clinical director for trauma and orthopaedics at North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust said: “I am delighted to welcome Tim and Biju to the team.”

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