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Unison branch donate £500 to twinned Nicaraguan Hospital

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Nicaragua visit 2016
Representative from Nicaragua - Maria Nela Gaitan - meeting staff at George Eliot Hospital earlier this year

The Unison branch, based at George Eliot Hospital, have donated £500 to the Nilda Patricia Hospital in Ciudad-Sandino, Nicaragua, as part of the on-going relationship between the two hospitals.

The money has been donated from the public service union’s own budget, to provide for specialist medical equipment that the Nilda Patricia Hospital would otherwise be unable to procure. The donation marks the latest development in the on-going relationship between the two hospitals, which was established in February of last year, when representatives from the hospital flew out to Nicaragua to sign a twinning agreement.

Although £500 may not seem a huge amount of money, Nicaragua is the second poorest country in the western hemisphere (only Haiti is poorer), as such, Unison staff are confident that targeted use of the money will deliver an improvement in the quality of care delivered at the hospital.

Unison Deputy Convenor at George Eliot Hospital, Roy Emblen, explained that Unison identified a clear opportunity to help the local populace during the team’s visit to Ciudad-Sandino. He said: “Having been there, I can say that their hospitals are missing so many things, but the way in which they cope is amazing. Clinically they are absolutely fantastic.”

“We thought that the work ethic and ability of the staff was incredible and they were clearly very competent, however, there was also a very obvious need for improved facilities. Because of this, Unison has decided to donate £500 to the Nilda Patricia Hospital, so that they can spend the money where it is needed most.”

The partnership between the two hospitals has grown strong since the twinning agreement began. So far there have been two staff exchanges between the hospitals, with doctors from Nicaragua coming to visit George Eliot, as well as the initial visit to Nicaragua by George Eliot staff, and a third is planned for the near future.

Dawn, a Unison representative, said: “The relationship that we have with the members of the other hospital is great. We have been exchanging information and ideas with them and we really do consider them friends, we talk quite a lot on Facebook. Because of this, we were really happy to be able to donate money to help improve the services at hospital in Nicaragua.”

The twinning framework was originally signed in 2015 between the George Eliot Hospital and Nilda Patricia Hospital in Ciudad-Sandino, Managua. This agreement was organised by Unison trade union representatives from the George Eliot Hospital and FETSALUD Union in Nicaragua. The relationship aims to learn together, share expertise and improve the quality of health services for patients and staff through this process.                     

For more information on the on-going partnership with the Nilda Patricia Hospital and other updates visit: http://www.geh.nhs.uk/latest-news/

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