The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

New Surgical Fellowship programme to strengthen historic ties between Leeds and Malta

4 February 2020

An initiative is being launched to further strengthen ties between Leeds Teaching Hospitals and the island of Malta.

Over the last six years LTHT has developed close links with Malta through the delivery of medical physics training courses and by using our scientific and technical expertise to commission complex equipment in a new Oncology wing of the Mater Dei hospital in Valetta.

At the same time, we have established a relationship with Malta Medical School, culminating in the exchange of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to develop a fellowship programme for Maltese doctors. In establishing this programme, we have discovered links between Leeds Hospitals and Malta that date back to the end of the nineteenth century. This is through the eminent and pioneering surgeon Sir Berkeley Moynihan who spent most of his career at Leeds General Infirmary.

A bust to commemorate his achievements resides on the stairwell within the Gilbert Scott Building at LGI. Sir Berkeley was born in Malta where previous generations of his family had held prominent positions in society and whose legacy is still recognised today.

To mark this historic link between LTHT and Malta the Leeds Moynihan Surgical Fellowship was created and the first Maltese doctor - Breast Surgeon, Elaine Borg -  commenced her one-year placement at LTHT earlier this month. Clearly, to use the name of the family in the title of the fellowship has required the consent of the present Lord Colin Moynihan, who was very supportive of the initiative.

Maltese visit 5Gordon Dingli, Chair of Surgery; Walter Busuttil, Medical Director; and Elaine Borg, Breast Surgeon – Mater Dei Hospital; and Ray Galea, Head of Postgraduate Training, Malta; came to formally launch the Leeds Moynihan Surgical Fellowship during a two-day visit to LTHT.

The visitors were taken on a tour of the breast clinic and ward by Raj Achuthan, Consultant Breast Surgeon; before being taken around our Cancer Centre by Darren Treanor and Kate Smith, and then onto the Radiotherapy Department where they met with Hazel Rodgers and Viv Cosgrove. They also discussed future collaborative working with Suzanne Kite and Susie Gillon, Consultants in Palliative Medicine. Finally, Rob Armstrong gave an overview of the new enhanced theatre scheduling system which had been requested earlier in the visit.

The second day they visited LGI where they toured the Major Trauma Centre, starting with the helideck fire crew, meeting with many staff en-route and onto our major trauma ward to meet with Professor Peter Giannoudis, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon; Rebecca Blythe, Senior Sister; and Sam Monkman, Ward Sister. The group then visited the Children’ Hospital aided by Mike Richards and included the CRF, ITU, and Paediatric Oncology.

At the end of the visit, Professor Paul Finan gave an excellent presentation on the history of Sir Berkeley Moynihan (later 1st Baron of Leeds), followed by a fascinating insight into the LGI archives relating to an actual major injury patient, who was treated by Sir Berkeley, from Ronnie Walsh, Clerical Officer from A+E who also works as a volunteer archivist.

On the culmination of the visitors’ time at the Trust, Ray Galea, Postgraduate Dean from Malt, remarked upon the impressive commitment, enthusiasm and professionalism of the members of staff they met throughout their visit.