FOLLOWING President Higgins visit to London’s University College Hospital on Wednesday, Niall O’Sullivan meets some of the many Irish staff who are proud to work in Britain’s National Health Service…
Dr Pat O’Brien, 50, is a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist originally from Co. Cork
“I don’t think it was difficult for me to come and work in Britain because I worked in Middlesbrough for a year first. That was a friendly place, so it was a nice transition. I think the transition from Cork to London would have been quite a shell-shock though.
“I would love to go back to Ireland at some stage, but at the clinic here we see so many complicated things and people from all parts of the world.
“I could spend a year in Ireland and not see the same sort of mix of people that I see in a few weeks here. So I think that because of the type of medicine I am interested in, I will probably carry on here.
“We look after a lot of pregnant women at UCH who have complicated heart disorders. They have had loads of heart surgery over their lives, have taken all sorts of medication and have been told through their lives that they should not get pregnant because it is too dangerous or they should have a termination if they do.
“When you look after someone like that through pregnancy and see them with their new baby, it is such a fantastic reward.
“There is no one doctor or nurse or midwife who could manage that on their own. You need the whole team, and a team of people that is used to looking after women like that, to make it possible.”