Surgeons of the future have been learning essential skills at a course at the academic centre at Keir Hardie Health Park in Merthyr Tydfil for the first time.

The Basic Surgical Skills course, which was attended by doctors from across South Wales and as far afield as Dublin and Australia, is mandatory for those seeking a career in surgery.

This two day Royal College of Surgeons of England course was organised in collaboration with Welsh Institute for Minimal Access Therapy (WIMAT), Cardiff University, who run training courses across Wales.

Prof P.N. Haray, Consultant Colorectal Surgeon at Prince Charles Hospital in Merthyr Tydfil collaborated with WIMAT to bring the course to the Cwm Taf University Health Board facility.

The course was convened by consultant surgeon Mr David Cotton and several other surgeons from the hospital were among those teaching at the academic centre.

Basic Surgical Skills Course Keir Hardie Academic Centre
Basic Surgical Skills Course Keir Hardie Academic Centre

Prof Haray said: “There are very few centres which are accredited to run these courses and it is a feather in our cap to do so.

“We have now a fantastic facility in Keir Hardie academic centre which is certainly suitable for running courses like this.”

The 14 junior doctors learned how to suture tissue and the techniques needed in laparoscopic surgery.

Aaron Char works at the Royal Gwent Hospital in Newport. He said: “The course has been really good. It has increased my confidence in handling sutures and surgical instruments.”

Alan Geddes, who also works at the Royal Gwent, said: “Everyone has been really welcoming and made everything really clear. The centre is just half an hour from Cardiff and there is free parking right outside.”

Cherry Talavera was using her leave time from working in Ararat, Australia, to learn the basics of surgery.

“There’s a two year waiting list for this course in Australia where it is four times the price.

“It’s good just to have the time to practice under supervision and have my technique critiqued on the spot in a lower pressured environment rather than in the theatre.”

Verity Haffenden who works at Southmead Hospital in Bristol wants eventually to do neurosurgery or general surgery.

“It was nice to have the break between lectures and practical stuff. It is a modern building here with great facilities.”