Libyan casualties treated at Middlesbrough hospital

Three casualties of the conflict in Libya have arrived at a Teesside hospital for treatment.

The men, whose injuries include gunshot and shrapnel wounds, are being assessed by specialists at Middlesbrough's James Cook University Hospital.

They are among 50 civilians who will be receiving specialist advanced surgery and rehabilitation at UK hospitals, the Department of Health said.

The full cost of their care is being met by the Libyan government.

Professor Robert Wilson, medical director at South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: "The patients are all comfortable despite their injuries and will be individually assessed by our clinical teams today, which will include plastic, reconstructive and orthopaedic surgeons.

'Specialist expertise'

"It is expected they will be with us for a number of weeks as they will require clinically complex treatment."

He added: "The fact that we've been asked is a testament to the expertise of our staff and the wide range of specialist services that we have on one site here at James Cook.

"While we're happy to help people from Libya who need our care we'd like to reassure local people that this will not adversely impact on the day to day care we provide to them."

A Department of Health spokesman said: "The Libyan Government has asked the NHS to provide care for 50 patients who have been injured as a result of the recent conflict. Their care will be funded by the Libyan government.

"An NHS team has been on the ground in Tunis at the request of the Libyan authorities.

"They have assessed Libyan civilian patients to identify those who could benefit from specialised advanced surgery and rehabilitation in the NHS and to arrange their transfer to the UK.

"These patients have already started arriving in hospitals across the UK. Careful attention is being paid in planning this treatment to ensure that no NHS patient is adversely affected."

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