New paediatric consultants at Basildon hospital

THREE new paediatric consultants have been appointed at Basildon University Hospital, to enhance the care and treatment of children.

Their arrival has allowed the hospital to extend the hours covered by senior paediatric doctors in the evenings and at weekends, and brought additional expertise to the children’s clinical team.

All three have worked before at Basildon Hospital at previous points during their training and careers. Dr Sandhya Vaidyanathan, who has a special interest in sickle cell anaemia, says: “As soon as I entered medical school I knew I wanted to be a paediatrician. I love working with children and I enjoy every minute of it.

“I began my NHS career at Basildon and I came back because I enjoyed it so much.

“I remember from back then that the staff and patients were so friendly, and they still are. One of the parents of a patient has just left me a lovely message to say thank you.”

Dr Sasanke Karunaratne agrees. He says: “I always wanted to be a paediatrician. I began my training here at Basildon and I am very happy to be back here. There are many exciting challenges and we have a very good team.”

Dr Karunaratne has a special interest in neurology and has also had training in safeguarding.

“It is our duty to protect children from harm by non-accidental injury and to work with social services and other agencies to ensure that children are safe,” he adds.

The third newly arrived consultant is Dr Aashish Gupta, who has special expertise in neonatology, the care of premature or ill new born babies.

He says: “An important aspect of working in the neonatal intensive care unit is supporting people in difficult situations. It is always good to be able to share the joy with parents when they feel happy, and to try and minimise their anxiety when they are worried.

“It is fantastic working here. The other doctors and the nurses in the paediatric team are excellent.”

Dr Birgit Van Meijgaarden, Paediatric Clinical Lead, said: “The three new consultants are a great addition to our team and are already making a great contribution to our drive to provide the best care and treatment for our young patients.”

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