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Cumberland Infirmary Registrar to appear on Songs of Praise TV show

Registrar Thomas Ashley at the Cumberland Infirmary

A registrar from the Cumberland Infirmary is to appear on the popular TV show Songs of Praise.

Dr Thomas Ashley, who is originally from Sierra Leone, was filmed by a crew at the hospital, which is run by the North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust, in early December.

The dad-of-two will return to his native country next year after completing a Medical Training Initiative (MTI) run by the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges.

Dr Ashley, who attends Eden Churches, near Wetheral, works on Beech and Larch Wards at The Cumberland Infirmary and also performs and assists in surgery.

He was filmed in his workplace, at his church and at his home.

Rev Graeme Skinner was also at Wetheral church for the filming.

Dr Ashley will return to Sierra Leone next year with his family when he has completed further sponsored surgical training at the Cumberland Infirmary.

His wife, Hannah, is a doctor at The Lakes Medical Practice in Penrith and he has two young sons.

Together they will care for the poor and improve health care provisions.

They will work at the Wesleyan Kamakwie Mission Hospital in northern Sierra Leone where Dr Ashley is chief medical officer.

He said: “The skills I learn over here I will take back to Sierra Leone where there are only a handful of doctors in a mission hospital looking after 200,000 patients and the average life expectancy is 48-years-old.”

Dr Ashley, who studied and worked through 10 years of Civil War in Sierra Leone, regularly takes calls and answers emails in the UK querying medical procedures and treatment in Africa.

The programme will be shown on BBC One on Sunday, January 12 at 1.15pm.

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