A DOCTOR from Colchester General Hospital is flying out to join the fight against ebola.

Dr Neil Studd will fly out from Heathrow on Sunday to Sierra Leone’s capital of Freetown where he will spend a month at an isolation unit.

He is using annual leave for the trip and will miss out on a family Christmas before returning to England next month.

Dr Studd said: “When I was watching the ebola story unfold on the news, I realised I had some skills to offer which might help.

“I approached a couple of aid agencies and was interviewed by the King’s Sierra Leone Partnership, which has opened an isolation unit there.

“They made it clear the work will be physically and psychologically challenging, dealing each day with the catastrophic effects of the virus and seeing families torn apart.

“It makes missing a Christmas back home seem like an irrelevance, compared with the suffering people are going through in Sierra Leone.

“I’m also in the fortunate position of being able to go at short notice and I’ve had fantastic support from the hospital.”

Dr Studd is working at Colchester General Hospital for a threeyear period. After working in the emergency department for six months, he spent six months in the emergency assessment unit and is undertaking a year-long placement in anaesthetics.

He will return to the emergency department next August to continue his emergency medicine training. In 2011, he got a trauma travelling scholarship and spent ten weeks in South Africa caring for victims of violent crime in Johannesburg, and another ten weeks in Phoenix, Arizona.