A RETIRED doctor has returned from a fact-finding mission to the southern hemisphere to improve our understanding of hyperbaric medicine.

Dr Nicholas Cooper, from Barford St Martin, went on a six-week trip to South Africa, New Zealand and Australia funded by the Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship.

Hyperbaric medicine is a highly specialised form of treatment used to take care of patients that have been exposed to a high pressure environment such as diving or tunnel building.

By keeping them in a pressurised environment during treatment it has been shown to have a beneficial effect on a patient.

Dr Cooper said: “Those countries have a higher proportion of divers so it means they have been at the forefront of developing this medicine.

“Now I'm taking that information and helping develop training in Europe.

“It is great to have been funded by the Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship, who do a lot of great work funding research in this country.

“They are about to celebrate their 50th anniversary so it is great to promote the fantastic work they do.”

Dr Cooper will now be at the forefront of training in this country and is planning to write a syllabus to teach doctors about hyperbaric medicine.