Rhys travels over 9,000 miles to join South Tees’ surgical team
When Rhys Jones saw a job advert for a consultant upper gastrointestinal and general surgeon at The James Cook University Hospital he didn’t hesitate in booking a flight from Australia to Middlesbrough.
Rhys, who is originally from South Manchester, has a specialist practice is oesophageal and gastric cancer surgery and has extensive experience of complex benign upper GI surgery including antireflux surgery, hiatal hernia repair and splenic surgery.
He has worked right across the north east and moved to Melbourne in 2019 after securing a competitive GI fellowship at Monash Medical Centre.
Despite this, James Cook held a special place in his heart and he knew he wanted to one day return to the hospital where he completed his registrar training.
He said: “Not long after I saw the job advert I flew back from the antipodes in March 2022, on one of the last flights into the country before the border closed.
“I was appointed at one of the most turbulent times in the history of the NHS so settling into life as a consultant has been challenging at times.
As predicted though, my colleagues and all the staff around me have been incredibly supportive and we continued to treat our cancer patients throughout the pandemic, which has been extremely satisfying.”
Rhys hopes that going forward he can introduce robotic upper GI surgery to the Tees Valley which he says will be another big benefit for his patients.
Rhys is one of more than 60 new hospital consultants to join South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in in the last two years.
South Tees Hospitals is an anchor tertiary provider, delivering supra-regional and local NHS services to more than 1.5 people across Teesside, North Yorkshire and beyond.