In late 2017 The Medical Room (CES) Ltd was engaged by Galliford Try to install and commission the medical equipment at the new Camogli Medical Centre on the worlds remotest inhabited island Tristan Da Cunha. TDC is a remote group of volcanic islands in the South Atlantic Ocean some 1750 miles west of South Africa. The island does not have an air link and access is via a 7-day sea journey from Cape Town.

Work commenced in February 2018 when the medical equipment was delivered to the shipping company in Northampton. The equipment was unpacked by TMR engineers, labelled, function checked, safety tested, and loaded into shipping containers for onward shipment to South Africa. The next time our engineers would see the equipment would be on the sea trip to Tristan da Cunha.

TMR medical engineers, Paul Austin and Max Slipper flew out to Cape Town at the beginning of May to join M/V Pacific Askari the Rig support vessel chartered to deliver them and the medical equipment to the island. The sea passage to the island was quite eventful with high seas and high winds; only to be expected mid-winter in the South Atlantic.

Eventually the ship arrived off Edinburgh of The Seven Seas, the capital of Tristan da Cunha. The team disembarked and moved into the construction companies’ accommodation that was to be their home for the next two months. The equipment was unloaded from the ship and work commenced immediately to unpack, assemble and install it into the Medical Centre.

Our engineers received a very warm welcome from the islanders and the long days at the Medical Centre were interposed with a beer or two in the islands only pub The Albatross, invitations to birthday parties and dinner with the island’s governor. Other experiences of note were a chance to view the annual rat catching day (a firm favourite with the islanders) and of course the obligatory trip up the island’s active volcano.

At the end of July work was completed (as scheduled) the day before departure back to South Africa. As the Medical Centre had been handed over to the Island the whole construction crew were to return to Cape Town aboard the M/V Pacific Askari. The ensuing departure was very difficult as many of the construction crew had been working on the island for almost 8 months and had formed strong friendships and bonds with the community.

Once again the South Atlantic played a part in the passage, bad weather delaying arrival in Cape Town; the passage taking 9 days instead of the scheduled 7!

However once back on dry land the team reunited with loved ones and managed a short holiday in Cape Town before returning to the UK.

Paul and Max would like to thank the Islanders for their generous hospitality and for making them so welcome and ensuring that their time on Tristan da Cunha was a most memorable and pleasant experience.

The Medical Room (Clinical Engineering Services) Ltd are available for installation, commissioning, multi-vendor maintenance and PPM contracts worldwide.

For more information: ask@clinical-engineering-services.com