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Helmand hospital beckons for health reporter Liz

A newspaper health reporter is bracing herself for a week in a military field hospital in Afghanistan.

Liz Perkins, from the South Wales Evening Post, will be reporting back from Helmand Province where Territorial Army medics from the Swansea area are on active duty.

Liz, 30, told HoldtheFrontPage: “We put an appeal in the paper to see if any readers have got relatives over there and the response has been good.

“Hopefully, we will be able to bring messages to the soldiers and also get messages from the troops and put them online as they don’t have the opportunity to get in touch with family back home that often.”

Coverage will include daily stories and updates, both in print and online, as well as a blog of her activities.

She is also hoping to take a video camera and upload footage of the work taking place at the 65-person hospital where the troops are based.

Swansea NHS Trust, for whom the medics work at home, has a larger number of staff there than any other Welsh trust.

Medics are taking unpaid leave from their regular hospital jobs at home to carry out the work in Afghanistan.

Liz is the only local newspaper reporter going on the trip where she will be joined by a BBC correspondent and a freelance broadcast journalist.

She added: “The last time I did something like this was when I went to Northern Ireland with the Welsh Guards.

“I’m really calm about it, more excited than anything else, and my family have been very good about it.

“It’s going to be an interesting opportunity to see the guys at work.”