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Wanted Down Under – BBC visits CM Health

Counties Manukau Health has recently been a focus for the iconic British Broadcasting Corporation as it hosted participants for its popular TV show, Wanted Down Under.

The show follows families and their journey as they consider a move to NZ or Australia and re-visits them if they decide to emigrate.

Families are filmed investigating potential housing options, recreation, and job opportunities.

The cameras followed UK Neonatal Sister Abigail (Abby) Parsons as she chatted to Clinical Nurse Director Kidz First and Women’s Health Michelle Nicholson-Burr about aspects of working at Middlemore Hospital, including salary expectations, how rosters are structured and work-life balance.

Ms Nicholson-Burr says, because Wanted Down Under  is a popular show with a large reach,  the  experience was a fantastic opportunity to showcase CM Health to a wide, international audience .

“I’m really excited that we were able to communicate that CM Health is a diverse and exciting workplace.”

Ms Parsons, a mother of two from Warwickshire, also had the opportunity to visit the neonatal ward and meet other CM Health nurses.

Meanwhile, Dr Sofia Huddart, who migrated to New Zealand in ­­­2016 was re-visited as part of a follow up for the show. 

Dr Huddart is now a Consultant Anaesthetist at CM Health and told the programme that comparable working hours, commuting times, and desired skills from her previous position in East London, made it comfortable and easy to adapt to life down under.   The mother-of-three reflected on a more balanced work and home life in New Zealand, while also having the opportunity to take up new hobbies such as paddle boarding and belly-dancing.

Dr Huddart says coming from multi-cultural East London meant she didn’t experience a significant culture shock when she began work at Counties Manukau, and she’s glad the values of the organisation and its focus on health equity are in line with her own.

“In terms of the organisational values they definitely fit with what I want to do as a clinician working to help the people of South Auckland and trying to give the best care that we can. I’m pleased to be working with colleagues who are really inclusive and friendly and have made me welcome here.”

Whether Ms Parsons and her husband have decided to pack up and start a new life in Aotearoa will not be revealed until early next year, but Dr Huddart has some words of advice to her potential fellow expat.

“Do your research.  Work out how you are going to manage being far away from your family – this is probably the biggest reason for people going back [to the UK]. New Zealand is comparable to the UK and some of the problems are the same there as here, but we have not regretted our move here at all and I love working here.  Good luck whichever way you choose.”

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