A CONSULTANT surgeon from Worcestershire swapped the operating theatre for a swimming pool as he volunteered at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

Specialist oral facial surgeon at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust Phil Earl recently spent nine days lending his expertise to divers preparing to go for gold in the Glasgow games.

Mr Earl, who works at Worcestershire Royal Hospital as well as Kidderminster Hospital and Redditch Hospital, joined the team of volunteers on hand at the Edinburgh Diving Pool, where the practice stages of this year’s games were carried out.

Although he was prepared to deal with incidents from minor smacks in the water to potentially long-lasting damage, no serious injuries occurred during the practice stages.

Mr Earl, who also volunteered at the London 2012 Olympic Games at the water polo events, said he was delighted to bring his expertise to the international event.

“After having gained so much experience and knowledge at the Olympics I was keen to help out at the Commonwealth Games,” he said.

“I volunteered during the athletes' preparation and training time.

“There was less of an atmosphere without the crowds but it was amazing getting to see world-class athletes practice in the pool.

“It was even more interesting to learn how much work went into these huge events.

"I can't see another big event like this happening in the UK any time soon – it was such a great opportunity I really couldn't miss out on."

Mr Earl, who is also a qualified pitchside doctor and worked for many years with Kidderminster Harriers FC, works with the trust’s oral and facial surgery team, which treats about 2,000 cases of facial skin cancer every year – more than any other unit in the Midlands.

- A PHYSIOTHERAPIST from Evesham has also put her skills to use at the Commonwealth Games. Lorraine Middleburgh from Vale Home Physio is volunteering at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome in Glasgow, where she is treating any cyclists who take a tumble during their event.

Mrs Middleburgh, who also volunteered at the aquatic centre at the London 2012 Olympics, said she was especially hoping to meet Laura Trott and Sir Chris Hoy – but not as a result of injury.