A specialist hospital near Norwich has recruited an award-winning psychiatrist from New Zealand following his family’s decision to escape the stress of living in an environment suffering daily earth tremors.

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Dr Mark Earthrowl, a consultant psychiatrist specialising in services for women, has for 10 years been deputy clinical director of the New Zealand equivalent of an NHS trust, where his team won two awards for its work in developing mental health treatment programmes for women prisoners.

But the anxiety for his family about living in Canterbury, a city affected by devastating earthquakes and up to four earth tremors per day, was a key reason behind Dr Earthrowl, who is British, deciding to seek opportunities back in the UK, where he originally trained.

He has now been appointed clinical director at Rowan House Hospital, in Buxton, which provides specialist care for adults with mental health problems, learning disabilities and complex needs.

The hospital provides structured, person-centred interventions for people with conditions such as autism, Asperger syndrome and personality disorders.

Dr Earthrowl said the opportunity to work at Rowan House was a huge draw and added: “Another reason I was looking to return to live and work in the UK was for my family to leave an environment where earthquakes have caused immense destruction, and where there remains the threat of significant seismic activity and uncertainty for the city’s residents.”

Dr Earthrowl’s role at Rowan House, which is operated by The Huntercombe Group, is to further develop its services for women patients.

He said: “I am particularly looking forward to continuing developing services in what is my special clinical interest, and helping female patients progress through their care pathways, and ideally returning safely to the community.”

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