The President of Malta paid a visit to a hospital to thank staff for their efforts in treating her fellow citizens.

Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca dropped into St Mark’s Hospital in Harrow where she spoke to those from the specialist bowel department.

The visit was part of her annual trip to hospitals around London which offer services Maltese people cannot access at home.

It is part of a reciprocal agreement between Malta and the United Kingdom which enables both countries to benefit from specialist medical care.

Mrs Preca said: “We receive feedback from patients who tell us that they are very happy with the care they receive at St. Mark’s Hospital.

“We are very grateful that Maltese patients have access to the hospital and on behalf of the Maltese people I would like to thank the staff for everything they do.”

The President, who was joined by her husband, Edgar, and a host of other delegates, spoke to officials and specialists from London North West Healthcare NHS Trust, including consultant gastroenterologist Naila Arebi, who was born in Malta.

She made a donation to support the work of the St Mark’s Hospital Foundation, a charity dedicated to making the vision of improved bowel health a reality.

Anthony Cummings, executive director of the Foundation, thanked the President for the cheque, which she presented from the Malta Community Chest Fund Foundation for St. Mark’s Hospital’s vital life-saving research.

He said: “It is due to St. Mark’s Hospital’s longstanding commitment to researching new and more effective treatments for bowel disease that the hospital is able to provide the high level specialist care to treat the most complex conditions that the people of Malta seek.”