UHDB is extremely grateful to the Armed Forces for assigning dozens of their medics and personnel to assist in our Trust during what has been an extremely busy start to the year.
The teams have made a huge difference working in different clinical areas across Royal Derby Hospital over the last month or so, at a time when we’ve been caring for record numbers of patients with Covid-19.
In addition to providing nine Combat Medical Technicians (CMTs), 15 general duties Army colleagues with no medical experience also received relevant training and were deployed to support staff in our hospitals from the first weeks of January, as part of a regional deployment to support different NHS Trusts in the area.
While the CMTs have been supporting staff to complete some clinical tasks in our emergency areas across RDH, the general duties personnel have also been assisting in ICU and other wards by proning patients, assisting our Porters and helping patients contact their relatives, among other tasks.
Staff Sergeant Jason Wadsworth, from 35 Squadron, 5 Medical Regiment, Catterick Garrison in North Yorkshire, has been supporting the Emergency Department teams at RDH since 18 January, in his capacity as a CMT with 15 years-worth of experience.
He said: “The last month or so has been very interesting, to say the least! There have been patients we’ve supported that we wouldn’t usually encounter in our normal working lives, which has been challenging but the staff here have been great and have guided us through everything we’ve needed.
“It’s a good feeling to have been part of the efforts to combat Covid-19 and nice to have felt useful and like we’ve made a difference. I feel that this is one of the things that the British Army is good at – we fulfil a lot of different roles, whether that is flood defence, or driving fire engines, we’re always ready to step up, when needed.
“On behalf of us all, I’d like to say a massive thank you to all of the staff. They’ve all been absolutely incredible with us and supported us 100%”
Our Armed Forces colleagues have been extremely flexible throughout their time at UHDB – adapting their roles to provide support to a wide range of services when needed, while working shifts at all times of the day and night, as well as on weekends.
The majority of the team completed a de-brief last week and will now return to their normal posts but not before they were all presented with certificates and amazon vouchers from the Trust, as a small thank you for their support.
Phil Bolton, Director of Nursing at UHDB, said: “We really appreciate the support of our Army colleagues during what has undoubtedly been an extraordinarily difficult period for us all. I have been quite overwhelmed with the ease in which they have managed to adapt into our teams for the betterment of our patients.
“They have all been so hard working, helpful and approachable and I don’t know whether they realise just how much our staff have appreciated their assistance. Some of them probably never thought that they’d ever get involved in anything like this and find themselves working in a hospital but we’re eternally grateful for all the support that they’ve given us. They have made such a difference and have certainly provided a massive boost to our colleagues when they’ve needed it most.”