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UHDB and Ministry of Defence join forces to provide training for Combat Medical Technicians

Combat Military Technicians at Royal Derby Hospital

Six trainee Combat Military Technicians (CMTs) from the British Army and Royal Air Force have spent time at Royal Derby Hospital as part of an innovative scheme to help them complete their training and gain first-hand experience of caring for patients.

In what is thought to be one of the first scheme of its kind in the country, UHDB and the Ministry of Defence have joined together to provide real-world experience and training a first cohort of CMTs, helping them to prepare for their role as the first line of medical support for troops on the frontline.

The scheme involved the CMTs embarking on an intensive four-week training programme where they were taught the basics in patient care, as well as spending time with a series of clinical teams including Adult’s and Children’s Emergency Departments and Medical Assessment Unit. They also spent time supporting specialist medical wards including Respiratory, Cardiology and End of Life Care.

Barbara Day, Head of Professional and Practice Development at UHDB, said that the scheme has been a great success and has laid the foundations for these trainees to return to a career in the NHS when they decide to leave the armed forces.

She said: “We have had some fantastic feedback from colleagues in the Trust and in the military so we are delighted that this has been so beneficial to everyone involved. The average career of a CMT is between eight – 10 years, so we are already having conversations with the cohort about joining us here at UHDB if they choose to pursue a different path in their careers.

“The CMTs have also been fast-tracked onto the Trust’s flexible bank staffing roster and can now work shifts on our wards as Healthcare Assistants (HCAs). This is one of the many new ways in which we’re looking at our staffing models and our future workforce planning in a different, innovative way.”

After the success of the initial cohort, a second cohort of Technicians will undergo their training at Royal Derby Hospital in early May 2022, with a view to having a rolling, continuous schedule of trainees which will be rolled out across other UHDB sites.

Sally Winfield, Clinical Education in the Emergency Department at Royal Derby Hospital, was heavily involved in the scheme which she says benefitted everyone who took part:

“The CMTs were with us in the Emergency Department for two weeks and we learned a lot from them as well as them learning lots from us. They were incredibly professional, keen and were eager to get involved in everything that came their way.

“It has been a really beneficial experience and we would welcome any of them back in the future with open arms and cannot wait to begin working with the next cohort.”