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Army accolade for hospital trust

NHS trust has been recognised for the outstanding support it gives to the British Army during times of conflict. Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust was named public sector winner at the North West Armed Forces Business Awards. Judges commended the Trust for its “outstanding support given to the Reserve Forces”. On top of their regular medical jobs, several hospital staff give time as reservists and have been deployed across the world from the Balkans to Sierra Leone. Dr James Hammond is a Consultant Anaesthetist and since 2002 he has been deployed to Bosnia, Kuwait, Iraq (twice) and Afghanistan (three times).

He said: “The Trust has always been very supportive of my role as an army reservist, supporting my training, and colleagues have also been very understanding when I’ve been away on operations.” Kath Higgins, Head of Nursing for Planned Care, was deployed to Sierra Leone in October last year to help in the fight against ebola. She worked as a nursing officer in Kerrytown Ebola Treatment Centre. Kath said: “The Trust has been flexible in allowing me to go on deployment sometimes at very short notice. Colleagues at the hospital have also shown a positive interest in my army role.” Helen Mackay is a Consultant in Orthopaedics and Trauma. She has worked as a reservist for 13 years and completed an operational tour of Afghanistan. She said: “It’s fantastic that the Trust supports its staff in their work as army reservists.

“The experience we get in operational roles around the globe also has a positive impact on our day to day roles at the hospital.” Major Davey Harvey, 42nd Infantry Brigade, said: “Having time and energy to support any Armed Forces Reserve needs special mention, and Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust have it in spades. “Absolutely well done as we really do appreciate the full support you bring and we wouldn’t be able to field a Reserve Force if it wasn’t for the backing of businesses, local authorities and of course the great British public.” Pictures shows (left to right): Lt Col James Hammond, Consultant Anaesthetist; Mrs Joyce Jordan, acting Head of Nursing for Community Services; Brig Christopher Coles, Commander North West Reservists; Maj Helen Mackay, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon; Dr John Kirby, Associate Medical Director for Planned Care and Consultant Anaesthetist.

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