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Army support at KGH and NGH was fantastic

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The Army at NGH

The Army has been thanked by Kettering and Northampton general hospitals (KGH and NGH) for the valuable support they have provided for front-line staff during the Omicron wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

From January 18 - February 10 a total of 14 soldiers from 3rd Battalion Royal Regiment of Scotland (SCOTS 3 The Black Watch) and The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards (SCOTS DG) worked across the two Trusts.

They have provided a much-appreciated helping hand to hospital staff at KGH and NGH who have been under significant pressure over the last few months coping with the impact of the Omicron variant.

After undertaking appropriate infection control and induction training the soldiers performed non-medical tasks such as helping move patients and equipment between wards and departments, serving food and drinks, cleaning clinical areas and equipment, and chatting with patients to brighten up their days.

Staff at both hospitals found the Army support invaluable and a great morale boost.

KGH Deputy Sister, Amanda Joseph, has been working with the soldiers in the hospital’s Discharge Lounge. She said: “They have been a real asset, assimilating well with our team and forming some friendships. They were always proactive, looking for things to do and learning. We really appreciated everything they have done for us. They were wonderful. ”

NGH Emergency Department Matron, Rhiannon Baker, said: “They have helped us in lots of ways including transporting patients for x-rays and other tests, chatting with patients, and supporting staff with refreshments. It has been lovely to have had some extra helping hands during an extremely busy time for us and we want to thank them all for all of their efforts over the last few weeks.”

Corporal James Chadburn from the 3rd Battalion Royal Regiment of Scotland (3 SCOTS The Black Watch) said: “From the first day it has been an absolute pleasure. Staff and patients have been so friendly. We feel like we have really had a great chance to contribute and help out. We were trusted to do a very wide variety of tasks. We donned full PPE and worked in the red zone COVID wards transferring patients and sanitising equipment and we have worked in the staff COVID-testing station each day collecting samples.

“Many people from the Corby area saw we were a Scottish regiment and asked us questions. One of our soldiers chatted with a tearful patient and really cheered her up. One met an old soldier who had served in The Black Watch in the 1950s and he enjoyed reminiscing about his time in Yemen and Kenya. I even met the daughter of a former Regimental Sergeant Major in The Black Watch.”

Sergeant Martin Randles from the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards working at NGH, said:  “Whilst it’s taken me outside my comfort zone it’s been really rewarding. We’ve done what we can to support and we know it’s been welcomed. We’ve seen appreciation every day, whether that be through a smile or a verbal thank you.”

Sergeant Clark McCrindle, also working at NGH, said: “It’s been good.  We’ve enjoyed chats with people who did National Service. I met an ex-serviceman who was 101 years of age. It was great to have a conversation with him. It’s an experience which will stay with me for a long time to come. The healthcare assistants, porters and nurses really do graft.”

KGH’s Hospital Chief Executive, Debbie Needham, said: “The support the Army team has provided has been fantastic and a great morale boost for staff and for patients. They have been very friendly, disciplined, cheerful, responsible, hard-working and tirelessly supportive. I know our teams all want to thank them for everything they have done.”

NGH’s Hospital Chief Executive, Heidi Smoult, said: “It was a breath of fresh air for our teams to be supported in many of the tasks which take them away from front line patient care. Our patients have also been very appreciative and interested in our military colleagues. I want to thank them all for their valuable contribution at this difficult time.”

Thanks to all the individual soldiers for their efforts

A big thank you from all our patients and staff to:

3rd Battalion Royal Regiment of Scotland (3 SCOTS The Black Watch)

Private Reece Sneddon; Private Craig Whyte, Private Cameron Mouat, Private Charlie Jones, Lance Corporal Bartley Pritchard, and Corporal James Chadburn.

The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards (SCOTS DG)

Sergeant Martin Randles, Sergeant Clark McCrindle, Lance Corporal Gavin Loggie, Trooper Jamie Sharp, Trooper Nathan Ainslie, Senior Aircraftman Jai Mcintosh, Lance Corporal Marc Spita.

You were all amazing!

Posted on Thursday 10th February 2022
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