Military providing support to Barts Health | Our news

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Military providing support to Barts Health

Army personnel at Newham University Hospital with Barts Health staff

Over the last month, including the festive period, our staff have gone above and beyond to make sure our hospitals stayed open and kept running safely, providing care to the people of east London who needed it.

But, like many NHS services across the country, our trust is facing ongoing pressures from high demand for urgent and emergency care and continuing to treat people with Covid-19.

To help us with these pressures and to provide support, from yesterday (10 January), members of the Armed Forces will be working in The Royal London, Newham and Whipps Cross hospitals.

The support – known as military aid to civilian authorities or MACA – is a temporary measure, expected to be in place at our trust until late January / early February. A team of 25 personnel are at three of our hospitals – five combat military technicians (CMTs) at The Royal London Hospital and 10 soldiers each at Newham and Whipps Cross hospitals. These personnel will be in their military uniform so don’t be alarmed if you see someone in combat gear walking around one of these hospitals!

The CMTs at The Royal London will be working on a respiratory ward, helping the nursing team with patients who are on non-invasive ventilation and oxygen therapy.

At Newham and Whipps Cross, the soldiers will be providing non-clinical support across the hospitals, including in the emergency department where among other activities, they will provide food and water to long-stay patients.

MACA at Whipps Cross

Daniel Waldron, group director of people at Barts Health NHS Trust said: “We’re grateful to the army for this additional staffing support. While our staff have been doing an incredible job at running our hospitals and safely managing the pressures we’re under, extra pairs of hands are always welcome.”

MoD personnel, including the Armed Forces have been working with the NHS throughout the pandemic, from the delivery of PPE, the establishment of the first wave of Nightingale Hospitals and the Covid-19 vaccination programme. Arranging this support is therefore a tried and tested method in managing pressures of the nature we are facing.

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