Date Published: 5 September 2007

RCN General Secretary praises defence nurses at Selly Oak

Following his visit to the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine (RCDM) at Selly Oak, Birmingham, Royal College of Nursing General Secretary Dr Peter Carter has praised the work of nurses dealing with those soldiers returning injured from Iraq and Afghanistan. Dr Carter's was invited to visit the centre, based at University Hospital Birmingham Foundation Trust, followed a trip made in June to Basra in Iraq to see how nurses work in the uniquely demanding environment of a conflict zone.

152 defence nurses work at RCDM across areas such as Intensive Care, Operating Theatres, Coronary Care, Infection Control, Accident and Emergency, Surgery, Medicine, Neurology and Orthopaedics. Dr Carter met with both military and civilian staff involved with the care of service personnel as well as nurse lecturers and students working at the Trust.

Speaking following his visit Dr Peter Carter said:

When I visited Iraq I was completely in awe of the professionalism, dedication and courage of the nurses working there. Under extremely difficult conditions they ensured that those injured service personnel received the highest level of care.

At Selly Oak I saw the essential role nurses play in the patient journey from conflict zone to the UK. I was particularly encouraged by the joint working and clinical collaboration between the military and the NHS.

It was an honour to spend time with the staff at Selly Oak and their patients. The work put in by nurses in the military is often overlooked, as is the long journey to recovery taken by their patients. I will endeavour to ensure that the RCN fully supports these nurses and those service personnel they are treating in anyway possible. "

Source: Royal College of Nursing (RCN), UK.
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