Old soldier charms Army staff during stint supporting NHS staff at Kettering General Hospital

Medics salute soldiers for helping out in battle against Covid

By Kevin Nicholls
Thursday, 10th February 2022, 1:59 pm
Updated Thursday, 10th February 2022, 2:12 pm

Doctors and nurses at Kettering General Hospital have saluted the soldiers who chipped in to help front-line staff.

Army personnel from 3rd Battalion Royal Regiment of Scotland — the Black Watch — and Royal Scots Dragoon Guards were dismissed on Thursday (February 10) after more than three weeks supporting the NHS effort to combat rising numbers of Covid patients and staff absences caused by the pandemic.

Deputy Sister, Amanda Joseph, has been working with soldiers in the hospital’s discharge lounge.

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KGH housekeeper Christine Smith keeps things clean with the help of Private Charlie Jones

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. ”

Corporal James Chadburn revealed: “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.

Cpl James Chadburn and Pte David McFarlane with Deputy Sister Amanda Joseph and the KGH discharge team

"I even met the daughter of a former Regimental Sergeant Major in The Black Watch.”

“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."

The soldiers went through appropriate infection control and induction training before performing 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.

KGH 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.”