NHS Fife acknowledges role played by British Army in supporting local COVID-19 response

Published: Saturday 27 Jun 2020

To mark Armed Forces Day 2020, NHS Fife is shining a light on the role played in the military in supporting the local response to COVID-19. 

Armed Forces Day takes place on Saturday 27 June 2020 and celebrates the brave Armed Forces personnel who have given service to the country. The occasion also helps raise funds to support those who have suffered injuries and illnesses sustained during or as a result of their service in the British Armed Forces.

Since the outset of the recent covid-19 pandemic, the British Army have provided expert logistical, supply and relief planning support to support Health Boards across the country in the response to the virus.

Following a Military Aid to the Civilian Authorities (MACA) request from the Scottish Government, Major Ali Maclaurin of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, and Major Craig Burns, 7th Battalion of The Royal Regiment of Scotland, have been based at the Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy where they have worked alongside senior executives throughout to support the local response to COVID-19.

Their support provided during the local response to COVID-19 has been wide-ranging, from resilience and major incident planning to data management and public communications. Perhaps their most valuable contribution was in the development of supply routes for enabling crucial personal protective equipment (PPE) to get to all healthcare staff that needed it. Working alongside NHS Fife’s Procurement and Transport teams, the logistical experts played a vital role in enabling the vital PPE to get into the hands of those who needed it most, reducing the spread of the virus amongst staff and patients.

This support is ongoing, with the focus now around the planning for the remobilisation of health and social care services in the Kingdom.

NHS Fife Chief Executive, Carol Potter, said:

“To have access to the specialist expertise of the British Army has been incredibly valuable in helping us respond to the unique challenges posed by Covid-19.

“The support provided has been extensive and assisted us manage a number of issues over recent months, not least the unique challenge of getting tens of thousands of pieces of vital personal protective equipment into the hands of healthcare staff across Fife who needed it urgently.

“We are grateful for their expertise and commitment in supporting NHS Fife, and indeed the people of Fife throughout this period.”

Joint Military Commander in Scotland, Brigadier Robin Lindsay, added:

“We have been happy to support the impressive work of NHS Fife during this unprecedented time, using the transferable military planning and liaison skills and the experience that our personnel can bring.

“The Armed Forces seek to support the communities which its people come from and live in, and this is a tangible example of how we can give something back.

“I am pleased that the support and expertise of Armed Forces personnel has been of such value and I am in no doubt that the vital experience garnered over recent months will be of benefit to both parties moving forward.”

Find out more about Armed Forces Day 2020 at: https://www.armedforcesday.org.uk/

Photo Caption:        Major Craig Burns alongside members of NHS Fife’s Procurement Team at the Board’s PPE Distribution Hub at Whyteman’s Brae Hospital.

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