How do reservists use their experience in the NHS?

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Group of hospital staff

21 / 3 / 2016 Midnight

Simon Riley-Fuller has been working in the NHS since 1998 and is the matron for Urgent Care Services at St James’s Hospital in Leeds. His role covers the clinical areas of the Emergency Department, Clinical Decisions Unit, Minor Injuries Unit and a GP direct referral facility called the Primary Care Access Line (PCAL). 

I currently oversee a team of approximately 150 clinical and non-clinical staff and am responsible for the smooth running of the service and ensuring that our patients receive high quality and safe care. 

In the last couple of years we have supported two members of our team to undertake tours in Afghanistan with the Army Reserve. They have found the experience hugely beneficial and aside from the huge impact they will have on our veterans in the Middle East, they have come home to urgent care armed with life knowledge and experience that simply cannot be taught. They have been particularly useful in helping with some of our resuscitation and major incident training as a result. 

Having members of the team with these skills are hugely beneficial and bring an added dimension to both the individuals and the unit that is not always possible in other areas. I would love to see the number of reservists that we have increase and would aim to support individual’s wherever possible to be released for agreed periods.

Dean Royles, director of HR said; 'As I get out and about in the trust, I often come across staff who are ex-forces or reservists and it's clear they bring a wealth of experience, knowledge and training into the trust. It feels like it’s a win-win situation and I can only see those links becoming stronger over time. We will continue to support reservists and have promoted the opportunities and benefits that they bring to the NHS.'

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