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Lymington hospital staff salute soldiers for help on Covid front line

A socially distanced handshake between Lymington hospital staff and departing soldiers
A socially distanced handshake between Lymington hospital staff and departing soldiers

A FOND farewell was said by the staff at Lymington hospital to soldiers who have been working alongside them during the pandemic.

For two months eight members of the Royal Engineers 22 Engineer regiment have helped deliver care to patients after Covid-19 restrictions affected normal routines.

The troops, who are usually stationed at Tidworth Barracks, Andover, carried out tasks including blood tests and getting patients ready for X-rays and scans.

Staff at the hospital, run by Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, proudly received a Royal Engineers plaque from the team which was led by Corporal Glen Bailey as the troops’ “tour of duty” came to an end.

Corporal Bailey said: “We felt welcome from day one. It was great to be treated like all the other nurses and care assistants and to be put to work on the front line.

“All of the team learned that life on the front line of the NHS has many demands and it has been an honour and a privilege to play a part delivering care to patients during the pandemic.”

Alison Davies, integrated services matron, paid tribute to the troops, saying: “The soldiers quickly adapted to their role to work alongside NHS staff, and we kept them busy.

“Some of our more senior patients even enjoyed sharing stories from their military experiences in national service.”

She thanked Corporal Bailey and his team for their “dedication and support in your brief but highly valued tour of duty at Lymington”.

Karen Kritter, radiology operations manager, added: “We really appreciated the support in the radiology department of Sapper Brandon Hawkins.

“Brandon was invaluable support, keeping the patients flowing for their scans and reassuring them about our procedures and Covid security arrangements. He was also able to carry out blood testing and other minor procedures, becoming a valued member of the NHS team during his stay.”

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