Once again, our military has proven why we should never take them for granted.
And while the building of NHS Nightingale was a joint effort, it was the military planners and military field hospital experts who helped to draw up the plans for the 4,000-bed ‘field hospital’ in east London.
From scratch, it took just nine days to turn London’s Excel Centre into a ‘mass casualty’ hospital only a few miles away from the centre of London.
The hospital is due to open its doors this week to the first 500 COVID-19 patients with the capacity in its 1km-long’ wards’ for 3,500 more.
The military team leader, Colonel Ashleigh Boreham, Commanding Officer, 256 City of London Field Hospital said the design and build was the largest he had undertaken in a 27-year army career.
Colonel Boreham is an expert on building field hospitals in crisis zones.
Colonel Boreham told the Guardian:
“We literally got a phone call, arrived here, met up with the NHS about nine days ago, sat around a table and basically did what you always do.
“We draw a plan up, over a brew, and then from that, you start to build up a plan and create the product.
“It’s the biggest job I’ve ever done”.
If ever you need an example of the real value of British determination and an attitude to get things done, then Colonel Boreham’s reference to putting the plans together ‘over a brew’ is it.
All around the country, the British Armed Forces are getting involved with the historic efforts being made by the NHS to treat tens-of-thousands of COVID-19 patients.
From driving oxygen tankers around the country to delivering life-saving PPE to driving emergency ambulances, our military has proved once again just why they should never be taken for granted; both in times of conflict and during peacetime.
Maybe its time to put the military in charge of the government? But I don’t think that would go down well with the small but incredibly vocal element of our society who already believe we are a ‘police state’ just because the police have flown a few drones around the Lake District.
But having served in the military myself, I have more faith in our military than I do our government. Because the military tends to ‘tell it like it is’ rather than being obsessed with ‘sound bites’ and ‘spin’.
But let us know what you think in the comments below.
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