Personnel of the Princess Mary’s RAF Nursing Service (PMRAFNS) have been working closely with NHS staff during the COVID-19 pandemic, cementing the relationship between the ‘flying nightingales’ and the nation’s health service.
Routinely, the PMRAFNS provide specialist airborne evacuation and 'care in the air' for wounded or sick Armed Forces personnel on operations around the world.
Group Captain Fionnuala Bradley, of the PMRAFNS, said:
“On behalf of the PMRAFNS, I would like to extend birthday wishes to all the NHS staff, especially those we have worked alongside during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The joint working we have seen over the last four months has been outstanding. The NHS and the PMRAFNS have forged stronger links. What we have seen, is a groundswell of appreciation for our profession and stronger links between our organisations.”
As part of their professional development, about 350 of the 500 PMRAFNS personnel work in NHS hospitals at Middlesbrough, Birmingham, Oxford, London, Portsmouth and Plymouth. They proved invaluable during the pandemic, a time now described as ‘the most challenging year in the history of the NHS’.
As well as providing support on hospital wards and in Critical Care Units, other Flying Nightingales made up Critical Care Teams to support the London Ambulance Service. Those focused on operations are based at the Tactical Medical Wing, RAF Brize Norton.