The medics taking the ‘last shift’ at Britain’s military hospital in Afghanistan before its closure later this year have been passed fit for duty in York.
Around 350 personnel underwent their final training and assessment at an Army Medical Services base in Strensall, near York. There, for the last 11 years, it is a replica of Camp Bastion’s hospital. But the ‘class of 2014’ is the last before the mock-up is dismantled.
Between the partitions which represent the walls of operating theatres at the real Bastion Role 3 Hospital 3,500 miles away, surgeons, anaesthetists, nurses and support staff have been tested against the scenarios they might face in a few days time.
The hospital’s last team will be run by York-based 34 Field Hospital.
– Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Jaish Mahan
“I have had no shortage of volunteers wanting to go out to Afghanistan on this final tour of what has been the defining military operation of our generation. Strensall is set up to put them through a difficult test. It’s all observed by mentors who can give tips and advice but it feels real – particularly when the tempo start to build.”
– Lieutenant Colonel Andy Griffiths, clinical director at Strensall
“This facility has delivered continuity between Bastion hospital staff, it has ensured that a patient is as safe on the first day of the new hospital team as he or she is on the last day of the old one. The people we have and the processes they employ are what make our outcomes the envy of the world, but this facility has kept us there.”
– Lt Col Mahan
“Camp Bastion’s hospital is world leading in terms of battlefield trauma care; with over 90% survivability. We in 34 Field Hospital are very proud to be involved in what Defence Medical Services has achieved there, and we feel privileged to be part of this final chapter in this military story.”