SANO Events – update
In light of HMG instructions/guidance, all planned SANO events prior to the Trafalgar Night Dinner are cancelled. EC’s current intention is for the Trafalgar Night Dinner and November Lecture/lunch to take place as planned, on Saturday 24 October and Saturday 28 November respectively. The AGM will be co-scheduled with the Lecture/lunch. Watch this space and newsletters for further updates.
See also Members only page (password available from Webmaster).
Sussex charities to benefit from Government support
A number of service charities focussing on or based in Sussex are set to receive funds from the additional £6m previously announced. They include:
- Blind Veterans UK
- Care for Veterans (formerly The Queen Alexandra Hospital Home, Worthing)
- East Sussex Veterans Hub
This is part of a package of support announced by the Chancellor in April aimed at ensuring service charities can continue their work during the pandemic.
Full list (100) and more details here.
Sussex URNU medical student on coronavirus front line
A Sussex URNU medical student is serving on the front-line of the fight locally against coronavirus.
Officer Cadet Christopher Storer has spent the entire lockdown period tending to patients at Brighton’s Royal Sussex County Hospital. The 30-year-old, originally from Warrington, is studying medicine at Brighton and Sussex Medical School.
Christopher spent the past year working at the hospital as a fully-trained healthcare assistant in the A&E department to fund his studies. When those studies were suspended as the lockdown began, he immediately volunteered to work full time.
On 12-hour shifts dressed in full PPE, work was hot, tiring and uncomfortable, and while the equipment protected Christopher and fellow medical staff, the sight of them could be intimidating and they found it hard to communicate with patients – and convey emotion. Among non-Covid patients, what struck Christopher was the effect of the lockdown on the public’s mental health – particularly on the most vulnerable sector of Brighton’s population: homeless and those living in sheltered accommodation. He said: “It was hard to see that the people suffering the most during the crisis were the less fortunate members of society, who seemed to have been all but forgotten while instead social media focused on people panic buying toilet roll.”
Christopher intends to join the Royal Navy as a medical officer when qualified.
Local authorities have set up community support arrangements to assist isolated/elderly/vulnerable people, e.g. Adur & Worthing Community Support, Brighton & Hove Request Help, Brighton & Hove Supporting Your Wellbeing. County councils are also active e.g. West Sussex Community Hub. These or similar elsewhere may be of interest to some of our members.
Changes to Veterans UK services: All operating via remote working, telephone Helpline suspended. Details of changes and alternative contact facilities here (updated 4 June).
Isolation: Guidance from 2 experts – submariners, here and here (BBC Sounds, slide forward to minute 14.30).
See Links page for support sites.
Other coronavirus news
Defence-led team negotiates procurement of 10 billion PPE items – report here.
URNU students nationwide support virus measures – reports here (scroll down after Bangor item to Related News).
RN medical staff at Queen Alexandra Hospital, Portsmouth – report here.
COVID Support Force of service personnel and reservists – Operation Rescript: Some 3,600 deployed of an initial 20,000, now rebalanced to 7,500, on standby to support local authorities, NHS and emergency services. Assistance to date includes (updated 12 June):
- Medical evacuations
- Setting up and running 92 mobile testing units
- Tackling dangerous misinformation on coronavirus from fraudsters and alleged experts
- Secondment of military planners to Local Resilience Forums and Scotland, Wales equivalents
- UK-wide helicopter deployment at RNASs Culdrose and Yeovilton, Kinloss Barracks, RAFs Benson, Leeming and Odiham
- Transporting NHS staff
- Delivery and/or assisting with activation of virus testing equipment, personal protective equipment, ventilators and oxygen supplies
- Installing medical equipment at patient recovery centres in Cumbria
- Infrastructure, logistics and project management advice and support in setting up temporary hospitals under NHS Nightingale project, plus provision of support staff
- Supporting ambulance services across the UK with drivers, call handlers, logistics staff and medical equipment maintainers, and developing faster decontamination methods
- Logistic support to police and NHS supply chains for PPE
The armed forces have also, under Operation Broadshare, undertaken repatriation flights to the UK from a range of countries and rendered assistance to British Overseas Territories including Ascension, the Caymans, the Falklands, Gibraltar, St Helena and the Turks & Caicos. Naval personnel role in 2,300+ repatriations: Report here.