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In recognition of Armed Forces Week Defence Nursing Advisor wrote to the Independent Health Sector and the NHS Chief Nursing Officers for England, Wales, Scotland and NI. We are delighted to share extracts from their replies.

CNO England

The joint working we have seen over the last 4 months has been outstanding; from the construction of the Nightingales and indeed the nursing staff within, to logistics and incident response. The NHS and the armed forces have forged stronger links.
During my shifts at the Nightingale in London I worked with some outstanding individuals, many of whom were reservists. Their experience and expertise, often honed in the most challenging circumstances, was clear to see and added an important perspective to the teams.
It is a shame that Covid has curtailed so many of our celebrations in 2020, the Year of the Nurse and Midwife and of course this week for Armed Forces Week. What we have seen, however, is a ground swell of appreciation for our profession and as you mention stronger links between our organisations. It’s important to me, and our profession that we build on this and I look forward to continuing our work together.

From CNO Wales

I hope you and your colleagues receive the recognition you all richly deserve during Armed Forces Week. Over the years that I have been CNO I have had many interactions and experiences with the nurse reservists attached to the 203 Welsh Field Hospital. I have always been impressed with how being reservists develops their skills and more importantly their confidence in clinical decision making. This was evident to me when I visited them when deployed to Camp Bastion a few years ago – they were truly impressive. Much of what they learned made its way back in to the NHS in Wales and continues to do so.
If there is anything I can personally do to support you and your colleagues, please just say. You have my utmost respect and admiration in all that you do collectively on behalf of the nation.

From CNO Northern Ireland

The Armed Forces play on important role in healthcare across our nations and I have always been made feel very welcome by the forces. There is also a lot of shared learning across our different work environments which personally I have found extremely useful. So in Armed Forces week I am sorry we cannot celebrate but I would if I could extend my thanks to all personnel for the fabulous work you do and hope we will have a chance to meet soon.

Last week HRH Prince Charles, along with Poppy Scotland, called upon pipers around the world to perform 'The Heroes of St Valery' at 10:00 hours on 12th June, as a tribute to the fallen of 51st Highland Division.

Step forward our very own Capt Catherine Pounder who, along with her pipes headed to the Ochil Hills to take part in this commemoration event. You can hear Catherine playing her pipes with Castle Campbell in the background in the video below, she is looking extremely smart in the AMS tartan with the QARANC cap badge proudly on display.

Nuffield Health’s Chief Nurse, Carol Kefford and Dame Yvonne Moores, Chair of The Florence Nightingale Foundation, celebrate International Nurses Day with a discussion about how nurses are coping during the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic and leadership within nursing and how this compares to Florence Nightingale’s experience. They show their appreciation for the hard work of all nurses during 2020, the Year of the Nurse.


To mark International Nurses’ Day , The Queen, The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, The Princess Royal, The Countess of Wessex and Princess Alexandra have joined together to pay tribute to the world’s nurses, speaking with healthcare professionals working in Australia, India, Malawi, Sierra Leone, Bahamas, Cyprus, Tanzania and the UK. You can watch the Video Here

The Queen will mark International Nurses’ Day today by speaking to Professor Kathleen McCourt, the President of the Commonwealth Nurses and Midwives Federation and Fellow of the Royal College of Nursing, of which The Queen is Patron.

The Prince of Wales has provided a message for the video thanking nurses across the world, and The Duchess of Cornwall has recorded messages of support for nurses from the Royal Naval Medical Service and Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children Charity, of which she is respectively Commodore-in-Chief and Patron.

The Duchess of Cambridge and The Countess of Wessex spoke to nurses in seven different commonwealth countries. The calls were facilitated by Nursing Now, a global campaign to improve health by raising the status and profile of nursing of which The Duchess of Cambridge is Patron.

Their Royal Highnesses dialled into a call with nurses in Queensland, Australia who provide culturally appropriate services to local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and spoke to nurses at the Aberdeen Women’s Centre in Sierra Leone and LV Prasad Eye Institute in India – both of which The Countess of Wessex has previously visited. Their Royal Highnesses also spoke with the Apollo Hospital in India, HIV and maternal health nurses in Malawi, mental health nurses in the Bahamas, Army nurses in Cyprus, and paediatric nurses from the UK’s Evelina London Children’s Hospital and Community Services, of which The Duchess of Cambridge is Patron.

Over the weekend The Princess Royal called Tanzania to speak with the Programme Manager of a medical ship that provides facilities for those with little or no access to medical care, and is supported by the Vine Trust of which Her Royal Highness is Patron. Last week The Duke of Cambridge talked to nurses at The Royal Marsden, of which he is President and Princess Alexandra spoke with the head of the Naval Nursing Service in her role as Patron of Queen Alexandra's Royal Naval Nursing Service (QARNNS).

On the calls, Members of The Royal Family spoke with nurses about the work they are doing, with many talking about the impact of Covid-19 and how they were coping with the pandemic.  Nurses and midwives are often the first and sometimes the only health professional that people see and the quality of their initial assessment, care and treatment is vital. They provide care that is sensitive to their local community – understanding its culture, strengths and vulnerabilities so can shape and deliver effective interventions to meet the needs of patients, families and communities.

On every call, The Royal Family reiterated their thanks to nurses across the Commonwealth for the incredible work they do on a daily basis.

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The QARANC employs Officers and Soldiers in both the Regular and Reserve Army, as Registered Nurses, Student Nurses, and Health Care Assistants, and we are always looking for people. If you are interested in a career as a Nurse or Health Care Assistant which also offers other great opportunities then you are just the person we are looking for. A career in the QARANC is more than a job, you will have access to extensive training and development opportunities, not just related to your job, but personal development too. You will have the opportunity to use your skills in diverse settings – wherever the Army is employed health care professionals from the QARANC are there. Right now there are QARANC personnel working around the world, including Sierra Leone, Canada, Mali, Afghanistan, Germany, and Cyprus. Being in the QARANC you will have access to, and be expected to undertake adventurous training, and you will have access to free medical and dental care, as well as robust annual leave and pension package. For information contact a member of the QARANC recruiting team on: 01276 412741, 01276 412742 or 01276 412740 or visit

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