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Association News

Six of the Millbank Branch enjoyed afternoon tea together before attending The Florence Nightingale Service at Westminster Abbey on the 9th May '18. Col Jane Carey Harris organised the tickets & the tea. Majors Adele Rutledge, Barbara Bradbury, Brigid Kelly, Gwin Foley & myself were very pleased to be able to attend. 
As always the service was very well attended with Princess Alexandra in attendance. Col Alison McCourt OBE ARRC QHN together with the other Armed Forces Matron's in Chief escorted the bearer Corporal Zoe Wark PMRAFNS of the Nurses Roll of Honour. There was a large contingent of serving QAs present together with Col Jane Davis, Colonel Commandant & Mrs Sue McAteer, Regimental Secretary. The service was very moving. We all left the Abbey into beautiful sunshine & the Abbey bells ringing.  It was a lovely ending to what had been a splendid day.
Lindi Kibbey 
Millbank Branch

The Royal Centre for Defence Medicine (RCDM) celebrated the Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps day on the 27 March 2018.  In keeping with unit norms, the day started with a physical training session comprising mainly of enjoyable team building activities at the newly built University of Birmingham gym.  The rest of the day was held at the state of the art Glenart Castle Mess where attendees enjoyed elevenses and had the opportunity to enjoy the fellowship of their fellow QAs; sharing stories and experiences.  After elevenses, Father David Smith RAChD conducted a wonderful service, complete with hymns, prayers, remembrance and the laying of a wreath. The service provided the perfect opportunity to remember those who are no longer here with us, and an opportunity for solemn reflection on ones own life.

We had the honour to host members of the Birmingham QA Association whose presence added real character and improved the richness of the day. The theme of the event was ‘QARANC, past, present and future’. The audience heard from Kevin Crimmonds and Sue Reading, both from the QA Association. They delivered short reflective talks on the QARANC from a historical perspective. The content was exciting, light hearted but contained extremely useful counsel.   Sgt Kerry Fleming then delivered a talk on the current challenges and dynamism of the QARANC, highlighting the diverse skill mix of nurses and the very impressive extracurricular achievements of some of the nurses in the audience.

A talk on the future of nursing from a conceptual perspective was to be delivered by a QARANC Student Nurse but regrettably; she was called away to attend a family emergency.  After a wonderful lunch where the ESS staff at the mess demonstrated their culinary genius, we heard from David Hornsby, the Matron of the Emergency Department (ED) at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham (QEHB). David delivered a talk titled ‘Synergy; QARANC and QEHB’ where he spoke about the synergistic excellence that exists within ED as a result of working with QAs.  We then heard from a representative of the QEHB Charity, Tara Sullivan. Tara delivered a short talk on the good work of the charity which highlighted their various projects and the contribution the charity makes to the improvement of care delivery, support to patient family and the support for medical and health research. Of particular note, is Fisher House; a home away from home for the family of military inpatients at the hospital which the charity funds.

The Officer Commanding Clinical Division, Lt Col Dutton MBE delivered the closing brief after which she cut the cake and attendees enjoyed afternoon tea in the company of their fellow QAs.  We would like to thank the QARANC Association at RHQ for sponsoring this event. In particular, we would like to thank Sue McAteer the General Secretary of the QARANC Association for her support. We would also like to express gratitude to the QEHB Charity for their significant financial contribution, which helped to fund the day. We remain grateful to all the speakers and guests for their pivotal contribution to the event.



On the 25th March, the Millbank Branch held their annual Corps Day at the Royal Hospital Chelsea.
62 members & guests attended the church service. We were honoured to have Col Carol Kefford & Col Ashleigh Boreham with us as well as three members of 256 (C of L ) Field Hospital (V).
Lt Col Jo Cooke read the QA collect & Cpl Annette Bowden Whiskers carried the standard escorted by two Millbank members, Liz Gregory & Adele Rutledge. Padre Steven Brooke made us all very welcome.
After the service 58 of us including Padre Steven retired to the In-Pensioners Club for a delicious curry lunch.
Col Carol & Col Ash kindly gave us a brief update on the Association & it's work & where the AMS is today. There are many changes ahead but I am confident that they will be embraced by Association Members & the wider AMS family.
The decibel level at lunch let me know that the day was a success.
Lindi Kibbey
Millbank Branch.

Assistant Head Health Strategy / Chief Nursing Officer (Army)

Senior Health Advisor (Army) Department

Colonel Alison McCourt joined the Army in 1988. Following nurse training and service within the ranks in the United Kingdom and Germany, Alison was selected for commission in the QARANC in 1994. She subsequently undertook specialist training in Emergency Nursing at Leeds University and since then has undertaken a number of Clinical, Regimental and Staff appointments. 

Alison has deployed to Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq and Sierra Leone.  Following her deployment to Bosnia as the Senior Nursing Officer of the hospital she was awarded the honour of Associate Royal Red Cross. Subsequent assignments include Officer Instructor at the Defence Medical Services Training Centre and a deployment to Kosovo as the Senior Nursing Officer for 33 Field Hospital in 2001. During that operational tour she was the in-theatre lead for the establishment of the joint UK/US hospital facility at Camp Bondsteel.

Her first staff appointment was as SO3 Medical Operations and Training at Headquarters 3rd (United Kingdom) Division in 2001 which included a deployment with the headquarters on Op TELIC 2. Following promotion to Major she attended the Intermediate Command and Staff Course (Land) in 2005.  In 2008 she returned to clinical duties prior to deploying as an individual augmentee for 22 Field Hospital on Op TELIC 13. This was followed by Sub Unit Command with 22 Field Hospital, as Officer Commanding 13 Medical Evacuation Squadron. During this period Alison completed a Post Graduate Diploma in International Human Resource Management which she has recently progressed to MSc.

Following promotion to Lieutenant Colonel in 2011, Alison attended the Advanced Command and Staff Course. Her initial SO1 appointment was as Chief of Staff, Headquarters 2nd Medical Brigade in York in Aug 2012.  Alison assumed Command of 22 Field Hospital in July 2013 and deployed the Unit to Sierra Leone on Op GRITROCK in Oct 14.  She was awarded an OBE for her leadership of 22 Field during Op GRITROCK.

On promotion to Colonel in Dec 2015 she assumed an appointment in the newly established Senior Health Advisors department and has been the lead for Assurance and now Health Strategy in that area. 

Alison assumed the appointment of Chief Nursing Officer for the Army on 1 Feb 18.


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A Career in Army Nursing


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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