Fife health chiefs pay tribute to forces' role in coronavirus pandemic

Health chiefs in Fife have paid tribute to the role played by the military during the coronavirus pandemic.

Today marks Armed Forces Day 2020, and NHS Fife says it wants to shine a light on the help it has had from the forces over the last few months.

The army has provided logistical, supply and relief planning support to health boards across the country since the pandemic took hold in March.

Major Ali Maclaurin of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, and Major Craig Burns, 7th Battalion of The Royal Regiment of Scotland, have been based at the Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy.

They have provided a range of support, from resilience and major incident planning to data management and public communications.

The health board says their most valuable contribution was the development of supply routes for enabling PPE to get to healthcare staff.

Carol Potter, NHS Fife chief executive, said: "To have access to the specialist expertise of the British Army has been incredibly valuable in helping us respond to the unique challenges posed by Covid-19.

"The support provided has been extensive and assisted us manage a number of issues over recent months, not least the unique challenge of getting tens of thousands of pieces of vital personal protective equipment into the hands of healthcare staff across Fife who needed it urgently.

"We are grateful for their expertise and commitment in supporting NHS Fife, and indeed the people of Fife throughout this period."

Brigadier Robin Lindsay, joint military commander in Scotland, said: "We have been happy to support the impressive work of NHS Fife during this unprecedented time, using the transferable military planning and liaison skills and the experience that our personnel can bring.

"The armed forces seek to support the communities which its people come from and live in, and this is a tangible example of how we can give something back.

"I am pleased that the support and expertise of armed forces personnel has been of such value and I am in no doubt that the vital experience garnered over recent months will be of benefit to both parties moving forward."

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