CEO battles it out with Consultant to raise awareness of Reserves Day

Release Date: 28/06/2018

CEO battles it out with Consultant to raise awareness of Reserves Day

It’s not every day you see a hospital Chief Executive and a Consultant battle it out head to head in a military command task, while blind-folded, in front of staff and patients.

But yesterday (Wednesday), the hospital field at The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital (RJAH) was transformed into a challenging assault course for the command task.

It saw Mark Brandreth, Chief Executive, and Mr Joy Chowdhury, Spinal Injuries Consultant and Clinical Lead on the Midland Centre for Spinal Injuries (MCSI) literally jumping through hoops to raise awareness of Reserves Day and the contribution NHS personnel make to the Armed Forces.

Reserves Day is an annual event, when Reserves swap their regular work uniforms for their military clothing to raise the profile of their voluntary service roles.

To mark the national event, staff and patients gathered round the hospital field to watch Mark and Mr Chowdhury be tested on their agility, teamwork and communication skills – while being guided by a partner, blind-folded, through the course – while also being distracted and heckled by their colleagues.

There was also a group command task, where staff worked together to decode a puzzle, demonstrating perseverance and teamwork.

At RJAH, there are three members of staff, who serve as Army Reserves with the 202 (Midlands) Field Hospital – they are Rebecca Warren, Ward Manager of MCSI; Maggie Durrant, Service Improvement Facilitator; and the newest staff Reservist who was unveiled yesterday on Reserves Day, Louis McDonald, Project Manager.

Rebecca, who is a Staff Sergeant in the Reserves, thought up the idea of the assault course.

She said: “I thought it would be a memorable way to mark Reserves Day and raise awareness of some of the skills required to be a Reservist.

“It was great fun for the staff and our patients who watched it. How often do you see a Chief Executive and a Consultant take part in an assault course, while blind-folded.

“They were both brilliant sports but credit where credit’s due, MCSI came out on top, thanks to Mr Chowdhury.”

Rebecca said she has gained skills that are crucial to her day job, as Ward Manager on MCSI.

She said: “The leadership skills in particular, have proved invaluable to me in my role here at RJAH as Ward Manager for our spinal injuries centre.

“I saw active service in Afghanistan in 2009 and that made me a different person – more confident, resilient and determined. It is definitely something I would recommend to any of my colleagues.”

Louis, who donned his military uniform to announce his new role as a Reservist, said he’s looking forward to the challenges it will bring.

He said: “I’m grateful for the support I’ve had at RJAH in being able to pursue my new Reservist role, alongside my NHS career.

“The hospital will benefit from the skills I will develop in my new role, as I’m sure I’ll be able to put these to use in my day-to-day role.”

Mark added: “Taking part in an assault course in front of our staff and patients on the hospital field isn’t something I do every day but I thought it was extremely worthwhile in raising awareness of Reserves Day.

“We recognise the contribution that Rebecca, Maggie and now Louis make to the hospital, as part of their role within the Reserves."


Picture caption: Mark Brandreth, Chief Executive, with the Trust's Staff Reservists.

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