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Old 27th Mar 2010, 08:46
  #65 (permalink)  
Bob the Doc
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Kettering
Age: 45
Posts: 171
To Clarify then...

Sort of glad that we weren't getting picky and that the public were a little confused as to the status of the team on CCAST...

All members of CCAST (doctors, nurses, medics and MDSS techs) are full time serving members of the RAF. There are currently no reservists, auxiliaries or civilians working on this service.

Since the closure of all service hospitals in the late '90s (generally agreed to be a good thing although not desperately popular), all full time service secondary care (hospital based) medical personnel have jobs in NHS hospitals when they are not on duty for their 'war role'. Most personnel work at one of the Ministry of Defence Hospital Units (MDHUs) around the country. MDHUs are civilian hospitals with a specific arrangement with the MoD for the provision of clinical services to military patients and also providing work and training for military medical personnel. Currently there are MDHUs at Peterborough, Frimley Park (Aldershot), Derriford (Plymouth), Northallerton/Middlesborough and Portsmouth. In addition to these hospitals is the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine which is currently based at Selly Oak Hospital in Birmingham. It will move to the new hospital when it opens this Summer.

Clinical staff (doctors and nurses) are on an on-call rota for CCAST. The rotas are slightly different for the different types of staff but 4 months on call a year is about right. It is worth remembering that there is a tactical CCAST based at Bastion that provides in-theatre transfer capability. This also has to be covered.

The Flight Nursing Attendant (FNA) is usually drawn from the pool of staff at Tac Med Wg at Lyneham, likewise the MDSS tech.

At any one time there are a total of four doctors (2 consultants and 2 trainees) and six nurses on call in the UK. All on 6 hours NTM. 2 doctors (one of each) and four nurses are resident at Lyneham and the others are on call from their home hospital and can be called in as required. The consultants are on call for a month at a time, the nurses do two. The trainee doctors do one week at a time to minimise disruption to training. The deployed nurses are in AFG for 3 months, the docs do 2.

As Gp Capt McGuire mentioned on the programme, officially there is a 24 hour stand down period after a mission (and the other on call team comes down to Lyneham to cover that time) but occasionally that team has already deployed on another mission (or the mission is so large that two teams are required) and so sometimes that 24 hour limit is broken. Fortunately it is unusual.

Hope that helps clarify things a little. Sorry for the long post but there seemed to be enough people confused as to the status of the team that it was worth clarifying the situation. Any more questions, feel free to post or PM me!

CCAST Trainee MO

PS...Kharmael - given that we are not allowed to get pissed while on call, while the cider and pasties was tempting, spending an evening in 30 Sqn's hangar as the only sober one didn't really appeal!
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