NHS calls in Military

London hospitals have called in the Army to cover staff shortages, so I hope any rivalries twixt NHS and Military are now sorted out!

Years ago, when a Military Ambulance transferred me for Polio treatment from Millbank Military Hospital in London to the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital at Stanmore, I was in pain, so the nurses wrapped me in a sheet, rather than trying to dress me in a nightdress or PJs.

On my journey I had a full Military escort, as only the Services can provide:  two male orderlies in smart uniform, and two female Queen Alexandra nurses in their elegant red capes. (see left)

Marching me smartly on my trolley into the ward, out of the corner of my eye I saw Sister shoot out of her office, calling up her ‘troops’ as she swept down to take over.  It was obvious she wasn’t having any strange nurses, especially Military,  on her patch!

Bristling with importance, she elbowed the military nurses aside, wouldn’t listen to their explanations, and proceeded to whip the sheets off my trolley – leaving me fully exposed – stark naked.

No doubt this made a lively tale when everyone returned to quarters at  Millbank; a few days later I received a ‘Get Well’ parcel from my military escort.  I always remember it included delicious Meltis New Berry fruits, which cheered me up.  It was obvious they didn’t think much of civilians!.

I do miss those red nurses’ capes – they were good for patient morale!