South West’s Army Reserve medics prepare for key standby role


Nearly 100 Army Reserve medics from around the South West will embark on a 10-day annual camp in Yorkshire next month to prove their operational readiness as a military field hospital.

Exercise JORVIC STANDBY will form part of a mass casualty scenario staged to test the clinical capability of Reservists from 243 Field Hospital to deploy at short notice to tackle a military or humanitarian emergency anywhere in the world.

It is a challenge that the unit’s doctors, nurses and other clinicians and support staff have faced before – in Bosnia and Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan and also Sierra Leone during the Ebola crisis.

Many Reservists are employed within NHS Trusts around the region and have used their military training and experience to bring back to their day jobs specialist skills in trauma care.

The exercise will take place in York at Strensall Camp, home of the Army Medical Services Training Centre, from 21 April to 7 May 2017. 

Colonel Alastair Taylor, commanding officer of 243 (Wessex) Field Hospital, said: “Ex JORVIK is an opportunity to bring together Regulars, Reserves, and others to create a team capable of deploying and operating anywhere in the world, and demonstrating the effectiveness of the modern Army Medical Services.”

The standby role falls to 243 Field Hospital on rotation every five years. It is four years since nearly 50 Reservists from 243 Field Hospital returned from Camp Bastion in Afghanistan where they had been mobilised as part of Op Herrick 17A.

Along with US Army colleagues, they took responsibility for a fully-functioning hospital, complete with emergency department, operating theatres, wards, X-ray and pathology laboratories.

243 Field Hospital’s training is normally carried out within each of the detachments around the region – at its Bristol HQ, and also at Army Reserve Centres in Gloucester, Exeter, Plymouth, Truro and Portsmouth.

For more information about 243 Field Hospital call 0117 986 3571 or to find out about opportunities in the Army Reserve visit .

Reserve Forces