News story

Military and civilian health personnel honoured

Military and civilian health personnel were honoured for their work at this year's Military and Civilian Health Partnership Awards.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The annual awards recognise and strengthen the partnership between Britain’s military and civilian healthcare workers and provide the opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate the many examples of high quality care.

This year the awards attracted more than 100 nominations from military and civilian medics across the country, with nominations open to military and civilian personnel who provide health and social care to the Armed Forces, their families and veterans.

Minister for Defence Personnel, Welfare and Veterans, Andrew Robathan, said:

Thanks to the excellence of our people working in partnership, the quality of care available to our Armed Forces - from emergency lifesaving procedures on operations to primary care at home and overseas - is quite remarkable.

These awards are about honouring the best of the best, people who, often in the most demanding of circumstances, are delivering exceptional healthcare.

Health Minister Simon Burns added:

Our Armed Forces make an extraordinary sacrifice for us all and deserve first class medical care - whether deployed on operations, at home, or in later life. I am delighted that the exceptional care given to them is recognised by these awards.

I want to congratulate the winners and acknowledge the tremendous work of all the finalists. Healthcare professionals from the NHS and social care provide vital support to Service personnel, veterans and their families and it is great to see their hard work and expertise acknowledged.

The nine categories featured innovative treatments and services developed to care for the Armed Forces, their families and veterans.

Among the winners was military reservist Major Robert Dawes, who won the Healthcare Reservist of the Year Award for introducing the Blizzard Heat pack, which helps keep patients on front line operations in Afghanistan warm and prevents bleeding from injuries, as well as new airway equipment and blood-clotting dressings.

Major Dawes serves with 144 Parachute Medical Squadron (Volunteers), who are part of 16 Medical Regiment, based in Colchester.

An NHS trainee anaesthetist in Southampton in his civilian role, Major Dawes has also brought his experience of operations to the civilian arena.

Lieutenant Colonel Steven Jeffery, based at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) in Birmingham, was also honoured at yesterday’s ceremony, winning the Healthcare Regular of the Year Award.

Lt Col Jeffery won the award for pioneering and introducing topical negative pressure dressings to treat wounded soldiers both at the field hospital in Camp Bastion and in the QEH.

These dressing systems consist of a special pump which, when connected to an appropriate dressing pack, can apply suction to the wound, completely isolating it from the surrounding environment, and providing an optimum wound healing environment.

This means that soldiers receiving serious injuries on operations benefit from wounds being totally protected from contamination, or from those wounds contaminating others during their aeromedical evacuation. The dressings also need to be changed less frequently than conventional dressings, causing less upset for patients and freeing up valuable nursing time.

Lt Col Jeffery heads a team of military plastic surgeons in Birmingham, and has also applied this innovative treatment to civilian burn and trauma victims, and those surgeons undergoing training in Birmingham are able to take these skills with them around the country.

Group Captain Wendy Williams, the Commanding Officer at the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine, said:

I am delighted to see that Lieutenant Colonel Jeffery has won the Healthcare Regular of the Year Award.

Lieutenant Colonel Jeffery has provided leadership to a truly integrated and dedicated team, of both military and NHS staff, at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

Teams based at Defence Equipment and Support, MOD Foxhill in Bath, and the NHS Blood and Transplant Service in London were given the Deployed Healthcare Award for their work in overcoming significant barriers to ensure availability of plasma and platelets to operational environments like Afghanistan.

During the past year, development of new transport boxes and monitoring devices has allowed the delivery of over 10,000 blood components, and the complex logistics chain can supply blood to wherever it is needed in the world.

This system contributes directly to high survival rates, and the technology is now being reviewed by civilian helicopter emergency medical services in the UK.

Other winners included the team from British Forces Germany Health Services in Hohne which was recognised for its innovative work in providing healthcare for the Armed Forces, their families and veterans.

The team picked up the Innovation and Service Development Award for developing a ‘Referrals Management System’ to improve their interface with the relatively transient population. All potential referrals are discussed at a weekly complex case meeting to enable peer review and clinical advice to be shared.

The doctors involved have found it incredibly useful, and it has resulted in the best possible medical management of patients. In the project’s first three months, the system has demonstrated a 27.5 per cent decrease in referrals to secondary healthcare compared to the same period last year.

The full list of winners at this year’s Military and Civilian Health Partnership Awards is as follows:


Referrals Management System in Hohne Region

British Forces Germany Health Services / Hohne Practice


CBRN (Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear) Medical Training

Defence CBRN Centre, Winterbourne Gunner


Skilled for Health - Healthy Families’

Army Primary Healthcare Services, Wessex Region


Veterans First Point

NHS Lothian
This project’s work was nominated by two independent judging panels as a finalist in two categories


Major Robert Dawes

144 Parachute Medical Squadron (Volunteers), 16 Medical Regiment


Lieutenant Colonel Steven Jeffery

Consultant Plastic Surgeon, Royal Centre for Defence Medicine, Birmingham
This nomination was selected by two independent judging panels as a finalist in two categories


Mr Rod Dunn

Odstock Centre for Burns, Plastic and Maxillofacial Surgery, Salisbury


Veterans First Point

NHS Lothian
This project’s work was selected by two independent judging panels as a finalist in two categories


Blood for the Battlefield

Defence Equipment and Support Medical and General Suplies Blood Supply Team / NHS Blood & Transplant
This team was selected by two independent judging panels as a finalist in two categories

Published 10 November 2011