A recent FOI request by Plaid Cymru revealed that the eighty medically trained military personnel have been made redundant following Westminster Government cuts since 2010. This figure is probably going to increase following the withdrawal of UK troops from Afghanistan. It would be a wasted opportunity not to try and recruit the services of some of the best trained medical professionals, who have a proven record of leadership in difficult circumstances, into the Welsh NHS.
The Party of Wales Shadow Health Minister Elin Jones AM said:
“It would be a huge missed opportunity not to seek out highly skilled, highly trained medical experts with experience of working in challenging circumstances. Those who have lost their jobs from the Armed Forces should be targeted for recruitment into the Welsh NHS to help meet the demands and challenges of turning around outcomes in the NHS frontline for the benefit of Welsh patients. They have an abundance of transferable skills that could be well received, particularly in our struggling A&E departments.
“A number of those former military medical staff will have leadership experience and I’m sure their skills could be utilised by the NHS.
“Without doubt, those 80 who have been made redundant by the Coalition G0vernment to date, as highly skilled individuals would likely have found alternative employment by now. But I want the Welsh Government to be proactive in identifying and seeking out those medical personnel who may be leaving the forces in the future and consider the possibility of developing a specific recruitment strategy for them.
“Former military medical personnel are highly respected and I’m sure their involvement would be a boost to morale among NHS staff and a shot in the arm for patient confidence in our health service.
“I’m very much looking forward to hearing views on such proposals as Plaid Cymru continues as the only party in Wales to think seriously and creatively about the recruitment options for the NHS.
“Our health service is in real need of new leadership.”