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Armed Forces Day: meet two of our reservist colleagues

Last updated: 26/06/2020

For Armed Forces Day, we wanted to introduce you to a couple of members of #TeamUHBW who are also armed forces reservists.

Gemma Pullen

PMA pharmacy technician Gemma Pullen is a reservist at RAF Brize Norton, as a logistics mover for 4624 Squadron. She explains: "My current role as an RAF reservist, focused in in logistics, has helped me to developed a number of transferrable skills for my role in the NHS. Particularly in Pharmacy, as the medicines supply and distribution functions of the department share many of the same challenges I face in the RAF: handling, checking and supplying controlled goods (medicines) to ensure timely delivery. "When the coronavirus outbreak began, the skills and mental resilience I have benefited from through RAF training gave empowered me to get through the unique set of challenges brought on by the pandemic. Adapting to social distancing rules, reducing physical presence and digitising processes have ensured we can maintain (and in many cases improve) services delivered. As a department, we embraced changes to the way we work, all the time focused on our goal of ensuring our patients could receive the medicines they need at the right time. "The team working ethos of the RAF is mirrored in the NHS. I have been able to successfully adapt to overcome the challenges we’ve faced. Deploying with the military has also given me experience in quickly adapting to working in different environments."

Richard Bateman

Richard Bateman works for the Trust as a consultant anaesthetist, and in the military he is commanding officer at HMS Flying Fox. He adds: "Military service requires a significant degree of flexibility and having an adaptable mind-set has been helpful in adjusting to new ways of working. I also have an appreciation of the importance of looking after colleagues for whom this may be more of a challenge and the need to maintain a healthy sense of humour at all times. "Communications, command and control are especially important at times like this and I have done my best to ensure that my teams are as well-informed as possible."