Below are a number of personal stories that illustrate the close relationship Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust have with the armed forces communituy:
David Leigh, support practitioner
David had varied roles within the Armed Forces, which consisted of regular and reserve services within the Army Medical Corps. He reached the rank of WO1 (warrant officer class 1) and is now retired after 30 years’service.
He has previously appeared in MC Magazine, the Trust's quarterly magazine, following his return from Afghanistan and joined the NHS in 1980 after leaving the regular army before also joining the regular reserve and the TA Army Medical Corps.
He has also worked in the private sector for a number of years, still working on services, and is now a valued member of the Criminal Justice Liason and Diversity team.
Anthony Muldowney, vocational skills lead
Anthony is an ex-army chef and served in Kosovo, Afghanistan and Cyprus over a 14 year period.
He loved the armed forces but left because he had a young family, got a job teaching catering in college and then joined the Life Rooms in Mersey Care as a vocational skills lead.
Working in the NHS means he has drawn upon his experience of good team working and staying calm under pressure and gives him the opportunity to continue helping and developing people.
Andrew Greenwood, modern matron
Andrew served with the TA, now known as Reserves, for 18 years with attachments to regular units and reached the rank of Sergeant. He was a Royal Engineer for 13 years and re-badged to the RAMC serving with them for five years, during which time Andrew completed his nurse training.
He spent nine years serving in the army and working as a nurse at the same time and has now worked in the NHS for 31 years. Andrew believes many of the skills he developed in the army and as an NHS employee are interchangeable.
He said: "When I started work with the NHS my employers were very supportive. The Flexible Working Policy meant I could attend most weekends. I was also granted two weeks paid leave every year to attend annual camp and if I wanted to attend an additional course or do an attachment to a regular unit I was normally granted additional unpaid leave so I could do so."
During Andrew's time with the NHS he helped set up the first Learning Disabilities Team in a prison in the country and advised the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Justice on how to support prisoners who have learning disabilities.
Ray Gerrard, nurse practitioner
(pictured above) Ray guarding the Governor’s residence, Gibraltar 1976.
Ray is a former Light Infantry Soldier with 2nd Battalion The Royal Green Jackets. He left the army and joined the TA with 238 Squadron RCT.
After qualifying as a nurse he was commissioned as a Nursing Officer with Merseyside Army Cadet Force.
He has been the Treasurer of his Regimental Association, here in the North West of England, since 1986.
Ray now works as a Nurse Practitioner in Garston Walk in Centre and believes there is a similar camaraderie with his colleagues that he found in the army.