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NAVY NEWS, OCTOBER 2010 News and information for serving personnel Medics de-mystified


Drafty’s corner


THERE are eleven personnel who, forming the medical aspect of the Naval Personnel Team (NPT), look after the dental, medical, nursing and allied health professional cadres within the Royal Navy and Royal Marines.


The team consists of requirement managers and career managers, with the two dental staff also responsible for their relevant policies. Any member of the Royal Navy Medical Services (RNMS) is welcome to contact their career manager directly to discuss their future assignments and appointments.


Life within the Medical NPT is challenging but fulfilling. Medical staff are based within


primary care (medical centres afloat and ashore in the UK and abroad) and secondary care options include the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine (RCDM), Ministry


Units (MDHUs) Derriford and Portsmouth, and the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre (DMRC), as well as various staff jobs.


busy finding volunteers (or nominations) to man the enduring operational commitments in addition to regular medical support requests for a wide range of Ops and exercises.


Cougar, Batus and Taurus, and the Role 2 Afloat Team stand-by commitment which has now been activated and currently on board RFA Lyme Bay operating east of Suez. The


complex onboard RFA Argus was fully exercised and validated on Exercise Med Endeavour in July. A contingent of 182 medical


newly-refitted hospital


personnel boarded in June and faced a packed schedule of exercise scenarios run by FOST, an assurance visit and a validation exercise assessed by 2 Med Brigade who normally operate out of Strensall Barracks assessing and validating Hospital Squadrons prior to their deployment to Op Herrick.


■ Medical Ratings Branch manager


WO1 (MA) post for two and half years and it is the first time that there has been a second Medical Branch Manager, in addition to the SO1, dealing with Branch Structure and Sustainability. Cdr Neil Wagstaff has overall responsibility for the branch as a whole while the WO1(MA) specifically deals with Ratings’ issues.


■ 25 additional MA lines In May 2008, the Defence Analytical Services and Advice (DASA) statistics showed that there was a 40 per cent shortfall at LMA.


This had come about mainly due to a high voluntary outflow (VO) rate (6.3 per cent) against a Naval Service average of 5.7 per cent and second only to the Royal Marines at 7 per cent. There was also a shortfall in the


There has been an established Recent examples include Career Managers are incredibly of Defence Hospital ● Inside the Primary Casualty Receiving Facility in RFA Argus


numbers of AB1s selected for LH against the numbers required ie in 2007 the requirement was 61 but only 36 were selected. In 2009 we fared better when the requirement was 49 and 41 were selected ‘on merit’. The model DASA produced


showed that to recover structurally from this shortfall there needed to be an uplift in MA liability by 25 AB1s which would strengthen the base of the MA pyramid and support the need to ‘grow’ more Leading Hands. It also showed that there needed to be a decrease of 11 LMA posts.


The increase of 25 AB1 MAs


was achieved through the 2009 Financial Planning Round and presented the perfect opportunity to create new lines on the frigates and destroyers for AB1 MAs to go to sea to gain the valuable experience they require and to do the job they are trained to do working alongside the POMAs/ LMAs for a 12-18 month assignment. Until 2009, there had only been 11 sea billets on the capital ships for AB1s, therefore not many of them got the opportunity to go to sea.


There are now 36 lines which is a significant increase and is a major step forward in investing in the MA and preparing them for their future roles at sea as Leading Hands and Senior Rates. This, of course, signalled the end of the singleton at sea with the first MA joining HMS Daring in November 2009 and the other 24 joining their ships during the course of the following months. With the measures taken and the reduction in the VO rate (now around 3 per cent) the shortfall at LMA has been rectified and became in balance in last month (September).


■ Two new CMA posts These two new posts have been


created and our MBRs onboard now have a focal point for them to go to for day-to-day working level support, guidance, advice and mentorship.


The posts are within the


Waterfront Logistics Support Group integrated into the Base Logistics Organisation – CPOMA Gascoigne has been in the


Portsmouth line since February 2009 and CPOMA Macpherson has been in the Devonport line since September 2009.


■ CAPPS assignments We now have our first EWO post with liability for a WO1 (MA) to which WO1 (MA) Daz Hemmings was appointed onboard HMS Westminster in November 2009. This gives the WO1 (MA) the


opportunity to go to sea if they wish to follow that route and there is also a WO1 (NN) line within MWS at HMS Collingwood as a Phase II Divisional Officer (currently filled by WO1 (NN) Alison Lawrence. Senior Rates now have the


opportunity to be assigned to Phase I Training at HMS Raleigh and to the Royal Navy Leadership Academy (East) which are providing excellent career broadening


opportunities for


individuals, whilst also being good for the RNMS in terms of wider exposure and greater utility and employability of personnel when they return to their main trade/ specialist area.


■ Emergency care practitioner (ECP) Everybody should be aware of the longstanding aspiration within the branch of achieving registration/professionalisation/ accreditation of the MA. Although not making any promises here, there has been a lot of work gone in to mapping across the ECP and the MA, and there is significant confidence that this pathway will work. INM and the ECP Working


Group, headed by DACOS Healthcare, have been working closely with Skills for Health on what can be achieved.


There is considerable interest from the Surgeon General’s Department and in comparison to the other Services the work completed so far is way in advance of anything they have looked at. Following a meeting in July 2009 between the single Services and SGD, the RN took the lead on this and has taken it forward to the point where six MAs (ranging in rank from AB1 to PO) started ECP training at Portsmouth University last month (September).


■ Rolling OPS


A system of rolling OPS for LMAs and MAs was introduced on August 2 2010. This follows on from the OPS review and takes into consideration the ECP competencies. This


will mandate all MAs


to maintain their skills, remain clinically current and competent, and inculcate a requirement for CPD.


All MAs and LMAs will be issued with a workbook derived from the OPS and will be required to complete it within 12 months. On completion, they will be considered to be ‘at OPS’ and the competence will be reflected in their JPA record.


LMAs and MAs will not be considered for selection for promotion unless they are at OPS and maintain it. OPS is


to be achieved by


Common Reporting Dates (CPD) November 30 2011 for Able Ratings and January 31 2012 for Leading Hands.


RNTM 164/10 – Medical Assistant Junior Rate Professional Development refers and the workbook can be found on the front page of the DRNMS website.


■ MA (CDO) There is currently a 33 per cent shortfall of Commando- trained MAs. Anyone interested in becoming a Royal Navy Commando should read 2009 DIN07-130 and then contact WO1(MA) Hart at RMB Stonehouse on (tel mil) 9375 36411.


■ Dental branch


There are career opportunities with the Dental branch to work within specific dental roles at RN establishments and RM units, onboard capital ships and as visiting dental teams to DD/FF, and wider medical roles such as a medical planner in UKMCC, Bahrain or within NCHQ. Although the Dental Branch is fully manned,


there are


opportunities to transfer to the DH and DN cadres from any other branch of the RN providing manning clearance is gained. Selection for DN places has closed for 2011 but look out for the RNTM next year. DH applications are invited in accordance with the 2010 DIN


07-069 Dental Hygienist Training – Tri-Service


and the RNTM


123/10 Sideways Entry to the Dental Hygienist Branch, both released June 2010. Applications for DH training must reach either Surg Cdr (D) Adrian Jordan or CPODN Julie Williams by December 1 2010.


■ MASM(2) plot Currently, the MASM(2) plot is extremely lean and impact on our personnel is being closely scrutinised. To mitigate this the Career Managers are working closely with the SM training wing at HMS Sultan and RADPOL which has resulted in the MASM(2) course being delivered twice next year which will undoubtedly improve the strain on this lean plot. Volunteers or nominations for this course are always welcome. There is a new CPOMA (SM) post in Diego Garcia starting early 2011, volunteers are requested to contact Lt Cdr Campbell.


■ QARNNS Within the


cadres, specialist nursing Intensive Care Nurses


have been identified as a Critical Manning Group and work is ongoing to alleviate this across the three Services. In


addition to the


Detainee handling report released


MID-SEPTEMBER saw the release of a report into detainee handling by Brigadier Purdy, the Army Inspector.


from soldiers and commanders in Afghanistan as well as the policy, legal and planning teams back in the UK. The


progress from the 2008 Aitken Report, which examined six cases of alleged detainee abuse in Iraq, continues.


The Review also concluded that the systems in place for current operations are essentially sound. However there have been 31 recommendations


tactical-level Review reported that taking evidence


The Review has consulted widely across all three Services and the Permanent Joint Headquarters,


35


made for further improvements. Chief of the General Staff Gen


Sir David Richards said: “I take great pride in what the Army, alongside the other Services, has achieved on operations in recent years.


“The vast majority of officers and soldiers have acquitted themselves with courage, integrity and honour, in extraordinarily demanding circumstances. “The handling of detainees is


a critical area and this report provides independent assurance that even more is now being done than before to ensure our officers and


importance of treating detainees properly.”


we


Nobody should be in any doubt to the


this issue and there are many recommendations forward.


here take importance


Inspector’s Report into Detainee Handling – is available on the MOD website.


“Detainee handling must be seen as a mainstream military skill rather than a matter for the specialists.” The full


report – The Army


Awards for Navy people


THE winners of the MOD People Awards will be announced as Navy News goes to press on September 24.


who make a difference, improving and inspiring others.


The awards recognise people already-


mentioned operational and exercise commitments, there are regular requests to supplement manning in the Role 4 at RCDM and at DMRC at Headley Court (along with our other tri-Service colleagues). The turbulence that this is


creating is being closely monitored and the Defence Medical Group (DMG) is working towards transferring the liability for these roles (thus making them more permanent) from other secondary care areas which will then reduce the churn.


■ CW candidates QARNNS ratings and MAs are encouraged to consider raising their CW papers earlier in their Service life as recent statistics show that fewer individuals are considering this career pathway (as a MSO or QARNNS Officer) and that those who are successful in the process are joining this cadre at a later stage and thus reducing their longer term career potential.


Among those people nominated are Lt Rachel Smallwood who is responsible for the creation and development of a Coaching Advisory Team at the Maritime Warfare School. Her intervention at the Defence Diving School saw a massive jump in the overall pass rate for junior divers.


Fleet, won another nomination for their Growth Workshops programme which aims to promote self-awareness and build self- esteem among MOD employees in the Portsmouth region.


Serious games


A Technology Demonstration Suite (TDS) has been opened at HMS Collingwood.


Maritime Warfare School, the suite is kitted out with Alienware computers and top-notch gaming gear such as joysticks and steering wheels.


The RN is developing maritime training solutions around games such as Virtual Battlespace 2 and Dangerous Waters. The gaming software is currently being used to build a boat davit part-task trainer for Type 45 crews and a Submarine Force Protection trainer for MWC.


Funded by FOST and the The PWN, a network within


The senior officer added: “But must


not be soldiers understand the


complacent. I attach to to


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