Lt Col Harvey Pynn splits his time between the Army and NHS, and earlier this year established a critical care transfer team to support the London Ambulance Service during the first wave of Covid-19.
Harvey, 45, took a Reserve Commission in 1995 before being Commissioned into the Royal Army Medical Corps in 1999.
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“I came from a Service family.
"My father served as a pilot in the RAF and my grandfather wasa WW2 veteran, one of the founder members of the Parachute Regiment and a RSM in the same Regiment.
"Both inspired me to join the Services where I wanted to combine a medical and military career,” explains Harvey.
Since commissioning into the RAMC he has been deployed on eight Operational tours, including four times to Afghanistan.
As a Defence Consultant Advisor to the Surgeon General, Harvey advises on all matters relating to Pre-hospital Emergency Care across the Army, Royal Navy and RAF, as well as being a Consultant in Emergency Medicine at Bristol Royal Infirmary and a Critical Care Doctor with Great Western Air Ambulance.
Earlier this year, Harvey was tasked with supporting London Ambulance Service moving the most unwell patients from overwhelmed intensive care units to the Nightingale hospital in London.
“I led a team of 20 clinicians equipped and trained to deliver the necessary effect over a two week period during the height of the first wave,” he explains.
“The main aim was to move critically unwell patients from overwhelmed intensive care units to the Nightingale hospital.
“A secondary task was to move ICU patients from overwhelmed hospitals to hospitals that still had ICU capacity.
“The main challenge was identifying the right patients to move to both ensure the level of their care was maintained or improved at their destination facility as well as moving them in a timely fashion.”
As he prepares for his next deployment, Harvey hopes people can still support the Poppy Appeal in any way they can.
“This time of year is always a time to reflect on those colleagues and friends who have been killed or injured in the line of Military duty,” he says.
Sadly I have witnessed the brutal consequences of war at close quarters.
“I have had the privilege of working as a front line doctor in the Military (and NHS) for many years and sadly I have witnessed the brutal consequences of war at close quarters.
“Being in the midst of a pandemic does not change the fact that we still owe our freedom to those who have served Militarily and continue to serve for this country.
“The Military has an excellent reputation for supporting those who serve. However, once those individuals are no longer serving I believe that the country has a responsibility to those who have served who are in need,” he adds.
“We therefore have a collective responsibility and any effort, however small, will make a difference to someone in need.”