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Serving in the Navy and the NHS

Our recent YouGov survey found 69% of people in the UK have little idea what the military actually do, despite 80% agreeing that serving personnel make a valuable contribution to society. 

The Armed Forces make a huge contribution to everyday life; Serving personnel are mobilised during natural disasters, terrorist attacks, humanitarian and environmental crises and as a peacekeeping force around the world. 

More than 2,700 serving regular and reserve medical personnel are currently working in the NHS.

 

Find out how the Navy is supporting the NHS across the country.
Royal Navy Surgeon Lieutenant Katie Newlands at work in a hospital room

Saving lives in the NHS

Katie Newlands is a Surgeon Lieutenant in the Royal Navy. And for the last eight months she has been working as a junior doctor in the NHS.

Saving lives in the NHS

Katie Newlands is a Surgeon Lieutenant in the Royal Navy. And for the last eight months she has been working as a junior doctor in the NHS.

Katie was inspired to join the Royal Navy whilst studying medicine at University.

“I joined something called the University Royal Naval Unit whilst I was a medical student and just really enjoyed it,” she says.

“I liked a lot of the opportunities and different things I could get involved with, a lot of the camaraderie and working with different like-minded people. 

“Then it was realising I could have all these additional things I enjoyed about military life whilst also doing my job and being a doctor.”

Katie Newlands treating a baby

Surprising the public

"I think civilians who don't necessarily have a military connection can be surprised to see somebody in uniform in the NHS."

Surprising the public

"I think civilians who don't necessarily have a military connection can be surprised to see somebody in uniform in the NHS."

Katie is currently based at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth.

“I've been working here for eight months in total. I'm training to be a GP so there are different rotations that I am doing,” she explains.

“I spent 4 months in obstetrics and gynaecology, and then the last 4 months in paediatrics.”

As a serving member of the military Katie is often in uniform whilst on shift, which sometimes surprises patients.

“I don't think that everybody realises that there are military people working within the hospital here,” she says.

Navy medics

Military in the NHS

“I think military people make up about 5% of the workforce in this hospital."

Military in the NHS

“I think military people make up about 5% of the workforce in this hospital."

“I remember doing ward rounds and sometimes it would take me slightly longer to do because people wanted to discuss when they were in the military or people that they knew in the military.

“It's nice that they can relate to you as a doctor and see beyond the stethoscope.

“They see you as a person and an individual that they can then have a conversation with and disclose things to you that they might not to other people.”

Working in the NHS has allowed Katie to see a huge range of patients and acquire new skills for her future career in the Navy.

“From working in the hospital I've got lots of skills that I can now take back to military life, and increased knowledge in particular areas that I hadn't necessarily encountered in my military career,” she says.

“I've seen a lot more pregnant women and children than I have done to date in my military career so I've got more comfortable with managing those patients.

“I love helping people - it's one of the reasons I wanted to be a doctor - and I love the fact that can be in the NHS, but also in the Navy and in my future career on board various ships.

“I take a lot of pride in being able to fulfill my role as a medical officer and a doctor looking after my naval colleagues.”

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