dying at once and when you get up, get your bloody hair cut".
AD Wintle to Trooper Cedric Mayes (Royal Dragoons) The patient lived
for another 40 years
DEFENCE MEDICAL SERVICES DEPARTMENT (DMSD)
DMSD is the headquarters for the Defence
Medical Services. The clinical director of the DMSD is the Surgeon General
(SG). DMSD is a Joint Service organisation with personnel from all three
services and MoD Civil Servants working together to ensure “Provision of
strategic direction to the Defence Medical Services to ensure coherent
delivery of all medical outputs".
Single Service Medical Care
The three armed forces maintain their own medical services that provide
medical support worldwide in both peace and war.
Royal Naval Medical Service (RNMS)
Army Medical Services (AMS)
Royal Air Forces Medical Services (RAF MS)
In the UK, hospital care is provided at Ministry of Defence Hospital Units
The Defence Medical Services Department (DMSD) has contracts with the NHS
for provision of care in MDHUs, which are run as military units embedded
within selected NHS hospitals. There are MDHUs at Derriford (Plymouth),
Frimley Park (Aldershot), Northallerton (near Catterick), Peterborough and
In addition, the Defence Medical Services runs a number of other units
which include the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine (Birmingham) and the
Defence Services Medical Rehabilitation Centre (Headley Court). There are
also two military hospitals, one in Cyprus and the other in Gibraltar.
In Iraq the ‘Role 3’ Field Hospital at Shaibah provides medical support
that includes primary surgery, an intensive care unit, medium and low
dependency nursing care beds and diagnostic support, as well as emergency
Service personnel serving in Germany who require hospital care are treated
in one of the five German Provider Hospitals.
ROYAL CENTRE FOR DEFENCE MEDICINE (RCDM)
The RCDM in Birmingham provides a centre for military personnel requiring
specialised care, and incorporates a facility for the treatment of service
personnel who have been evacuated from an overseas deployment area after
becoming ill or wounded/injured. RCDM also acts as a centre for the
training of Defence Medical Service personnel.
In operation since 2001 the RCDM operates on a contract between the DMSD
and the University Hospitals Birmingham (UHB) NHS Trust.
The RCDM is a Joint Service establishment with medical personnel from all
three of the armed services wearing their respective Naval, Army, or Air
ARMY MEDICAL SERVICES
Medical support to members of the British Army is provided by the Army
Medical Services which consists of the following Corps:
Royal Army Medical Corps
Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps
Royal Army Dental Corps
Royal Army Veterinary Corps
ROYAL ARMY MEDICAL CORPS (RAMC)
In peace, the personnel of
the RAMC are based at the various medical installations throughout the
world or in field force units and they are responsible for the health of
During early 2009 the RAMC had a regular Army establishment of some
3,354 personnel and a strength of 2,890.
The primary role of the Corps is the maintenance of health and the
prevention of disease. On operations, the RAMC is responsible for the
care of the sick and wounded, with the subsequent evacuation of the
wounded to hospitals in the rear areas. Each Brigade has a medical
squadron which is a regular unit that operates in direct support of the
Battlegroups. These units are either armoured, airmobile or parachute
trained. In addition, each division has two TA field ambulance units
that provide medical support for the divisional troops and can act as
manoeuvre units for the forward brigades when required.
All medical squadrons have medical sections that consist of a medical
officer and eight Combat Medical Technicians. These sub units are
located with the Battlegroup or units being supported and they provide
the necessary first line medical support. In addition, the field
ambulance provides a dressing station where casualties are treated and
may be resuscitated or stabilised before transfer to a field hospital.
These units have the necessary integral ambulance support, both armoured
and wheeled to transfer casualties from the first to second line medical
Field hospitals may be regular or TA and all are 200 bed facilities with
a maximum of 8 surgical teams capable of carrying out life-saving
operations on some of the most difficult surgical cases. Since 1990,
most regular medical units have been deployed on operations either in
Iraq, Afghanistan or the former Yugoslavia.
Casualty Evacuation (CASEVAC) is by ambulance either armoured or wheeled
and driven by RLC personnel or by helicopter when such aircraft are
available. A Chinook helicopter is capable of carrying 44 stretcher
cases and a Puma can carry 6 stretcher cases and 6 sitting cases.
In early 2009 there were 5 x regular medical regiments and three field
hospitals. The TA provides 12 x independent field hospitals, 2 x General
Support Medical Regiments and 1 x Casualty Evacuation Regiment. During
early 2009 the RAMC had a regular Army establishment of some 3,354
personnel and a strength of 2,890.
THE QUEEN ALEXANDRA'S ROYAL ARMY NURSING CORPS
The QARANC is an all
nursing and totally professionally qualified Corps. Its male and female,
officer and other rank personnel, provide the necessary qualified nursing
support at all levels and cover a wide variety of nursing specialities.
QARANC personnel can be found anywhere in the world where Army Medical
Services are required.
During early 2009 the QARANC personnel total was approximately 830 all
ROYAL ARMY DENTAL CORPS (RADC)
The RADC is a professional
corps that in mid 2004 consisted of 395 officers and soldiers. The Corps
fulfils the essential role of maintaining the dental health of the Army in
peace and war, both at home and overseas. Qualified dentists and oral
surgeons, hygienists, technicians and support ancillaries work in a wide
variety of military units from static and mobile dental clinics to field
medical units, military hospitals and dental laboratories.
During early 2009 the RADC strength was approximately 380 all ranks
(approximately 110 officers).
THE ROYAL ARMY VETERINARY CORPS (RAVC)
The RAVC look after the many animals that the Army has on strength.
Veterinary tasks in today's army are mainly directed towards guard or
search dogs and horses for ceremonial duties. Personnel total in early
2009 was 280.