Army to continue helping health boards after extension request

Army personnel were called in to help NHS Lanarkshire and NHS Borders in October amid pressures on the health service.

Army to continue helping health boards after extension request Jacob King via PA Media
The army will continue helping health boards.

The army will continue helping two health boards with acute services after their request for the assistance to be extended was approved by the Ministry of Defence.

Army personnel were called in to help NHS Lanarkshire and NHS Borders in October amid pressures on the health service.

A request by the health boards to extend the acute services Military Aid to the Civilian Authority (MACA) task, which was originally due to last until November 10, has now been approved by Ministry of Defence, the army said.

In total 84 personnel will continue with the work, with 21 personnel in the Borders and 63 in Lanarkshire.

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The tasks are expected to run until December 8 in the Borders and December 17 in Lanarkshire, with the timelines kept under regular review.

The army are also supporting the Scottish Ambulance Service with non-emergency drivers and delivering testing through mobile units.

An army spokesman said: “More than 450 armed forces personnel are supporting multiple MACA tasks in Scotland. These tasks fall under Operation Rescript, defence’s efforts to support the UK’s response to the pandemic which began in March 2020.

“Defence have supported communities across the UK throughout the pandemic from planning support alongside resilience teams and governments, to ambulance drivers and health care assistants in hospitals as well as the vaccine rollout.

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“The armed forces stand ready to step up and support civil authorities, devolved nations and communities as required in the coming months where the requests meet the MACA principles.”