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RAF Lakenheath has confirmed that it has reached agreement with the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital in England to expand its partnership with the NHS.
As we reported earlier this year, the USAF in the UK and the NHS already share a Special Relationship which has been in place since 2001, which began with a partnership between RAF Lakenheath and Cambridge University Hospital. That partnership has grown in recent years and now sees personnel from the 48th Medical Group (48th MDG) working alongside NHS staff to treat patients at five UK hospitals.
The announcement of an agreement with Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals means that from October, more personnel from the 48th MDG will be attending clinics in the Norwich area to assist their NHS counterparts.
Discussing the agreement, Staff Sgt. William B. Glick, 48th MDG emergency room paramedic, explained that the partnership offers "the chance to see patients of higher acuity ... When we see these trauma patients we’re getting those experiences and getting our feet wet for when we’re down range."
Senior Master Sgt. Nicolas Wentworth, 48th Surgical Operations Squadron superintendent, echoed the view that active assistance in the NHS provides the ideal experience for 48th MDG personnel: "It really comes down to trauma and assessment ... Our guys will have the opportunity to experience the increased pace. If something were to happen and we had to respond, it’s that pace of when we have the influx of patients we need to be able to handle."
The confirmation that one of the many agreements that the USAF share with the NHS has expanded is another great example of exactly how the Special Relationship operates, perhaps on a level that many aren't aware of. We salute the USAF and the NHS on their continued partnership.