This week Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board was honoured to be recognised by the Armed Forces for our work alongside them over the course of the pandemic.
The presentation of a regimental plaque and a certificate of recognition was made in Ward A of Ysbyty’r Seren, a field hospital set up on an industrial estate in Bridgend to treat patients with COVID-19.
The award was presented by Lieutenant Colonel Simon Midgley and Captain Gary Thomson, both of the British Army, and Warrant Officer Mark Edwards, of the Royal Navy.
Capt. Gary Thomson said: “This has been one of the most rewarding deployments in my army career, including my time in the regular army. I am and will remain both grateful for and humbled by the professionalism of the Cwm Taf Morgannwg team and colleagues over the past year.”
Ysbyty’r Seren was one of the busiest field hospitals in the UK during the pandemic, and at one time Ward A alone was treating nearly a hundred covid patients. Thankfully, Ward A is now empty and in the process of being decommissioned.
It’s a highly symbolic location for this presentation, as the Armed Forces were vital in every stage of transforming Ysbyty’r Seren into a functional hospital. That’s just one of the ways they were instrumental in the COVID-19 response – from PPE provision to testing and vaccination, the Armed Forces’ leadership was essential.
Dr Kelechi Nnoaham, Director of Public Health at Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board, accepted the award on behalf of the Health Board. He said:
“I’m humbled to accept this recognition from our Armed Forces on behalf of the Health Board. It’s been an honour to work side-by-side with them over the course of the pandemic, and we’re extremely grateful for the hard work, expertise and dedication they’ve shown from the very beginning.
“Standing in a field hospital like this one, which just over half a year ago was an empty building on an industrial estate, is the perfect demonstration of the size of the challenge they were tasked with. They not only met that challenge but exceeded it, delivering support, assistance and leadership which was invaluable as we tackled an unprecedented health crisis.
“Most importantly, we faced these challenges as a team. I’m proud of what we’ve achieved together in incredibly difficult circumstances, and I’d like to thank every member of the Armed Forces who stepped in to help when they were needed the most.”