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Para-Olympian Clare Harvey Inspires Military Medics

22 June 2018
Para-Olympian and inclusion advocate Clare Harvey inspired Portsmouth-based military medics at a diversity training event at HMS Excellent.

Clare met members of the Defence Medical Group South, a tri-Service team based at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham, to promote inclusive practices and challenge individual bias about how people view disability, sexuality, race and faith.

Clare said: “An inclusive culture where people can be themselves is good for their wider mental health and wellbeing, and therefore society as a whole.

“Days like these help organisations build an inclusion-confident next generation.”

As military medics we are on the front line of mental wellbeing.

Petty Officer Medical Assistant Michelle Armour

Joining the discussions were Captain Hannah Winterbourne, REME, who shared her lived experience on trans-gender issues, and the Tri-Service Diversity Engagement Team, who spoke about their work promoting the military in the community. 

Petty Officer Medical Assistant Michelle Armour, who is the Training Co-ordinator at DMG South, explained: ‘It’s great to have Clare, and our other military diversity role models here today, to provide a safe space for people to ask questions and discuss sensitive issues in an open and honest way.

“We can learn much from these role models - they share their direct personal experience which reduces the fear surrounding sensitive subjects, such as disability and trans-gender issues.

“They have made us question our perceptions and have an honest conversation with ourselves about how we feel. It is inspiring to hear how we can all stamp out non-inclusive behaviour.

“As military medics we are on the front line of mental wellbeing.

“It is our responsibility to be inclusion advocates so our patients feel confident that we understand, support and champion diversity across the Armed Forces.”

Defence medical personnel across the UK are embedded within NHS Trusts and are proud to be part of the NHS 70 anniversary celebrations.

They work side by side their civilian NHS colleagues to get clinical exposure and experiences to enable to carry out their military commitments anywhere around the world.

Staff from the Defence Medical Group have been deployed in support of the Ebola outbreak in Africa, on board Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) Argus and other military exercises and deployments around the world.

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