London hospital nurse collects Afghan medal
PUBLISHED: 22:16 23 September 2008 | UPDATED: 13:38 05 October 2010
A NURSE from the Royal London Hospital's accident and emergency unit has been awarded two Ministry of Defence medals for his work serving with British troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Geoffrey Bellhouse has received the Campaign medals following a short tour of duty in medical units supporting troops in the field
A NURSE from the Royal London Hospital’s accident and emergency unit has been awarded two Ministry of Defence medals for his work serving with British troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Geoffrey Bellhouse has received the Campaign medals following a short tour of duty in medical units supporting troops in the field.
The 39-year-old from Wapping in London’s East End is one of 60 civilian nurses and doctors to be awarded medals in recognition of overcoming difficult conditions in hostile environments to support troops in the field.
He completed a three-month deployment to Afghanistan in June.
“At first I was just looking for something different,” Geoffrey admits.
“I sent in my application and six weeks later I was sitting on a plane with a hard hat and a Kevlar jacket.
“You know you’re making a difference out there and you’re respected for it.”
Geoffrey now plans to head back to Iraq next month.
His assignment came through Frontier Medical, a firm of medical specialists working with the Defence Ministry on short-term deployment of skilled civilian medical professionals to boost front line medical care in military combat zones.
Frontier Medical’s ops manager Judy Mason said: “Geoffrey is part of a team of exceptional personnel who have worked in some extremely challenging environments.
“The chance to work in an operational theatre with the unique range of experience that goes with it has proved an exceptional way for many nurses to enhance their professional development.”
Geoffrey was presented with his medal by Rear Admiral Lionel Jarvis, Assistant Chief of Defence Staff, who praised his work in the field.
Around 60 civilian specialist nurses like Geoffrey and neurosurgeons have so far taken short-term deployment to support British troops and their allies overseas. Many continue to be deployed today in both Afghanistan and Iraq.