Last Thursday Mr Pooley and I were privileged to visit the Queen Elizabeth Hospital as guests of former pupil, parent and governor, Colonel Kevin Beaton who is the commanding officer of the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine.
Based in Birmingham, Queen Elizabeth Hospital is where all our injured servicemen and women go when they are repatriated to the UK. Whilst as many as 40% of the patients come from all over the world, the vast majority of the injured soldiers currently being treated are those who have returned from Afghanistan; many of whom have sustained horrendous injuries – including the loss of limbs. The work that Colonel Beaton’s unit carries out, on a day-to-day basis, is quite extraordinary. They give endless hope to those who, without their support and medical expertise, would have met a hopeless end.
Seeing their work at first hand was a really humbling experience and helped to put life into perspective. It also reinforced my view over how privileged we all are to be members’ of the Royal Hospital School community. We all have a duty to make the very most of this amazing environment and all that it has to offer.