Equipment ashore 7 - RN Medical facilities in Malta 1970s
Service: 1968 - 1996
Rate: QARNNS Matron-in-Chief and Tri-Service Director of Nurse Education
Claire joined the QARNNS (Queen Alexandra Royal Naval Nursing Service) in 1967 as a State Registered Nurse and State Certified Midwife. She worked at Royal Naval Hospital M'Tarfa in Malta, RNH Haslar and HMS Ganges until 1973 when she left the service to work in Papua New Guinea.
On rejoining in 1975 she became a Sister Tutor and undertook a number of teaching posts primarily at RN Medical Services School Haslar. In 1987 she was appointed to the new Tri-Service body at MoD in London. During the Gulf War she was based in London as Deputy Matron-in-Chief. In 1994, she became Matron-in-Chief, together with the post (in 1996) of Tri-Service Director of Nurse Education.
Hear Claire's description of the medical facilities on Malta in the 1970s.
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Extract Text (Duration 1.45)
There was a large naval contingent, we also had a lot of Maltese cooks and stewards in those days and most of them left their families in Malta.Â And there was also an Army regiment and the RAF bases there, and the Navy provided all the medical cover and ran the hospitals for all three services.Â So I was sent to Mtarfa, which was in the middle of the island of Malta, as distinct from the general hospital in Bighi, which was on one of the bays of Grand Harbour.Â And we had an antenatal ward and a postnatal ward, delivery rooms and a nursery, and we had facilities for looking after ill or premature babies although compared with today's special care baby unit, it wasn't anything like that, because in those days the knowledge just wasn't there.Â But we did have incubators and facilities for individually caring for ill babies.
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