Routines at sea 9 - Assessment of casualities on RFA Argus, 1990s

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Claire Taylor 1999Claire Taylor

Service: 1968 - 1997

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.


Claire describes the triage routine onboard RFA Argus during the Gulf War.


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Extract Text (Duration 1.43)

... by helicopter, would land on the deck of Argus, be offloaded by Royal Marine Bandsmen who were the stretcher-bearers, and then taken to an aircraft lift, and the lift went down to the triage area, and that is where patients were sorted. Triage means to sort - and they were on arrival sorted into patients requiring immediate care, those who could be left for a short space of time if required and those who could be left for a longer period of time, and they were brought into the portakabin facility, and so they were re-assessed on arrival, some would go straight to the resuscitation area, some may well go straight to theatre, and some might go to the ward areas. And we had ward areas that were for critically ill patients and then a larger ward area for less critically ill patients who didn't perhaps require support with breathing.