Emergency department nurse receives prestigious national military award


A nurse based at Southampton’s teaching hospitals has received a top national honour for her work treating injured troops in Afghanistan.

Sarah Charters, a consultant nurse in the emergency department at Southampton General Hospital, was named the UK’s best reservist at The Sun newspaper’s military awards following a gruelling tour earlier this year.

An A-list cast of celebrities lined up to meet the British military’s finest talent at the ceremony, dubbed The Millies, which aims to recognise excellence from frontline operations to routine organisation in the Armed Forces.

Sarah, who was made an Associate of the Royal Red Cross in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list in 2008 for her service to 4626 Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron as a senior nursing officer, has served in Saudi Arabia (1991), Cyprus and Iraq (2003) and Afghanistan (2007 and 2010).

During her time in Afghanistan this year, she led a team of medics running the emergency department of Camp Bastion’s world-class hospital and treated more than 2,000 casualties in three-and-a-half months.

"I couldn't have achieved anything without the goodwill and hard work of my whole team,” said squadron leader Sarah.

“In Afghanistan we are dealing with young people with major, life-threatening trauma. I can be quite an emotional person, but when I'm there, I'm so focused on my role delivering patient care that I work my way through it."

Dr Diana Hulbert, lead emergency department consultant at Southampton General, added: “We are all very proud of Sarah. It is a fantastic achievement to be recognised for her efforts in what are extremely difficult circumstances in tough combat zones.”

Eleven awards were presented to service personnel or units at the event last week.

The panel of judges included General Sir Mike Jackson, Admiral Lord West, actor Ross Kemp and athlete Dame Kelly Holmes.

Posted on Thursday 23 December 2010