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Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

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Trust celebrates military staff in the NHS

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On 4 April 2018 the John Radcliffe Hospital played host to the RAF Baton Relay to celebrate military staff working for the NHS, and 100 years of the RAF.

The baton arrived from RAF Benson in a Puma helicopter piloted by Leading Aircraftman Emma Ockendon, and was passed on to Corporal Natasha Balyckyi (pictured right) who works in the adult Intensive Care Unit at the hospital.

She said: "It's a huge honour to be selected to carry the baton. This relay is recognition of the work we do alongside our civilian colleagues every day - I don't think many people realise we do that! Working with the NHS is a great way to grow our clinical knowledge and learn from our colleagues at the hospital.

"The RAF is a family - I'm still close friends with people I met when I joined up seven years ago, and it's really good to have that close knit group when you're away from your loved ones."

David Smith, Armed Forces Champion at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: "We have around 40 military members of staff working at the Trust as doctors and nurses. We're incredibly proud to be chosen as part of the baton route, and equally proud of our military staff - it's an honour to be seen as an important part of their work life."

The RAF baton is on a UK-wide tour which stops off in 100 sites over 100 days.

The baton, which features the RAF crest and RAF100 logo, has been designed by young RAF recruits using materials that symbolise aircraft construction through the ages. The baton will end its journey at the Horseguards Parade on 10 July 2018, 100 days after it set off.

For more information on the route, and to find out about the wider events that will be taking place to mark the RAF's 100th birthday, visit: