THE NHS trust which runs Hereford County Hospital has said it will be sad to say goodbye to the RAF which has been helping out.

Sharing a picture of RAF personnel and NHS staff standing outside Hereford County Hospital, Wye Valley Trust said the support from the armed forces had been “amazing”.

“Our #AmazingWVTstaff have had some amazing support from colleagues in the RAF who have been helping in recent weeks as we face challenges caused by the pandemic,” the trust, which also runs community hospitals, said.

“They've been an enormous and welcome help to us and we're sad to bid them farewell.”

They have been working with the acute medical unit and in the emergency department, a spokesperson added.

There, they have been undertaking non-clinical tasks including general housekeeping, portering, non-clinical patient support, mealtime support and supervision. and cleaning duties.

"They were here as part of the national deployment of military staff to support the NHS and have been with us four weeks," the spokesperson said, adding they left on February 11.

Hereford Times: The Armed Forces have been helping with the rollout of Covid booster jabs in Herefordshire in December. Picture: Taurus HealthcareThe Armed Forces have been helping with the rollout of Covid booster jabs in Herefordshire in December. Picture: Taurus Healthcare

The armed forces have previously been pictured helping out with the coronavirus vaccine rollout in Herefordshire, with a medic pictured giving a dose of the Covid jab in a pop-up centre in Maylord Shopping Centre.

NHS England figures show that on Tuesday, January 11, the number of patients with Covid hit 46 – the highest since February 2020.

But by January 25, that number had fallen to 27, rising slightly to 29 two weeks later on Tuesday, February 8, the latest data available.

Over the last month, January 20 was the day where the trust was treating the lowest number of patients, with data showing there were 20.

At various points throughout the pandemic, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the Army would help the NHS, including by setting up temporary Nightingale hospitals at the start of the pandemic.

In January, Air Commodore John Lyle said forces were looking at ways to offer more assistance as the NHS prepared to deal with an Omicron surge.

He said troops have “a long history of supporting all government departments, but particularly the NHS over the last two years”.

He said patients could expect to see a “primarily NHS workforce” supported by military personnel wearing Army uniform and protective equipment.