Armed Forces recruitment days at Southmead Hospital

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

243 (The Wessex) Field Hospital, based at the Army Reserve Centre in Keynsham, will be visiting Southmead Hospital to talk to staff and visitors interested in joining the reserves.

243 Field Hospital is one of ten regional Army Reserve Field Hospitals which between them cover the whole of the UK. 

North Bristol NHS Trust supports all employees who are members of or wish to join the Volunteer Reserve Forces and is formally partnered with both the Army and Royal Air Force Reserve Forces.

Head of the Programme Management Office at North Bristol NHS Trust, Matt Dixon joined the Armed Forces in 2011 while studying at University.

He explained: “I wanted to do something different and interesting that would help our country. Being a reserve for the Armed Forces provides you with opportunities you wouldn’t get anywhere else.”

After four years in the infantry, Matt trained as an Intelligence Analyst in 2015. The role involves analysing information from a wide range of sources and combining this with knowledge of tactics and your experience, then briefing back on what is likely to happen next on the battlefield.

Matt said: “I’ve had a number of memorable experiences, from time spent overseas on numerous occasions (including an exercise in Germany last year) to being involved in security operations at the Olympics in 2012, where I carried out vehicle searches.

“North Bristol NHS Trust is supportive of staff in the Armed Forces. The Trust supports time off for deployment, and give an extra two weeks of paid leave for annual training.”

Head of the Programme Management Office at NBT and Intelligence Analyst for the Armed Forces Matt Dixon

Matt is now encouraging others who are prepared to commit their spare time to join the Armed Forces reserves: “It’s definitely worth doing, but it requires dedication and commitment, particularly during the initial training period.”

“You learn transferable skills and have interesting and exciting experiences as a reserve. You also develop close bonds with amazing people.”

243 Field Hospital will be visiting Southmead Hospital on 16th and 17th January from 11am to 2.30pm.

As an Armed Forces reservist, you commit a minimum of 27 days a year, 16 days of which is an annual training camp. Find out more at



243 Field Hospital is one of ten regional Army Reserve Field Hospitals which between them cover the whole of the UK.  This means that wherever you are in the UK you can be a part of the Army Medical Services Reserve with a Reserve Field Hospital reasonably accessible to you.  243’s main area of responsibility is the SW of England from Gloucester to Portsmouth to Lands End.

Its role is to recruit, train and retain the clinically qualified staff required to man the Vanguard Field Hospital and be ready to deploy on UK military operations worldwide at times of conflict or peace-time operations.  This is a tented hospital facility capable of delivering first class clinical care, which can be loaded into 2 x RAF C-17 Globemaster aircraft and airlifted, anywhere in the world.  To staff this, the Army Medical Services Reserve rely almost 100% on recruiting fully qualified staff from the NHS/Private Health Sector who volunteer to serve.