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Should the royal navy have a real hospital ship?

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Re: Should the royal navy have a real hospital ship?

Postby SW1 » 18 Jun 2020, 18:01

Have to say doesn’t get any better an idea even reading in it in full context.

We would be better off providing government funding to http://www.intrescue.info/ and perhaps facilitate there rapid deployment

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Re: Should the royal navy have a real hospital ship?

Postby Tempest414 » 18 Jun 2020, 18:08

RichardIC wrote:
Tempest414 wrote:Of course the other way of looking at it is staff working in the NHS would after 5 years earn the right to take a 6 -9 months sabbatical from there day job to join the ships where ever they are there by doing something different and learning some new skills before returning to there day jobs with great memories and getting there heads down for the next 5 years this is no different to how the RMC work


Sorry, forgot you were the expert on NHS workforce.


No more than you.

The fact is there will be a good number of people who have the skill sets needed to make this work who don't want to work for the NHS and would only go to the private sector or over seas or leave all together this could allow us to keep these skill sets in the UK and when needed like now the ships could return home

Just as a by how many staff leave the NHS to work else where a year it has to be in 1 or 2 thousands

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Re: Should the royal navy have a real hospital ship?

Postby RichardIC » 18 Jun 2020, 21:25

Apologies - I was confusing you with Jake1992. If you've worked for the service I respect your view without necessarily agreeing with it.

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Re: Should the royal navy have a real hospital ship?

Postby Caribbean » 18 Jun 2020, 23:46

RichardIC wrote:
shark bait wrote:Spinning two crap ideas together does not make a good idea.


Caribbean wrote:So not just a hospital ship and definitely not a new Royal Yacht! I think she's actually meaning that these new vessels could be as important for the UK's image abroad as Brittania was in her time. Interesting, whether it happens, of course, is another matter


She's not spinning two crap ideas, she's aiming for double figures at minimum.

OK - I get it - you don't like the idea of a UK Aid ship (or maybe you don't like the Royals) . If it's the former, I think you are wrong. If it's the latter then, as far as I'm concerned, it's Rhett Butler's "final line" to you.
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Re: Should the royal navy have a real hospital ship?

Postby RichardIC » 19 Jun 2020, 07:47

Caribbean wrote:OK - I get it - you don't like the idea of a UK Aid ship (or maybe you don't like the Royals) . If it's the former, I think you are wrong. If it's the latter then, as far as I'm concerned, it's Rhett Butler's "final line" to you.


Point me to a signal syllable that makes you think I'm an anti monarchist. Just one.

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Re: Should the royal navy have a real hospital ship?

Postby Caribbean » 19 Jun 2020, 10:13

The fact that, like so many, you focus on the inaccurate "it's a new Royal Yacht" part of the text (i.e. the small part of my much longer post that you explicitly quoted) and not the important part, that it wil provide extra capacity for HADR operations as well as promoting the UK "brand". It's a classic attack line of the anti-monarchy mob, regardless of whether it brings other benefits (or is in fact an accurate description of the proposal) and used, just as you did, to try to discredit the idea (because it's "Royal").

It may not have been the impression that you intended to convey, but convey it you did. You framed the context, so my comment was entirely appropriate.
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Re: Should the royal navy have a real hospital ship?

Postby RichardIC » 19 Jun 2020, 10:34

Caribbean wrote:The fact that, like so many, you focus on the inaccurate "it's a new Royal Yacht" part of the text (i.e. the small part of my much longer post that you explicitly quoted) and not the important part, that it wil provide extra capacity for HADR operations as well as promoting the UK "brand". It's a classic attack line of the anti-monarchy mob, regardless of whether it brings other benefits (or is in fact an accurate description of the proposal) and used, just as you did, to try to discredit the idea (because it's "Royal").

It may not have been the impression that you intended to convey, but convey it you did. You framed the context, so my comment was entirely appropriate.


You wrote a single paragraph and I quoted it in its entirety. I did not focus on the reference to a Royal Yacht.

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Re: Should the royal navy have a real hospital ship?

Postby Caribbean » 19 Jun 2020, 11:15

RichardIC wrote:You wrote a single paragraph and I quoted it in its entirety. I did not focus on the reference to a Royal Yacht.

Fair enough. Though my post was considerably longer than the last paragraph, I accept that the perceived emphasis was accidental, not intentional, and apologise for getting the wrong end of the stick.

I still disagree with you about the usefulness of a civilian UK Aid capability - it should be the first line of the UK's "routine" HADR response (pre-positioning in acknowledged "trouble spots" at specific times of the year, along with regular tours of countries with a shortage of specialist medical skills), with the military "on call" (and some personnel actually on board) to provide the specialist operational skills and backup in volume, where needed.

As for being a drain on NHS resources - I would open recruitment up to the Commonwealth - I suspect that you would have to ration access, as you would be beating volunteers off with a stick. Others (outside of discussions here) have mentioned NGO's like Medecin Sans Frontiers (and many others). They would probably not be interested for valid idealogical reasons, but we may well be able to recruit medical staff who would otherwise have joined up with them.
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Re: Should the royal navy have a real hospital ship?

Postby SW1 » 19 Jun 2020, 11:45

Caribbean wrote:I still disagree with you about the usefulness of a civilian UK Aid capability - it should be the first line of the UK's "routine" HADR response (pre-positioning in acknowledged "trouble spots" at specific times of the year, along with regular tours of countries with a shortage of specialist medical skills), with the military "on call" (and some personnel actually on board) to provide the specialist operational skills and backup in volume, where needed.


But we already have such a uk civil HDAR capability in the international rescue corps. Positioning in “trouble spots” is fine if your talking hurricanes in the Caribbean. But what if it’s an earthquake or a volcanic eruption or a tsunami. The overarching uk response is in the initial rapid response and that’s we’re ships don’t work if it’s seen as the UKs global disaster response.

If it’s more long term and medical related then is it not better to invest in civil resilience thru working with local administrations and arguably the world health organisation.

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Re: Should the royal navy have a real hospital ship?

Postby RichardIC » 19 Jun 2020, 11:54

SW1 wrote:But we already have such a uk civil HDAR capability in the international rescue corps. Positioning in “trouble spots” is fine if your talking hurricanes in the Caribbean. But what if it’s an earthquake or a volcanic eruption or a tsunami. The overarching uk response is in the initial rapid response and that’s we’re ships don’t work if it’s seen as the UKs global disaster response.

If it’s more long term and medical related then is it not better to invest in civil resilience thru working with local administrations and arguably the world health organisation.


Agree totally.

And if you can pre-position in preparation for known threats eg. Hurricane season, then actually what is going to be most useful is exactly what we've been using for the last three years. A Bay with some heavy engineering equipment and people with the right skills to open roads, restore water and electricity and get infrastructure - including local medical facilities - working again ASAP.

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Re: Should the royal navy have a real hospital ship?

Postby Caribbean » 19 Jun 2020, 15:00

SW1 wrote:the international rescue corps

The International Rescue Corps? You are kidding, right? A capable and dedicated group, definitely, but a typical deployment is 8-10 people (the largest I've found was 15, but they may have had larger), specialising mainly in post-earthquake urban search and rescue.

They, and groups like them, are an part of the solution, definitely, but have nothing like the logistics capability and scale needed to handle a large scale event. That's not what IR are designed or intended for - their job is the immediate post-disaster rescue of casualties, with the lightest logistic footprint possible. Without considerable assistance a typical team would be pretty limited in what they could achieve (usually multiple SAR teams fly in from all over the world to carry out immediate rescue from collapsed buildings etc, who then withdraw when the initial search is declared over (usually between 3 and 7 days) and the medium term support effort gets going - that's where the UK Aid ships come into it, bringing large quantities of aid within 1-7 days after the event, depending on location (which is why there should be more than one of them, so that they can be pre-positioned in multiple locations).
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Re: Should the royal navy have a real hospital ship?

Postby SW1 » 19 Jun 2020, 15:29

Caribbean wrote:
SW1 wrote:the international rescue corps

The International Rescue Corps? You are kidding, right? A capable and dedicated group, definitely, but a typical deployment is 8-10 people (the largest I've found was 15, but they may have had larger), specialising mainly in post-earthquake urban search and rescue.

They, and groups like them, are an part of the solution, definitely, but have nothing like the logistics capability and scale needed to handle a large scale event. That's not what IR are designed or intended for - their job is the immediate post-disaster rescue of casualties, with the lightest logistic footprint possible. Without considerable assistance a typical team would be pretty limited in what they could achieve (usually multiple SAR teams fly in from all over the world to carry out immediate rescue from collapsed buildings etc, who then withdraw when the initial search is declared over (usually between 3 and 7 days) and the medium term support effort gets going - that's where the UK Aid ships come into it, bringing large quantities of aid within 1-7 days after the event, depending on location (which is why there should be more than one of them, so that they can be pre-positioned in multiple locations).


No I’m not kidding if we providing immediate disaster response, then that’s the best way to do it. The UK contribute to these to https://www.who.int/emergencies/partner ... ical-teams.

https://www.eventmedicinecompany.co.uk/ ... s-support/

If you in the Medium/long term rebuild then simply charter shipping or aircraft to move stores from stockpiles.

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Re: Should the royal navy have a real hospital ship?

Postby RichardIC » 19 Jun 2020, 15:58

Caribbean wrote:that's where the UK Aid ships come into it, bringing large quantities of aid within 1-7 days after the event, depending on location (which is why there should be more than one of them, so that they can be pre-positioned in multiple locations).


Caribbean - this is a serious question. Are you making this up as you go along, or is there a plan in existence somewhere you could link us to?

So we seem to have gone from the initial concept of a hospital ship.

That's now morphed into the idea of multiple pre-positioned UK Aid ships able to perform many different tasks, and so numerous that "large quantities" of aid could be delivered to any port within between 24 hours and a week.

How many would that require exactly? Where would they be? Who would crew them?

Thanks.

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Re: Should the royal navy have a real hospital ship?

Postby Caribbean » 19 Jun 2020, 16:58

Multiple, as in more than one (I just didn't want to repeat the same phrase in two consecutive phrases, it makes the phrasing sound awkward). There are a couple of proposals around at the moment, one a private proposal and the other proposed by elements within HMG, though as yet not taken up - neither see the output as a "hospital ship" - both envisage at least two multi-role aid vessels, incorporating medical, supply, helicopter and small boat facilities. The private proposal looks like a crossover liner/LHD - the Government one is a paper description only, so could be anything.

As for delivering aid within 24 hours to a week, that's what the Bays do at the moment in the Caribbean(as does HNLMS Pelikaan for the Dutch - the French have laid off their old landing craft and are using a Mistral this year). Backup comes from multiple other hulls (Ocean and Protector in recent years) and, last time, an airbridge established into Barbados.

Their function is short to medium term support, both participating in and following on from the initial search and rescue. The issue for teams like International Rescue and the UKISAR teams is that they are deliberately low footprint - they have to carry everything with them to avoid stretching local resources. As they have to fly in by commercial airliner, they a) are restricted as to how to access the scene (maybe having to land hundreds of miles away and access by road) and b) restricted as to what they can carry, meaning that they are best suited to intense, short-duration tasks. Ships, on the other hand, can bring everything with them (including the helicopters and vehicles needed to access the actual disaster site) and can produce a relatively sustained effort to bridge the gap between initial rescue operations and sustained international aid starting to arrive (long-term aid)

Ship's Crew: Hired and paid for out of the same budget that built them. Specialists: Likewise

None of this is exactly stretching the imagination - it's what currently happens - we just have to use scarce naval resources to do it, because we have nothing else that is suitable. Not exactly difficult for a purpose-built civilian ship to do the same, performing Aid functions, with finance coming from the Aid budget. We might even be able to cover more than the Caribbean (which is all we can realistically handle now).
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Re: Should the royal navy have a real hospital ship?

Postby RichardIC » 19 Jun 2020, 17:22

Caribbean wrote:Multiple, as in more than one (I just didn't want to repeat the same phrase in two consecutive phrases, it makes the phrasing sound awkward). There are a couple of proposals around at the moment, one a private proposal and the other proposed by elements within HMG, though as yet not taken up - neither see the output as a "hospital ship" - both envisage at least two multi-role aid vessels, incorporating medical, supply, helicopter and small boat facilities. The private proposal looks like a crossover liner/LHD - the Government one is a paper description only, so could be anything.


Do you have any links? The only private proposal I'm aware of is Britannia Maritime Aid, which specifically talks about one vessel that would operate in the Caribbean. And it's supposed to be partially crowd funded. Since launch last September they've raised £1,750.

Caribbean wrote:As for delivering aid within 24 hours to a week, that's what the Bays do at the moment in the Caribbean(as does HNLMS Pelikaan for the Dutch - the French have laid off their old landing craft and are using a Mistral this year). Backup comes from multiple other hulls (Ocean and Protector in recent years) and, last time, an airbridge established into Barbados.


Exactly, so if you are planning a global network which can reach anywhere within a week of a disaster how many do you need?

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Re: Should the royal navy have a real hospital ship?

Postby Caribbean » 20 Jun 2020, 11:30

RichardIC wrote:if you are planning a global network

Point to where I said "global network"
RichardIC wrote:which can reach anywhere

Ditto
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Re: Should the royal navy have a real hospital ship?

Postby RichardIC » 20 Jun 2020, 15:27

Caribbean wrote:Point to where I said "global network"


I haven't asked any trick questions.

Caribbean wrote:that's where the UK Aid ships come into it, bringing large quantities of aid within 1-7 days after the event, depending on location (which is why there should be more than one of them, so that they can be pre-positioned in multiple locations).


So if you plan on reaching any disaster zone within seven days, and ships are to be pre-positioned accordingly "in multiple locations", then "global network" seems to describe that fairly well.

But the question is, to meet that goal how many ships do you need?

And the other thing I've asked is links to any information on the actual proposals you say are out there. Are there any actual credible proposals?

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Re: Should the royal navy have a real hospital ship?

Postby Caribbean » 20 Jun 2020, 16:43

RichardIC wrote:So if you plan on reaching any disaster zone within seven days, and ships are to be pre-positioned accordingly "in multiple locations", then "global network" seems to describe that fairly well.

Where did I say any disaster zone?
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Re: Should the royal navy have a real hospital ship?

Postby RichardIC » 20 Jun 2020, 18:40

Caribbean wrote:Where did I say any disaster zone?


So what are you saying???? I'm trying to make some sense of this UK Aid Ship concept.

How many aid ships? More than one you said. Enough to cover "multiple locations" you said. So how many?

You said "there are a couple of proposals around at the moment". I'm just asking, what are they?

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Re: Should the royal navy have a real hospital ship?

Postby Caribbean » 20 Jun 2020, 21:18

Just go back and read what I actually said - ignore whatever's going on inside your head. All the information is there
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Re: Should the royal navy have a real hospital ship?

Postby RichardIC » 21 Jun 2020, 10:09

Caribbean wrote:Just go back and read what I actually said - ignore whatever's going on inside your head. All the information is there


The usual answer when someone hasn't got an answer is "find out for yourself". This is close enough.

So the actual answers are "no idea how many" and "there are no credible plans".

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Re: Should the royal navy have a real hospital ship?

Postby Caribbean » 21 Jun 2020, 10:51

Actually, no- it's an "I've already answered those points" response.
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Re: Should the royal navy have a real hospital ship?

Postby RichardIC » 21 Jun 2020, 11:05

Caribbean wrote:Actually, no- it's an "I've already answered those points" response.


No you haven't. It's clear you haven't. We'll leave it there.

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Re: Should the royal navy have a real hospital ship?

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 21 Jun 2020, 11:28

RichardIC wrote:So if you plan on reaching any disaster zone within seven days, and ships are to be pre-positioned accordingly "in multiple locations", then "global network" seems to describe that fairly well.

But the question is, to meet that goal how many ships do you need?


Let's make it western hemisphere; no East of Suez.
- we can divide by two, and save some budget

I would further go for quickly configurable, dual-use assets (to divide the 'half' by two again, cost wise)
- but I won't
- ONLY because that would breach the discussion brief ('real hospital ship')

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Re: Should the royal navy have a real hospital ship?

Postby Caribbean » 21 Jun 2020, 16:06

Clearly you haven't read the whole thread (or have a poor memory, if you did). I have clearly laid out my ideas a number of times in the past. I'm also not sure whether it's worth engaging with you, since you seem to ignore what I actually write and attribute stuff to me that I didn't actually say. I am, for instance still waiting for you to answer my "where did I say that" questions above. Clearly you can't.

However, since you clearly aren't prepared to do the reading (even of this thread) and I have a little time off working for a change:

As you well know, There are no "plans", all there is at the moment are proposals,

The main proponents of those proposals are : elements within DfID , commentators/ campaigners like STRN and private organisations like British Maritime Aid. However, there have also been numerous articles in the press relating to these proposals (both pro- and anti-) and suggesting modes of operation, representing the views of both individual correspondents and interested groups

Other medical and aid organisations are interested, such as Mercy Ships (a UK organisation that operates a converted ferry, Africa Mercy, as the largest non-Government operated hospital ship worldwide - she is currently 40 years old and will need replacing at some point in the not too distant future. It's interesting to note that they have no problem recruiting medical staff) along with those who currently have to either pre-position equipment and supplies in potential disaster areas, or rely on commercial airfreight (and sometimes RAF assistance) to fly supplies in at short notice. The ability to move large quantities at relatively short notice over a range of several thousand miles is of interest to them.

Despite what some of the assembled contributors here may think - a single Bay class is totally inadequate for the task of post-hurricane disaster relief in the Caribbean and the sundry tankers assigned in the past are even less capable. The entire contents of a single Bay-class will be exhausted handling the response on a single small island. Following the Haiti earthquake in 2010, the RN was tasked with helping one village as that is all that it was capable of. The hurricanes of the last few years have demonstrated that the entire European response in assisting their Caribbean overseas territories has been lamentably lacking (the French pre-positioned c. 2000 troops in the French overseas departements in 2017 - they ended up needing the same assistance as everyone else). When it was finally realised that the response was inadequate, it took weeks to build up an airbridge via Barbados, during which time there was very little assistance provided to the populations of both the Windwards and the Bahamas. I was in the Caribbean during the 2017 season (and the 2011-2016 seasons) and there was huge criticism within the local communities over the speed (or lack therof) and nature of the response (in particular, there was much head-scratching over why the UK was so proud of delivering thousands of blankets to a region where it never drops below 30C and the humidity is consistently at 100% - you need aircon, not blankets). Water, food, security, electricity and building supplies to at least temporarily secure buildings (from both the elements and looters) were much more important. The UK prepared for Middle Eastern refugees, not Caribbean disaster survivors.

As the response to the 2017 and 2019 showed, the RN has little depth to backup the sole Bay in the Caribbean, with Protector being diverted from it's journey south to pick up 20 tonnes of privately donated supplies in Bermuda, before heading to the Caribbean and Ocean picking up equipment in Gibraltar, where it was delayed for weeks (rumoured to be due to mechanical problems). The current proposals envisage vessels with c. 6000t or so of containerised cargo and vehicle storage - equivalent to (being generous) twelve Bay class (200t is a more normal load than 500t ). That is more capacity, on the spot, than the entire RN and RAF were able to deliver in the first two months of their support operation (and at huge expense).

As for "what capacity do I envisage" - I covered that in my previous responses. The initial focus should be support of the Caribbean (by which I include the Lucayan Archipeligo and Bermuda, though they are North Atlantic, not Caribbean), followed by elsewhere should we have more than one ship. Having a second vessel would also enable a continuous re-supply of both personnel and equipment from the UK in the aftermath of a natural disaster

To expand on that: For me, "elsewhere" would start with the other Atlantic BOT's, plus touring medical support of the sub-Saharan West African coast (we've pinched a substantial number of their qualified doctors for the NHS - it would be nice if we gave at least a little bit back). This is a different mission to the Caribbean HADR mission - in this case it would be acting primarily as a hospital ship, but the ability to carry stores, to allow it to respond to an emergency, would still be valuable. Beyond that, were we to have the capacity, the southern East African coast (more Commonwealth members) or perhaps even the occasional visit to further-flung Commonwealth members in the Pacific and East Indies, though between the Aussies, the Kiwis and the other regional powers, they are pretty well covered, so it would probably be a rare event when they both have issues with availability of vessels or in a major event that needs worldwide contributions.
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