Monday saw the opening of the seventh NHS Nightingale Hospital in Bristol and at its helm will be RAF Benevolent Fund Trustee Marie-Noelle Orzel.
Wing Commander Orzel sits on the Fund’s Welfare Committee and is the charity’s Safeguarding Lead Trustee. Her background is in military nursing having served in the Royal Navy for six years.
Following her naval career, Wg Cdr Orzel joined the Royal Auxiliary Air Force and has served in the Reserves ever since. She is currently the Senior Nurse Advisor (Reserves) for the RAF and a Non-Executive Director of a mental health Trust.
NHS Nightingale Hospital Bristol will provide 300 fully-ventilated beds for patients in the Severn area critical care network. Wg Cdr Orzel has led the work to get the hospital up and running on the University of the West of England (Bristol) campus site in just 24 days.
Wg Cdr Orzel said: "Like the others across the country our hospital is an extraordinary achievement and a testament to the hard work of all those involved from the NHS staff, to the builders, carpenters and architects, the armed forces, our university hosts and everyone else.
"Each and every person has played their part to get us to where we are today - hoping that we will not be needed, but ready to care with compassion, if and when we are needed."
She continued: "I'm also incredibly proud to witness how the RAF Benevolent Fund has responded to the COVID-19 crisis ensuring the needs of our isolated RAF veterans is at the forefront of its work. We are all working together to ensure the vulnerable members of our communities are protected during these unprecedented times."
The NHS Nightingale Hospital Bristol saw five miles of vinyl welded joints, seven miles of copper pipework, 25 miles of data cables, 5,656 double sockets installed to convert 4,000 square metres into a hospital.