Coronavirus: Lieutenant General Wins Outstanding Achievement Award

Lieutenant General Tyrone Urch CBE received the award in recognition for his role during the construction of the NHS Nightingale Hospitals.

Lieutenant General Tyrone Urch, Commander Home Command and the Standing Joint Commander (UK), has been awarded an Outstanding Achievement Award for his work during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The honour was awarded at the annual Association for Project Management (APM) Awards for his role in commanding the COVID Support Force during the construction of the NHS Nightingale Hospitals at the peak of the coronavirus crisis.

The award recognises the work of an individual in the field of project management, who has delivered something extra special in their role.

On accepting his award at the virtual event, Lt Gen Urch said: "It has been a challenging project, there' no doubt about it, it was a crisis that touched the entirety of the UK,

“It was complicated but nothing beyond the armed forces and being able to deliver it, and our military men and women did some amazing work on the ground,

“There’s not much out there, genuinely that the armed forces can’t do in support of the Government,

 “Bringing 36 years of experience in the army, and project delivery training has, in a programmatic sense genuinely delivered success,

 “It’s a great honour and a privilege to receive the recognition, but I receive it on behalf of all the amazing men and women in the Royal Navy, the British Army and in the RAF.”

Lt Gen Tyrone Urch CBE, during his virtual acceptance speech for the Outstanding Achievement Award.

Lt Gen Urch is in command of the 7,500-strong military COVID Support Force which is currently carrying out the mass coronavirus testing programme in Liverpool.

Standing Joint Command received its first order from the government to support the COVID-19 response on 28 February.

Following that order, 20,000 personnel, mostly from the British Army, were stood up for the task, named Operation Rescript, which was to build the Nightingale Hospital at Excel in London.

In 72 hours, Lt General Urch’s troops had built 4,000 beds by working round the clock in three shifts.

The NHS also called on Standing Joint Command to build the wards and deliver the oxygen.

Within 10 days, the London Nightingale was built through the efforts of Standing Joint Command, the NHS and civilian contractors.

Eventually, 11 Nightingale Hospitals were built around the country.

Debbie Dore, chief executive of APM, said: “I would like to congratulate Lieutenant-General Urch on winning this award for his efforts in delivering one of the largest national response projects the country has seen.

“Our awards are all about celebrating the outstanding successes and achievements of the project profession, made all the more significant by the unprecedented challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The results were announced at a live virtual awards ceremony which took place on Monday.

Cover image: Picture: Association for Project Management.