Twin brothers, one a soldier and the other a surgeon, have both played a role in the battle to set up and run London’s temporary NHS Nightingale hospital.
British Army Lieutenant Colonel Phill Moxey, Commanding Officer of 1st Battalion, The Royal Anglian Regiment, led a team that helped to transform part of the Excel Centre into a hospital.
His brother Paul, a vascular surgeon at the capital’s St George’s Hospital, is currently on call to aid the new Nightingale facility’s dedicated medical team.
The Suffolk-born twins, aged 42, made radically different career choices as children and this is the first time their individual skills have been brought together on the same mission.
"Our soldiers have thrown themselves into this effort with passion and energy to make sure our teammates across government and, most importantly, the NHS get what they need," Lieutenant Colonel Moxey said.
"We have had their backs from the start and we will stay in it with them together until the end."
Up to 160 soldiers from five different Army units worked at the ExCel Centre during the build phase and 1st Battalion, The Royal Anglian Regiment, will remain alongside the NHS as the new hospital admits patients.
"I think the Nightingale is a triumph for NHS England and the Army team that have put it together so quickly," said Paul Moxey, who will be on call to help NHS Nightingale's medical staff and review patients.
"It shows what we can do as a country when we put our minds to it and has taught the NHS a lot about breaking out of the silos we all work in and collaborating with other teams to achieve a common goal.
"Long may it continue after COVID is defeated."
Father-of-three Paul, who is married to a nurse, added: "Our junior doctors have been taken to support intensive care, so we have had to relearn the administrative tasks that dog a junior doctor’s life.
"Having said that, there is a great atmosphere of camaraderie and teamwork at St George’s, and the vascular surgeons are very happy to possess the skills to help support our ICU colleagues with vascular access procedures and do our part in this crisis."
Lieutenant Colonel Moxey, who is also a married father-of-three, said that both their roles "have taken many years of experience to get to and both have required a degree of sacrifice, patience and tolerance on the home front."
"Neither of us could have got to where we are without the support of our families. Both roles require calmness under pressure, leadership and constant education," he added.
Cover image: Lieutenant Colonel Moxley and his twin brother doctor Paul Moxley (Picture: MOD).