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Armed Forces Week, forces family member: Roz Tucker

How long have you worked for Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust (MTW) and what is your role?

I will have worked with MTW for 20 years in September. I started working in the Medical Directorate operational team, then spent five years in A&E and moved to work on the Sunrise Electronic Patient Record system over five years ago. I am the Digital Transformation Manager and manage the teams who develop and build all the documents our staff use in Sunrise EPR.

What is your connection to the Armed Forces?

Roz’s father, during active service in Beirut.

My family have a long history of Army service through the generations. My father was a Brigadier who had a very distinguished career including teaching bomb disposal to the New Zealand Army and being Commander Supply in Berlin – which meant we lived in Berlin the year before the wall came down, during and just afterwards.

My father was awarded an MBE for saving numerous British Army lives in Beirut. My brother followed in his footsteps and spent two tours in the Gulf.

I was a member of the Territorial Army for eight years as was my husband – which is where we met.

As a forces family member what challenges have you faced and what motivated you to join MTW?

So many challenges; moving schools so regularly as children meant it was the best option for us to go to boarding school at very young ages.

Luckily there were five of us so we looked out for each other. My father went to the Gulf while we were away at school so it was very difficult time for us but we had friends who had parents there too, so we became a kind of club.

Unfortunately my father suffered severe PTSD from the Gulf and later suffered, and passed away from, a condition called Multiple Systems Atrophy (kind of Parkinson’s plus) which some experts put down to Gulf War Syndrome.

My Dad gave so much to the Army and I think the NHS is my equivalent; this is what I can do to help others, as he would have done.

What would you say are the highlights are of having family in the armed forces?

It’s a worldwide family.  I have friends all over the place and you certainly learn how to talk to any one of any age and from any walk of life.

The travelling was amazing, I have dual nationality from being born in New Zealand; we lived in Berlin and all over Germany and my parents had other postings to Brussels, Rome and other amazing places.

Why would you encourage Forces Family Members to join MTW?

It is inclusive, it always supported me while I was in the Territorial Army and we are making changes all the time through the Veteran Awareness to support families as much as possible.

Do you feel supported as a forces family member in the Trust?

I am definitely beginning to feel supported now there is so much work going on to identify and support families and veterans. If you work with anyone who has a military story in any way, please support them and listen to some of their stories. They provide invaluable lessons for us all.