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Royal College of Nursing Representing nurses and nursing, promoting excellence in practice, shaping health policies

Meet the Team

Major Chris Carter

Forum Chair
Nursing Representative for the Royal Society of Medicine, Military Medical Section

Major Chris Carter was commissioned into Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps in 2008. A qualified intensive care nurse he was initially assigned to the Intensive Care Department at the Ministry of Defence Hospital Unit Frimley Park, before a posting to 16 Medical Regiment in September 2010. He was then posted to the Defence School of Healthcare Education at Birmingham City University as a Nurse Lecturer. He continues to work in intensive care and teaches on a variety of under and post-graduate courses including specialist practice courses in critical care.

Prior to joining the Army, Major Carter held a variety of nursing positions including Intensive Care Nurse, Critical Care Outreach Nurse Practitioner and Resuscitation Officer.

As well as being the Chair of the RCN's Defence Nursing Forum and Nursing Representative for the Royal Society of Medicine, Military Medical Section.

Laura Hodson

Emergency Nurse and RAF reservist

Laura Hodson trained at the University of Hertfordshire, qualifying with a BSc (Hons) Nursing in 2003. She wrote her dissertation on the physiological effects of flying and has successfully published two articles on the subject in the British Journal of Nursing and Primary Healthcare Journal.  She started her MSc Trauma Sciences (Military and Humanitarian) at Queen Mary’s University in October 2015.

Laura joined the RAuxAF in April 2004.  In 2007 she deployed to Afghanistan with the aeromedical evacuation team and on returning to the UK commenced her initial officer training at RAF Cranwell. She graduated in December 2008 and has since completed a second tour of Afghanistan in 2010, where she worked as an emergency department team leader, and a tour to Sierra Leone in 2015 in support of the Ebola crisis.

Laura started work as a staff nurse in the emergency department at Barnet Hospital in 2003, completing her emergency nursing course in 2005 before taking up a band 6 position at St Thomas’ Hospital, London.  She stayed at St Thomas’ until 2009, when she moved to a band 7 position at the Whittington Hospital.  She left the Whittington in 2014 and now divides her time between working in the emergency department in Ipswich hospital, instructing Basic Life Support and Immediate Life Support training courses with A&A Training Ltd, and writing expert witness reports for The Finborough Practice. 

Juliet Bale

Nurse Specialist GP Practice at Air Command RAF High Wycombe

Corporal Bale trained at the University of Brighton, Conquest Hospital Hastings, qualifying as a RN (A) in September 2005. While a nursing student she joined the Territorial Army D (220) Medical Squadron, 4 Medical Regiment based in Ditton, Kent.

After working in ITU/HDU and the community as a staff nurse, she was promoted to senior staff nurse and returned to study at the University of Brighton where she was awarded a Degree in Health Sciences.
Corporal Bale volunteered as a crew member for the (RNLI) Royal National Lifeboat Institute in her spare time for a number of years at Hastings in East Sussex.
Her career then diverted from the NHS to the Ministry of Defence in 2009 when she worked as a practice nurse for APHCS at MRS Bovington in Dorset, a phase 2 training facility, undertaking a UCPD in Assessment and Management of Minor Injuries and Illness. She raised money for charity by jumping out of a perfectly good airframe at 14,000 feet attached to a Red Devil tandem for Help for Heroes.
Corporal Bale joined the Royal Auxiliary Air Force in July 2011 and became part of 4626 (Aero medical Evacuation) Squadron. In October 2011 she was promoted to nurse specialist at Air Command RAF High Wycombe. Juliet is currently studying modules at RCDM towards a Graduate Certificate in Defence Healthcare.
She has a keen interest in travel health and the military and quality care for service personnel and dependants. Corporal Bale was recently honoured with the title of Queen’s Nurse from the QNI.

Nicola Corkish

Regional Occupational Health Advisor

Major Corkish started her nursing at RNH Haslar in 2000. She has had a variety of postings including MDHUs, Field Units, and Recruiting, but she now works within Occupational Health.

In addition to deployments to Bosnia, Northern Ireland, Iraq and Afghanistan, Major Corkish partook in many field exercises including South Africa, Poland, Lebanon, Germany and Oman to name a few.

Major Corkish has a keen interest in all things new and is now focusing her attention on the recovery of the Wounded, Injured and Sick Service Personnel within the Army.


Professional Lead: Anna Crossley

Debra Ritsperis

Deputy Officer Commanding Nursing, Defence Medical Group South

Debra currently works as Deputy Officer Commanding Nursing at Defence Medical Group South. The role involves the clinical preparation of 200 nurses and AHPs from the Royal Navy, Royal Air Force and Army for delivering healthcare at sea, in the air and on land; recent Defence Nursing activities have provided healthcare in the Mediterranean and Aegean Seas, Sierra Leone, Iraq and Afghanistan. 

Maj Ritsperis qualified as a soldier nurse in 1988, having trained in the Army Schools of Nursing, and became a Commissioned Officer in 1990. Her military nursing career has taken her to Germany, the Middle East, Northern Ireland, Scotland and England.

Highlights of Debra’s career have included front line medical care of soldiers in an Infantry Regiment, setting up a Defence Mental Health Service in Scotland, being the Senior Nursing Officer with 33 Field Hospital in the Middle East and being the Nurse Education Advisor for Regular, Reserve and Civilian nurses.
Debra is currently studying for a PhD looking at factors affecting Army Nurse Recruitment. 

Page last updated - 10/10/2018