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Innovation Award Finalist: LT Colonel Emma Hutley (Army)

I am Lt Col Emma Hutley, I joined the Royal Army Medical Corps as a medical cadet whilst at medical school in 1997, qualifying as a doctor in 1999. After initial hospital jobs I served in Germany as a regimental medical officer before returning to UK to continue my medical training finally becoming a consultant microbiologists in 2013. I have served in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kenya and Poland and am currently based in Surrey where I live with my two sons aged 12 and 10.

I have been the Defence Consultant Advisor for Pathology (DCA Pathology) since Sept 2014 and lead the Defence Pathology workforce of doctors, clinical scientists and Biomedical Scientists (BMS). This role is normally held by a senior Consultant on a 3-year tenure, however with a critical shortage in this speciality, it was requested that I step into the role in my first year as a Consultant and I have been in the position ever since.

My nomination for this award focused on various areas of my work as DCA Pathology related to the innovations made in workforce development and novel diagnostic capability provided in support of military operations worldwide. It recognises my promotion of the Defence Pathology Cadre and my work as an advocate for Military Biomedical Scientists, successfully improving their training and particularly introducing a programme to enable their qualification as Consultant Clinical Scientists. Also included in the citation was my activity during the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone developing a unique military clinical laboratory able to provide a full range of analysis to support the treatment centre. The model led to the development of our BMS and a Bergan concept delivering truly flexible and adaptable diagnostic support on operations, as evidenced on Ex SAIF SAREEA 3. More recently I have provided advice and guidance to the chain of command on testing for SARS-CoV-2 in the Defence response to COVID 19 whilst also providing support and advice to the NHS response. I established a Defence Covid laboratory in partnership with DSTL and have looked to deliver early solutions for testing in a range of operation and UK settings. I have delivered innovative presentation on testing illustrated with my Coronavirus Chocolate Cake - When is chocolate not good?

On receiving notification that I had been nominated for this award I was surprised and proud to have been recognised but also humbled as all of my achievements have only been possible due to the amazing team of people I work with daily in the military and NHS. Without their support and hard work none of this would have been possible and this nomination is recognition for all those who are part of and support defence pathology.

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