NHS chief executive Sir David Nicholson has been made honorary colonel in the 306 Hospital Support Medical Regiment (Volunteers).

Sir David is due to visit the unit during a training exercise later in the year.

He said: “The Territorial Army is an invaluable support to the regular army medical capability. I am proud and honoured to be Honorary Colonel of 306 Hospital Support Medical Regiment (Volunteers), and am looking forward to visiting the unit during its annual training exercise to be held at Warcop Camp later in the year”

The regiment is part of the TA’s medical service and is one of two nationally-recruited units based at the Central Volunteers Headquarters in Yorkshire.

Colonel Jane Carey-Harris, the unit’s commanding officer and an assistant director for transition with the NHS South West London primary care trust cluster, said: “I am very pleased to welcome Sir David to the unit. His support to the unit and the Army Medical Services generally will be invaluable.”

Unit personnel spend a minimum of 19 days training each year and its members, many of whom are part-time volunteers from the NHS, supply military healthcare specialists to support operations abroad.

Personnel from the unit have been sent to Iraq and Afghanistan, with some completing more than one tour.