Hannah Taylor

Hannah’s has served as a British Army Medical Officer since qualification.

In 2016 Hannah began training in public health medicine, undertaking placements in the Army, in local, regional and national public health teams, including throughout the pandemic, in health protection, health improvement and healthcare public health. In 2021 successfully competing for a place in the UK field epidemiology training programme; currently completing training in infectious disease and environmental epidemiology with the UKHSA.

Having completed research on breastfeeding in the military Hannah wrote the breastfeeding passport for the Army’s Pregnancy and Maternity handbook to empower breastfeeding servicewomen and provide education to commanders and healthcare workers. Her specialist knowledge on and passion for supporting breastfeeding mothers hassled her to use her own time to support the work of the Defence Breastfeeding Network and breastfeeding in other organisations.  She supported the chair in the establishment and development of the Defence Breastfeeding Network and developed additional educational materials on breastfeeding. The peer support network, established during the pandemic when many in-person services could not run, has been able to support not just serving mothers, but also those in the civil service and the spouses and partners of serving personnel.

The COVID-19 pandemic saw significant increases in the workload of a remote and dispersed public health workforce, even more evident for the small cadre of defence public health doctors. As well as supporting peers and senior colleagues and considering colleagues wellbeing, Hannah has supported the national, local, Defence and Royal hospital Chelsea COVID response, briefly acting up as a Consultant for the Army in the early stages of the pandemic. As part of the COVID response she led on the development of the Army’s COVID testing plan and the COVID Commanders Tool. Outside of defence she has supported the early COVID response in the National Incident Co-ordination Cell and led on the investigating and responding to and sharing findings of a number of outbreaks.

Whilst supporting the national and defence pandemic response Hannah has continued to support teaching and training, showing her commitment to and passion for improving health inequalities, breastfeeding and women’s health, public health and outbreak investigation both in local hospital trusts and in the Defence Medical Academy. She has also continued to support her local communities through voluntary work, as part of the Parent Teachers Association and a female role-model developing teamworking and leadership skills as a children’s work leader for under 5’s in her previous posting and since posting in Girlguiding UK. She hopes to continue to empower women in defence, breastfeeding mothers and other disadvantaged groups by promoting health needs especially where inequalities in health outcomes exist.