South's emergency services to take part in major incident exercise

HEMS web

Clinicians at Southampton's teaching hospitals will join forces with emergency services from across the region for a major incident training exercise on Tuesday (20 June).

A range of professionals – including doctors, nurses, paramedics, healthcare assistants and operating department practitioners – will take part in the large-scale simulation, which will be based on the scenario of a road traffic accident.

The drill, which will include teams from South Central Ambulance Service, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance and Hampshire Fire and Rescue, has been organised by the major trauma education team at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, who will create the pre-hospital scene using upturned vehicles, sound effects, scenery and volunteer 'casualties' – with more than 100 participants set to be involved.

Fire and ambulance crews will be first to attend the scene, providing initial life-saving treatment and triage. Paramedics will then move casualties to the clinical skills training centre at Southampton General Hospital and hand them over to clinicians in the trauma team.

All teams will have the opportunity to observe other roles as they hand over to the next group and senior medical trainees from across the region will be able to test their skills in managing a major trauma patient.

UHS is one of 11 centres across the country to offer the full range of specialist surgical, intensive care and supporting services for both adults and children who suffer major trauma, with 1,249 patients treated at Southampton General Hospital in 2016.

An independent audit, produced by the Trauma Audit and Research Network (TARN), has found critically injured patients now have a 63% better chance of survival – with 0.9 additional survivors for every 100 patients treated in Southampton, the regional trauma centre.

Els Freshwater, advanced clinical practitioner in the emergency department at UHS, said: “This will be the second year the grand simulation has been held at Southampton General Hospital and it’s an invaluable opportunity for all emergency services to come together and test their skills and teamwork to help us prepare for a major incident.

"This year we are basing the event on a major road traffic collision, however, injuries and casualties could reflect a number of other potential major incidents.

“As in any training exercise, skills will be put to the test and this will not only help us identify areas where we excel but also highlight the areas that require improvement."

Steve Court, deputy emergency planning and resilience manager at UHS, added: “As we saw with the recent impact of the terror attacks in Manchester and London, the emergency services effort was precise and well-drilled and these realistic and regular simulations help us to ensure we are as well-equipped as we can be for any eventuality.”

The major incident exercise will start outside the South Academic Block at Southampton General Hospital at 11am on Tuesday (20 June) and will be featured on Twitter using the hashtag #GrandSim17.

There will be no disruption to patient services during the course of the training exercise and all hospital activity, including access to and around the site, will function as normal.

Posted on Friday 16 June 2017