Press release: Emergency services to put teamwork to test in gang attack simulation

HEMS team

Emergency services from across the south will put their teamwork and training to the test as part of a major incident exercise at Southampton General Hospital on Wednesday (27 June).

The event, which will involve around 150 participants, will be based on the scenario of a violent gang attack and will be complete with sound effects, scenery and simulated casualties played by volunteers.

Teams from Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service, Hampshire Police, South Central Ambulance Service, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance (HIOWAA) and University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust will take part in the drill.

Once the scene has been attended by the fire service, ambulance crews and police, casualties will be moved to the hospital’s clinical skills training centre where paramedics will hand them over to clinicians in the major trauma team.

Representatives from each emergency service will observe the roles carried out by their colleagues at each stage to help with their understanding of the process from the start of an incident to the moment casualties arrive in hospital.

Southampton General Hospital is one of only two centres in the south of England to offer the full range of specialist surgical, intensive care and supporting services for both adults and children who suffer major trauma and is supported by seven regional trauma units.

Els Freshwater, an advanced clinical practitioner in the emergency department at UHS and consultant paramedic for HIOWAA, said: “We have spent many months preparing for this event and it will again provide a valuable opportunity for emergency services to test our teamwork and preparations.

“This type of incident is becoming increasingly common and the types and degree of injuries regularly require the involvement of specialist trauma teams. As a major trauma centre, our clinicians would play a key role in managing critically injured casualties.”

She added: “It is extremely important for us to ensure scenarios are as realistic as possible so we can get a real understanding of where we are doing well and what we could improve on – and our volunteer actors are integral to that.”

The major incident exercise will be held in the hospital’s south academic block on level A from 11am on Wednesday.

Steve Court, deputy emergency planning and resilience manager at UHS, said: “Our major incident simulations are one part of a range of exercises we undertake throughout the year but our lifelike scenarios undoubtedly offer the best training environment.”

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 Monday 25 June 2018