Army

Army Field Hospital Tested To Ensure Five-Day Global Deployment Time

Exercise Chiron Certify in Hampshire has been putting 22 Field Hospital to the test.

The British Army has been putting one of its mobile field hospitals through its paces to ensure it is capable of deploying anywhere in the world within five days.

During Exercise Chiron Certify, 22 Field Hospital have had to prove it is capable of taking on the mantle of the Army's High Readiness Hospital.

This means being able to set up a hospital within 24 hours and be fully operational within two to four days.

Once the structure is up it's then about the provision of care.

Sergeant Suzzi Bipond, Field Surgical Team, told Forces News the exercise, which takes place every two years, lasting four weeks and involving 300 personnel, is "very realistic".

"We have... casualty simulation and we have these 'real-life' dummies that we take through as well that can be operated on and they can simulate breathing and they can talk as well," she said.

Inside the hospital, there are two emergency bays, one operating theatre, two intensive care units and a 12-bed ward – meaning military personnel patients are provided with an NHS standard of care anywhere in the world.

This year’s exercise has also seen the trialling of a smaller medical facility capable of receiving its first patient within 60 minutes.

Anaesthetist Lieutenant Colonel Paul Davies told Forces News the training is "extremely important".

"We all work in NHS practices for the most part so any opportunity we can to do military-specific training is very important to our ability to effectively deliver on operations," he said.

This year's exercise has also seen the trialling of a veterinary hospital attached to the field hospital, as well as a smaller medical facility being certified.

The smaller facility can be set up quickly, capable of receiving its first patient within 60 minutes and being fully operational within two hours.

This means it is perfect for supporting peace operations, or as an early-entry capability, and is an essential facility with teams currently on operations in the Middle East and Africa.

Captain Rupert Milward-Wiffen, Commander Ground Manoeuvre Surgical Group, said the facility has a smaller team, with each individual expected to take on up to "five different roles".

"Compared to the bigger field hospital, which has got a couple of hundred people in it, we're a team anywhere between about 13 and 17 people," he said.

"So the dynamic changes a lot more and generally the smaller the team, the more roles you're expected to take on."