A mock British hospital has been used for the first time to prepare civilian medics for a terrorist incident at the Army Medical Services Training Centre in York.
2 Medical Brigade worked closely with the NHS in a military-style exercise that tested their response in the event of a major terrorist incident.
More than 100 clinical staff from NHS Hospitals in York and Scarborough took control of the Army facility to respond to a simulation terrorist attack on a fun run in York.
Dr Stephen Lord, the Chief Director at York Emergency Department and a former Army medic, said: “We’ve taken a bunch of civilian staff who work in the NHS, we’ve put them into an unusual environment… Being able to train in a safe environment where you can make mistakes with realistic scenarios is the most useful thing you can ever do.
“When I worked in the military that’s what we did for every single hospital unit which went anywhere in the world.
“So that when they faced that reality on their first day somewhere, they were able to do the job for real.”
Dr Phil Dickson, the Exercise Clinical Director, told Forces News that the events of 2017 had brought this “into very sharp focus”:
“As trauma networks nationally, we’ve shared a lot of the learning from our colleagues in both Manchester and London from last year… And that learning was shared with a matter of weeks of those events.
“2017 really brought this into very sharp focus.
“We’re intending to share the learning that we’ve taken from today, it’s not a real incident but it gives us a very good feel for how trauma units, in particular, would perform.”
The training centre can be transformed into any layout required, from a field hospital in South Sudan to an Ebola clinic in Sierra Leone.
In this scenario, it was an exact footprint replica of York Hospital.
Staff Nurse Nicole Winship, York Emergency Department said: “The way that they do their graphical type of injuries has been amazing.
“I was worried it was going to be not quite lifelike, and they look amazing - very, very lifelike.
“It makes it easier for you to practice and play the role when you can actually see the injury.”