Prior to the pandemic, 4 MERCIAN (a Midlands based Army Reserve unit) were running regular dedicated training weekends in partnership with the Army’s Field Hospital units to ensure Combat Medical Technician skills for Regimental Aid Post (RAP) capabilities, were maintained. Following an elongated period of suspension this has now been re-introduced and a robust training approach not only addresses their military role, but also builds on the links they have established with the NHS.
In discussion with Colonel Allen, an Army Reservist and Senior Nurse working in The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust at New Cross Hospital, it was decided to run a joint training day for members of the RAP and NHS clinicians at Wolverhampton Army Reserve Centre. To maximise this opportunity the focus was on Transit Care.
In Transit care is an important aspect of patient care within a RAP which is often undertaken to improve the existing management of patients. It may involve transfer of the patient over a short distance for a diagnostic procedure or a transfer to another facility much further away with more advanced care capability. The main aim in all such transfers is to maintain the continuity of medical care. As the transfer of a sick patient may adversely affect the prognosis of the patient, it needs to be done correct and efficiently. The key training aims were to ensure the safe transfer of patients involving decision to transfer and communication, pretransfer stabilisation and preparation, choosing the appropriate mode of transfer, personnel accompanying the patient, equipment and monitoring required during the transfer, and finally the documentation and handover of the patient at the receiving facility. These key elements needed to be fully understood and followed to prevent any adverse events which might severely affect the patient prognosis.
The NHS personnel agreed to lead on this and accreditation from The Royal College of Anaesthetists permitted the award of a CPD qualification.
The training was attended by 23 clinicians from the NHS which included Consultants, A&E Doctors, Nurses, Paramedics and military personnel. Training included a combination of theory and practical aspects with focus on the new lessons learnt during the pandemic. It also provided a great opportunity for their military personal to see new equipment available as well as training with very high-tech mannequins and patient simulators. It also allowed them to see some of the top consultants and medical personnel involved with trauma care carrying out their drills and procedures so adding a greater understanding to the role within a RAP.
The day was a great success for both parties and further joint training events were arranged. The NHS Trust will also provide training support and placements to the RAP to help develop their skills and share best practice.
Story copyright of 4MERCIAN, used with their permission.