Is it time to rethink mobile medical teams?BMJ 2006; 332 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.332.7532.59 (Published 05 January 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;332:59
- Edward M Walsh, consultant anaesthetist (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- senior medical incident commander, Southmead Hospital, Bristol
In the United Kingdom the members of mobile medical teams that are deployed in the event of major incidents such as terrorist attacks are likely to be anaesthetic, general surgical, or orthopaedic trainees who are already on call. Two years ago a questionnaire was sent to 107 trainees in one NHS trust who had a potential role in a mobile medical team (BMJ 2003;326: 762). Of the 77 who replied, just 11 knew what to do in that role, and none felt they were adequately trained. This lack of knowledge and training is not confined to one trust.
The NHS's guidance Planning for Major Incidents (revised after this article was written and shortly before it went to press) describes provision of on-site medical care and advice as one of five key roles and responsibilities for acute trusts in major incidents. It states that supplying a trained, equipped, and exercised team is essential. The only advice the guidance gives for teams is that protective clothing should be …