Aim: To quantify the risk for delivering care at Role 1 in the Land Environment (point of wounding to hospital care) on current operations and set the conditions for systematic change to enhance future capability.
Population: UK, US and Danish Army Role 1 Subject Matter Experts (SMEs)
Methods: (1) Questionnaire study of UK SMEs to determine capability gaps; (2) Questionnaire study of US and Danish SMEs to benchmark UK capability; (3) Semi-structured interviews of UK SMEs; (4) In-theatre evaluation of deployed Role 1.
Results: Thirty two SMEs completed the questionnaire (68% response rate), comprising 25 medical officers (20 in clinical appointments; five in command and staff appointments), six nurses and one medical support officer. Results of the entire review were collated as a cross-Defence Lines of Development analysis, separating the specific experience of 1 Medical Regiment’s Hybrid Foundation Training (HFT), Mission Specific Training (MST) and deployment cycle from the analysis gained from questionnaire studies, SME consultation and documentary evidence.
Recommendations and Conclusions: The review generated 77 recommendations and 38 sub-recommendations. The top six messages of the review were (1) To balance the expressed desire to increase the ratio of trained Team Medics with the reality of generating credible instructors with clinical experience; (2) To recognise that inadequate experience for Combat Medical Technicians in Primary Healthcare in the Firm Base undermines their operational preparedness; (3) To recognise that Current Regimental Aid Post (RAP) at contingency without power lacks the rudimentary infrastructure of a modern Medical Treatment Facility; (4) To recognise that inappropriate deployment of personnel with chronic disease or acutely limiting conditions is a consistent trend for 20 years that highlights continuing system weaknesses in applying protective medical grading; (5) To accept that General Practitioner manning requires re-evaluating as an Operational Pinch Point, reviewing all options to maintain operational effectiveness including, but not focusing on, incentives; and (6) To recognise that a best practice template for Role 1 Healthcare Governance has been created that must endure.
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