Praise for mil medics....

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
#1
As I'm the only one who ever has to look at the defence Net site, I thought I would reprint this item for those who don't usually go there :D

Source:

In praise of military medics
31 May 07

The quality of care and support provided by military medical personnel was praised today, by Defence Minister at the British Medical Association's (BMA) Armed Forces conference.


Patients and staff at a field hospital in southern Iraq
[Picture: Allan House]

The conference, held annually at BMA House in London, was attended by the Surgeon General Lieutenant General Louis Lillywhite as well as a number of BMA members, many of whom are military personnel.

Praising defence medical personnel, Minister said that lives are being saved in Afghanistan, Iraq and the UK thanks to the superb efforts of military medics. He said:

"I also want to recognise the outstanding work of BMA members, military and civilian, in treating Forces personnel here in the UK in our MOD Hospital Units embedded at NHS hospitals. And the work of our medics in Service sick bays, GP surgeries and regional rehabilitation units up and down the land."

The Defence Medical Services are a leading innovator in best practice and medicine delivered to injured casualties oversees. In Afghanistan for example, a consultant goes with each medical team sent to recover severely injured casualties from the front-line, drastically reducing the time before the patient receives expert care. This policy recognises the "golden hour", whereby patients need to be stabilised in the first 60 minutes of being injured - often before they reach the safety of a field hospital.

New dressings have also been introduced recently to control catastrophic haemorrhage. And just this month a CT scanner has been installed in Afghanistan. There has been a CT scanner in Iraq since 2004 with telemedicine links back to the UK using techniques pioneered by the MOD. Polly said:


"I have visited our Field Hospitals in both Basra and Bastion. They are outstanding facilities, and will get better still as the tented accommodation is replaced. The clinical facilities, operating theatres and ward equipment would not be out of place in any modern hospital here in the UK."


Once injured personnel are brought back to the UK, they are treated at the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine, which is fully integrated with the University Hospital Birmingham Foundation Trust, providing personnel with access to a world class pool of expert consultants.

The military managed ward at Selly Oak hospital, part of the University Hospital Birmingham, reached initial operating capability in December 2006. A combined team of military and civilian personnel at the hospital provide care for military patients whose condition allows them to be in that ward. There are military managers involved at every level on the ward, with a total of 26 military nurses. By this summer when the ward reaches full operating capability, there will be 39 military nurses. Polly continued:

"The priority for our wounded personnel is that they get the best possible treatment. Nowhere is better for this than Selly Oak. Obviously, a priority for patients severely injured will be to stabilise them. Then, as people begin to recover, a military environment becomes increasingly important.

"By using military doctors, an increased number of military nurses and by bringing military patients together in this manner, personnel can benefit from a more military environment and still have access to top NHS resources and facilities."

Chief of the General Staff, General Sir Richard Dannatt echoed the Minister's thoughts in March when he said:

"There is nowhere better in the country, nowhere more expert at polytrauma medicine, than the hospital in Selly Oak, that's why our people are there."

The Defence Medical Service has also increasingly been caring for the mental health issues of military patients. As a result of the increasing awareness of mental health a military nurse now visits every military patient treated at Selly Oak hospital three times every day.

Under the Reservists Mental Health Programme, reservists are offered a mental health assessment. If someone is diagnosed as having a mental health condition related to service on recent operations, out-patient treatment at one of the MOD's 15 Departments of Community Health is offered. In more acute cases, the Defence Medical Services will assist access to NHS in-patient treatment.

Polly added:

"With UK Health Departments, we are taking steps to address concerns about NHS provision for those suffering mental health problems as a result of service. In particular, we will shortly be piloting a community-based arrangement to provide treatment for veterans, by establishing networks of expertise in military mental health within the NHS across the UK. The first pilots for this scheme are due to launch this summer."



A Radiographer in a mobile field hospital setting up radiography equipment to take an x-ray
[Picture: Sgt Teresa Pickin]


Polly also highlighted the efforts of three military service personnel whose work has been recognised recently. Colonel Timothy Hodgetts, from the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine, was named 'Hospital Doctor of the Year', RAF Sergeant Rachel McDonald won the 'Paramedic of the Year Award 2007' and Private Michelle Norris, from the Royal Army Medical Corps, recently became the first ever female recipient of a Military Cross.
.....ends......


anyone feel a blush coming on ? Pats on backs all round :D


Le Chevre
 
#2
As a colleague of Rachel Macdonald and the other paramedics who fulfil the IRT role in 'stan, and previously done IRT on telic myself, i'm full of praise of the medics on the ground at time of wounding.
It is the privates to full screws who do the hardest part of doing initial treatment until we arrive to take them away. If it was not for their calmness under extreme pressure, then the fatality rate would be higher than it currently is. I personally think all patrol medics should take this as an indication of how good a job they are doing.
Big tip of my hat to the guys who unlike michelle norris, don't get the recognition they so well deserve.
 
#3
Chief of the General Staff, General Sir Richard Dannatt echoed the Minister's thoughts in March when he said:

"There is nowhere better in the country, nowhere more expert at polytrauma medicine, than the hospital in Selly Oak, that's why our people are there."
I wonder how Gen Dannatt is qualified to make such an assertive statement? Will he be providing the research evidence to prove it, or is he just repeating what MOD's PR people have told him to say? Then again, perhaps it's the 'instant expert' syndrome his wife also suffers from; she appears to think that being married to CGS qualifies her to comment on all aspects of healthcare and welfare.
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
#4
Vee Bee

er....actually the 'Defence PR people' were equally surprised when CGS came out with that statement...'polytrauma' is not a term that trips easily from most people's tongues....though I did catch Surg Capt Campbell saying it to a local BBC camera team in March. Maybe Gen Dannatt saw the same item ?

I have not served with Gen Dannatt or met him but from those who have I get the impression that any attempt to 'lead the witness' would be met with.....uh.....ferocious disdain ! I think you may be doing him some disservice.

On a broader front, nice to see Med Pers getting a little airtime anyway.

pip pip,

Le Chevre
 
#5
Goatman said:
I have not served with Gen Dannatt or met him but from those who have I get the impression that any attempt to 'lead the witness' would be met with.....uh.....ferocious disdain ! I think you may be doing him some disservice.
Perhaps. I don't know him either, but I am aware that his background is infantry rather than medical, which is why I can't see how he's qualified to comment other than as a layman. He made a similar statement ("...the centre of excellence of polytrauma medicine and that is Selly Oak in Birmingham. ") back in March. Selly Oak may be a centre of excellence, but it may not be the best of them - the Royal London springs to mind, and there are others - I wonder how many CGS has visited. It's good to see CGS acknowledging the some of the real heroes of the polytrauma cases - the Fd Hosps, though he might also have mentioned the aeromed teams, without whom the wounded would not reach Selly Oak.

I suspect that CGS may have been briefed by individuals or organisations with an interest in RCDM/Selly Oak being portrayed in a good light. He does sometimes not appear to see the potential conflicts of interests in being briefed by those with an axe to grind, or perhaps even a commercial interest in his taking a particular view...

On a broader front, nice to see Med Pers getting a little airtime anyway.
Indeed.
 

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