Staff at Salisbury District Hospital successfully tested their response to a chemical incident as part of a major incident training exercise.
This is one of a number of training exercises that the Trust carries out throughout the year to ensure that its procedures work and that staff are prepared to deal with a range of emergency situations.
Andy Hyett, Chief Operating Officer at Salisbury District Hospital said: “We have policies and procedures in place to deal with a wide range of incidents, but it’s essential that we test these regularly to ensure that our systems and equipment work well and that staff can experience what it would be like in a real-life incident.”
“The aim of this particular exercise was to test our decontamination procedures and facilities to ensure that if people were to turn up at our A&E department after a chemical incident, we treat and decontaminate them safely outside the department. If we had a number of casualties, we also need to ensure that we do not put other members of staff and the public at risk by allowing people to enter the department before they are decontaminated.”
Around 50 members of staff were involved in the exercise with observers from NHS England, Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group, Wiltshire Fire and Rescue and other general hospitals.
Rob Hayday, Associate Director of Performance at Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group said: “Exercises such as this are extremely important, and staff should be proud of their responses today. There are always learning points to be gained and we’re assured that everyone involved in the test will have found it enormously valuable.”
Andy Hyett said: “What we’ve demonstrated today is that we can deliver good quality safe care to patients in difficult circumstances. There are some learning points that we can gather from this exercise, but the processes and procedures we have in place have worked very well today. I want to thank our staff for their commitment and professionalism and the enthusiastic way in which they have approached this important initiative.”