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Major Incident

Practice Makes Perfect - Major Incident Exercise

Kent and Canterbury Hospital has taken part in a major emergency planning exercise based on the scenario of a fire in a busy dialysis unit. EKHUFT needs to plan for, and respond to, a wide range of incidents and emergencies that could affect health or patient care. These could be anything from extreme weather conditions to an outbreak of an infectious disease or a major transport accident.

During Exercise Druid, volunteers played the role of dialysis patients and their families, who were undergoing treatment at the time of fire. They had a range of injuries and disabilities which meant staff were required to give different levels of care to each of them.

Exercise Druid involved a range of different agencies and emergency response teams. The exercise was supported by Kent Fire and Rescue who created harmless smoke and give the scenario a sense of realism. Fire-fighters also used the relevant breathing apparatus for effect. The number of participants involved included 17 volunteer patients and over 20 volunteer staff from across the services who worked together to create a successful live exercise.

The exercise enabled EKHUFT to rehearse its procedures for dealing with a major incident and to test its level of preparedness. There are three main reasons why EKHUFT choose to take part in live training exercises;

  1. To validate plans
  2. To develop staff competencies
  3. To test procedures that is already put in place.

John Weeks, Head of Emergency Planning and Response, says: “We take our emergency planning duties very seriously and participating in the exercise was an extremely valuable opportunity for us to rehearse our response to a mass-casualty accident."

Major Incident 4

“The scenario was undoubtedly challenging and a robust test of our preparedness. This is incredibly useful for allowing us to learn and to continue to improve our response." 

“I'm proud to say that our staff performed brilliantly under the pressure. As an organisation we know how best to manage a major incident so that even when services are under immense strain we can ensure top quality care. Thanks to Kent Fire and Rescue and South East Coast Ambulance Service, who without the exercise would not have been possible.”

I'm proud to say that our staff performed brilliantly under the pressure. As an organisation we know how best to manage a major incident"

John Weeks, Head of Emergency Planning and Response

For more information on how the NHS plans for major incidents and emergencies please see; https://www.england.nhs.uk/ourwork/eprr/