NHS 'frontline care' learning report

Treatment of wounded British troops on the frontline is so good that NHS accident and emergency departments in the UK should learn from it, a report has said.

But away from war zones too many of Britain's military healthcare services fail to comply with standards for hygiene, child protection and patient safety, the Healthcare Commission found.
Inspectors raised concerns about "unacceptable" conditions at some armed forces' medical centres in the UK and overseas, including poor maintenance, dirty facilities and lack of privacy.
They also criticised the continued use of ambulances at British bases in Cyprus which had been identified as "unsafe" and in need of urgent replacement.

The Commission carried out the first independent review of the Defence Medical Services (DMS), which provides healthcare for 258,000 service personnel, their families and entitled civilians.
It praised the military's "exemplary" emergency treatment for combat injuries in conflict zones and rehabilitation services for recovering troops.
Maureen Burton, who led the review, noted that a soldier wounded in battle could be airlifted and undergo an operation in Britain within 24 hours.
Sir Ian Kennedy, chairman of the Healthcare Commission, said: "There is in our view absolutely no question that personnel injured in battle have a better chance of survival than ever before.
"That is entirely due in my view to the efficient and innovative care which is delivered, often under exceptionally difficult circumstances."

He added: "We think that the NHS in its urgent and emergency services could learn a lot from how the DMS plan care, train staff and constantly seek to learn and improve."

(Note: Now don't get me wrong, but I'm sure that a lot of these military medics, that the NHS could learn from, are in fact NHS accident and emergency department medics who have volunteered to serve on the frontline.)


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