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Surgeons win military civilian partnership award

26 November 2010

A unique surgical training course which prepares surgical teams for deployment to conflict zones has taken a top prize at this year’s Department of Health Military and Civilian Health Partnership Awards, winning the Education and Training award.

The Military Operational Surgical Training course (MOST) - a collaboration between the Academic Department of Military Surgery & Trauma (ADMST), Royal Centre for Defence Medicine, Joint Medical Command and the Royal College of Surgeons of England (RCS) – is delivered twice a year to regular military and reserve service clinicians about to deploy to Afghanistan.

The course breaks down traditional boundaries by delivering surgical trauma training to entire surgical teams, with general, orthopaedic and plastic surgeons training alongside anaesthetists, operating department practitioners, theatre nurses and emergency physicians.

The course utilises the state of the art clinical simulation facilities and specialist surgical training staff at the Education Centre of the Royal College of Surgeons of England. Tutors with recent military operational experience and live links to surgeons in Afghanistan, mean that training is up to date and based on real life encounters on the battlefield, and ensures that the learning curve for teams, once deployed, is minimal.

Surgeon Captain Mark Midwinter, Defence Professor of Surgery at ADMST, and course convenor, said: “I am absolutely delighted that MOST has won the award for Education and Training. The course is based on the idea that it is unacceptable to have a learning curve in delivering surgical trauma care to the wounded in the field. We teach surgical teams how to deliver the best possible outcome for patients, rather than purely focusing on individual task specific training. It is vital to get surgical teams working together seamlessly to deliver the optimal decision making, resuscitation, operative and post-operative care. MOST uses military equipment and treatment protocols to ensure complete familiarisation before deploying. I have no doubt that this method of training is saving lives.”

John Black, President of The Royal College of Surgeons, said: “Surgeons currently deployed in Afghanistan face the daily task of treating military personnel suffering severe, complex injuries from bomb blasts or gunshot wounds - injuries they are likely to have limited experience of dealing with in NHS hospitals. MOST plays a very necessary part in ensuring that surgical teams about to deploy to Afghanistan are as prepared as possible for the work they are likely to be exposed to on a tour of duty.”

Notes to Editors

If you have any queries please contact:
Matthew Worrall   – Email: mworrall@rcseng.ac.uk; T: 020 7869 6047
Elaine Towell        – Email: etowell@rcseng.ac.uk; T: 020 7869 6045
Out-of-hours: 07966 486 832