Value in Healthcare Awards winners for 2015
Army Medical Services Training Centre, Second Medical Brigade: Designing, Training and Deploying an Ebola Treatment Capability for West Africa
The judges said: “The scale of this project and the epic task in hand was huge, and the team only had four weeks to prepare for the operation. It had to ensure that personnel gained an understanding of a completely new, highly challenging disease and environment, while also fully equipping and training them to be deployed safely in Sierra Leone.
“The innovation and change in thinking that the team dedicated to their work was outstanding. It really and truly is an excellent example of British healthcare at its best.”
When the Royal Army Medical corps received orders to deploy to West Africa in response to the Ebola epidemic, one senior officer labelled it as “the most dangerous medical mission undertaken since the Second World War”.
The Army Medical Services Training Centre (AMSTC) was given just four weeks to prepare for operation GRITROCK.
The team leading GRITROCK had to ensure that personnel gained an understanding of a completely new, highly challenging disease and environment, while also fully equipping and training them to be deployed safely in Sierra Leone.
The first step was to design and asses a 12 bed Ebola virus disease treatment unit that would provide a safe working environment for the 146 deployed personnel. Eventually it became obvious that the usual “formula 1 style” trauma hospital environment would not be adequate and additional procurements were made such as Bluetooth patient note transfer and a two way video microphone system.
The AMSTC needed to ensure that staff confidence in the new safety procedures was assured and so new types of simulation were designed and brought in.
After rigorous analyses, including creating a bespoke tool for key performance indicators, the minister of armed forces deemed the unit safe and fit to deploy.