Doctors, nurses and medical staff from throughout the North East put their medical skills to the test Army style today as they took part in Exercise ‘Medical Challenge’.

The competition, which attracted participation from over 200 medical and support staff, was designed to give the medics and their NHS trusts and universities an insight into the medical role of the Reserve Forces. The teams took part in specially created military scenarios involving rescue missions and medical emergencies.

The civilian medics were able to sample a brief part of life under the extreme conditions within which the military often operates. During the day they were put to the test on a wide range of scenarios which included: Boat casualty rescue on the River Tyne, aid to a casualty under fire, rescuing of casualties and investigation skills, static helicopter emergency medical drills.

Participants included staff from Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Gateshead NHS Foundation Trust, County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust, North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Newcastle Faculty of Medicine.

Assisted by many of the Reserve units throughout the North East including Infantry, Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, Gunners and Royal Marines, the exercise took place in Nunsmoor Park in Newcastle Upon Tyne and was organised and run by 201 (Northern) Field Hospital, an Army Reserve unit based at Fenham Barracks in the city.


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