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NHS emergency services could learn from ‘exemplary’ military trauma care

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The Healthcare Commission has praised the British military for their ‘exemplary’ trauma care and rehabilitation services for troops wounded on the frontline.

In the first ever independent review of the Defence Medical Services (DMS), the HCC said the treatment of troops on the frontline is so good that NHS A&E departments should learn from it.

The review, published today, rated trauma care as ‘exceptional’ and rehabilitation services as ‘excellent’.

Sir Ian Kennedy, chair of the Healthcare Commission, said: ‘There is absolutely no question that personnel injured in battle have a better chance of survival than ever before. That is entirely due to efficient and innovative care, delivered under exceptionally difficult circumstances.

‘The NHS urgent and emergency services could learn a lot from how the defence service plans care, trains staff and constantly seeks to learn and improve trauma services,’ he added.

However, the review also raised concerns over ‘unacceptable’ conditions at some armed forces’ medical centres away from the frontline in the UK and overseas.

Problems with poor maintenance and dirty facilities, lack of privacy and child protection were highlighted.

Sir Ian said the DMS must give ‘urgent attention’ to the maintenance and cleanliness of buildings, and he reminded healthcare workers of their responsibility to act on any suspicion of bullying or abuse.

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