Hundreds of 'casualties' treated in Shrewsbury hospital 'train crash' disaster training

A mass training exercise in which emergency services dealt with a train crash scenario involving 200 ‘casualties’ has taken place at a county hospital.

Royal Shrewsbury Hospital held a training exercise based on a major train crash
Royal Shrewsbury Hospital held a training exercise based on a major train crash

Staff from The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH) were involved in the simulated major incident on Thursday along with colleagues from Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service, West Midlands Ambulance Service, West Mercia Police, and a wide range of other multi agency partners.

The scenario for 'Exercise Rainbow' involved a derailed train hitting another stationary train, resulting in 200 ‘casualties’, some of whom were taken to Royal Shrewsbury Hospital.

The training exercise was held at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital
Plenty of 'casualties' were 'treated' during the day

‘Volunteer patients’ – some made up to appear that they had sustained severe injuries – arrived at the hospital and were dealt with by emergency service staff.

Contamination tents were set up because of an unknown white powder reported as seen at the scene, and some patients who had supposedly been exposed to the powder were hosed down and treated.

Royal Shrewsbury Hospital held a training exercise based on a major train crash
'Walking wounded' during the train crash exercise

Sara Biffen, Acting Chief Operating Officer at SaTH said: “Exercises such as this are a crucial way of testing that arrangements are in place in the event of an emergency or major incident.

“It offers our staff and our partners the opportunity to experience a pressurised environment and understand how key decisions are made.

“It has gone extremely well, and we can all learn such a lot from these large-scale exercises. I would also like to thank all those that took part, from the volunteers, my colleagues and those from our partners across the emergency services and beyond.”

Royal Shrewsbury Hospital held a training exercise based on a major train crash
Bosses said the scenario training had gone well

The trust said services and care were unaffected by the exercise, which forms part of SaTH’s emergency arrangements, whereby it plans for, and responds to, a wide range of incidents and emergencies that could affect health or patient care.

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