Staff take on army medic challenge

A team of staff from physiotherapy were the winners of a military event which tested health staff from across the region in their medical, leadership and team building skills.

Staff from 11 health trusts tackled everything from a boat casualty rescue on the River Tyne in Newcastle to helping load a casualty into a helicopter or helping a casualty while under fire, as they took part in Exercise Medical Challenge.

Five teams from the trust took part– dietetics, HR, two teams from orthopaedic outpatients and of course physiotherapy who won the event.

Organised by the 201 Field Hospital from its barracks in Fenham in Newcastle, the event was set up to test staff in scenarios they are not used to.

Healthcare assistant Jane Hebbron, from orthopaedic outpatients at the University Hospital of North Tees, said: “We all had a fantastic team and it was an amazing experience. We have all said we are going to do it again next year.

“We were expecting it to be quite physically demanding but the exercises we did were actually much more about being part of a team and working together in a demanding environment under pressure.

“I think we all had to work out of our comfort zone and it certainly gave us a different perspective when we returned to our jobs the next week!”

The winning members of the physiotherapy team were:

Steve Carter, ESP physiotherapist (team captain)
Andrew Fisher, respiratory physiotherapist
Chris Tarn, physiotherapist in core outpatients
Lauren Spoors, rotational physiotherapist
Robyn Sharp, rotational physiotherapist
Alan Bolton, rotational physiotherapist
Anne-Marie Benson, rotational physiotherapist

Chief executive Alan Foster is an honorary colonel at the 201 Field Hospital, who are army reservists.

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