The final UK EMT Peer Technical weekend of 2018 took place at the start of December, with UK EMT register members, UK-Med staff members and representatives from UK EMT partners Palladium and FRS coming together to examine varying technical aspects of the UK EMT and to provide comment on areas of potential development. Set in the scenic Keswick in the Lake District, the weekend is also an opportunity for UK EMT register members to interact with one another as well as staff members of the partner organisations.

Saturday started with the participants split into two groups: half took part in a simulation exercise based on an EMT Type 2 field hospital response to a mass casualty scenario, whilst the other focused on data collection and reporting to gain a greater insight into what data management means in the field. The two subsequently swapped over. Participants were satisfied with the challenges presented by both exercises and demonstrated a high level of co-operation and problem solving.

After a very busy morning the group separated into their individual technical working groups to discuss specific focus areas: Triage and Patient Flow, Child Health, Data Management, Surgery and Infection Prevention and Control. These groups discussed the content of the SOPs covering these areas and identified elements to be considered or updated.

Following a debriefing from each working group, the day was closed out by an overview of how a humanitarian response works from an operational perspective, including the different types of actors involved, co-ordination within the cluster system and where UK-Med and UK EMT fit into this complex system.

On Sunday participants were led on a walk up to the top of Latrigg fell. It was an enjoyable hike despite the weather and that helped us to reflect that, in the field, situations are not always how we expect and we must be flexible and pro-active to cope with the challenges we face!

The weekend revealed a team that is very enthusiastic and full of initiative. Everyone participated in the activities without hesitation, demonstrating how different people can collaborate effectively towards a common goal.

Fabrizio Loddo, UK-Med Health Programmes Officer