Expo to hear of NHS terror attack lessons

Lessons learned by the NHS from the Manchester and London terror attacks earlier this year will be revealed at Expo 2017.

Speaking at Manchester Central, just a mile from the arena where 22 people died and 120 were injured in a bomb blast at the end of an Ariana Grande concert in May, Professor Chris Moran will detail the clinical meetings and briefings that took place within 24 hours of the horrific attack.

The presentation from NHS England’s National Clinical Director for Trauma will focus on the Manchester nail bomb atrocity that took the lives of many children – not least of all because of its poignant proximity to Expo.

“A series of clinical meetings were held within 24 hours of the tragic events,” explained Professor Moran. “And the early clinical debriefings involved more than 400 front-line clinical staff from right across the system, from medics on the scene to the mortuary team.

“Many lessons were learned as a result of these important meetings, and some changes were already in place before the next terror attack at London Bridge took place.

“We had a fantastic response from everyone in the NHS to these meetings and one of the key things we realised was just how essential it is that we practice and are prepared for these sorts of major incidents. All teams reported that rehearsals and desk-top exercises had made it easier on the night when we were performing for real.

“Coincidentally, Manchester had done this across the whole system just a few weeks before and it made a big difference. It serves to underline how the NHS must continue to invest in training and education for these emergencies.”

Professor Moran added: “Another key point to come out of our debrief sessions was that the impact of a bomb attack like the one we saw in Manchester had an effect on hospitals that goes way beyond day one. We performed more than 400 hours of surgery on Manchester patients in the next week alone. This meant continued need for blood supplies and pressure on intensive care units. Some patients were still in hospital months later.

“Other lessons learned are the significant physical, psychological and emotional impact on staff; how the careful reuniting of injured families is essential, and we should plan not to resume major elective surgery too soon while we handle the aftermath of the emergency.”

Professor Moran will also outline the best use of Major Trauma Networks to allow patients recovery time and to get the specialist surgery they require. And he will explain how the bereavement service in Manchester was used for the first time ever in a major incident with mass casualties, and how it can act as an example of best practice to the rest of the country, with close collaboration between the NHS, Coroner and Police to provide care for bereaved families.

“I will also talk about the positive and negative impacts of both media coverage and social media after the attack. The positive was that staff were alerted very quickly and got to their hospitals before a major incident was even declared. This real-time reporting helped staff anticipate injuries, numbers of casualties and what they would be dealing with.

“The flip-side to the coin is that misinformation on social media spreads fast and can cause lots of problems, including increased anxiety for patients, families and staff. I will be telling Expo that we need guidelines in place to help exploit the good and the bad.”

Professor Moran will be speaking on day two of Expo 2017, the annual flagship NHS event that attracts speakers and delegates from across the health, local government and social care sectors.

Among a host of leading speakers will be NHS England Chief Executive Simon Stevens, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, the Chief Nursing Officer for England Professor Jane Cummings, and NHS England’s National Medical Director Professor Sir Bruce Keogh.

The overarching theme for the event is ‘Collaboration to implement the NHS Five Year Forward View across health and social care’. As well as the two main ‘Future NHS’ and ‘Innovate’ stages, and four smaller theatre stages, there will be four feature zones focussing on the key areas of Transformation of Care, Urgent and Emergency Care, Primary Care and Digital Health.

Our theatre stages will offer longer, more in-depth exploration of key topics, with dedicated sessions for leaders, commissioners, clinicians and communications leads.

The four feature zones, dominating the conference hall, are an important and unique element of Expo, and are dedicated to in-depth, varied discussion, learning and engagement focused around a single area of health and social care work. Each zone runs its own programme of speakers and activities throughout the two days.

The ever-popular Pop-Up University features again this year and will showcase the very best in innovative care, treatment and commissioning from across the NHS, local government and social care, as well as giving in-depth information on the latest developments in individual areas of the health and care sector. Workshops are led by some of the most senior and experienced professionals in England.

There is now three weeks to sign up for the event of September 11 and 12 – the fourth of its kind at the iconic Manchester Central venue.

All NHS, local government and public sector staff can register for complimentary tickets on the Expo website – make sure you add the link as that page gives details of how to claim complimentary tickets.