STAFF from a hospital trust got the chance to practice the role they would play in a major emergency by taking part in a training exercise.

A broad selection of staff from across the Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Andover War Memorial Hospital, took part in exercises aimed at testing and improving incident response plans.

The exercises were devised and organised by the trust’s emergency preparedness, resilience and response team and took place over two days in Sutton Scotney.

During the exercises, staff had to respond to a serious accident involving a train and a school bus.

There were multiple casualties and the exercise tested decision-making at all command levels within the trust, with ward staff, operational managers and board members among those taking part, as well as processes in the incident response plan.

Julie Maskery, chief operating officer, said: “We work hard to ensure that hospital services are as resilient as possible, undertaking regular training and participating in live exercises to test our ability to respond to a major emergency.

“Both exercises were well attended by a range of clinical and non-clinical staff, including senior decision-makers, who were required to make some difficult decisions in response to a really testing and traumatic scenario. Learning from the events will be used to underpin training and exercising going forward as we continually strive to enhance resilience and provide the best care to patients, whatever the circumstances.”