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A pilot study to evaluate the utility of live training (LIVEX) in the operational preparedness of UK military trauma teams


Background With the end of UK military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, it is essential that peacetime training of Defence Medical Services (DMS) trauma teams ensures appropriate future preparedness. A new model of pre-deployment training involves placement of formed military trauma teams into civilian trauma centres. This study evaluates the benefit of ‘live training during an exercise period’ (LIVEX) for DMS trauma teams.

Methods A cross-sectional questionnaire-based survey of participants was conducted. Quantitative data were collected prior to the start and on the final day. Written reports were collected from the coordinators. Thematic analysis was used to identify emergent themes in a supplementary, qualitative analysis.

Results Each team comprised 13 personnel and results should be interpreted with knowledge of this small sample size. The response rate for both the pre-LIVEX and post-LIVEX questionnaire was 100%. By the end of the week, 89% of participants (n=23) stated LIVEX was an ‘appropriate or very appropriate’ way of preparing for an operational role compared with 40% (n=9) before the exercise (p<0.01). However, completing LIVEX made no difference to participants' personal perception of their own operational preparedness. Thematic analysis suggested greater training benefit for more junior members of the team; from Regulars and Reservists training together; and from two-way exchange of information between DMS and National Health Service medical staffs.

Conclusions Completing LIVEX made no statistically significant difference to participants' personal perception of their own operational preparedness, but the perception of LIVEX as an appropriate training platform improved significantly after conducting the training exercise.

  • EDUCATION & TRAINING (see Medical Education & Training)

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