Under NHS guidelines issued in 1990, large regional hospitals should have mobile medical teams ready to offer instant back-up to the emergency services. Specific roles, responsibilities and training for the medical "flying squads" are set out.
But the new research shows that in 150 large hospitals, only a third of teams contained both a surgeon and an anaesthetist, and few hospitals differentiated between surgical and resuscitation teams. In almost half the teams, the leader was a trainee hospital doctor. Members of mobile medical teams were invariably junior doctors with little experience.
The findings, from a study led by Dr Simon Carley, of the Accident and Emergency Department at Manchester Royal Infirmary, appeared in the specialist journal Pre-Hospital Immediate Care.Reuse content