Sunderland Hospital staff tackle chemical ‘emergency’

Carol Amer, a care assistant in the Accident and Emergency Department, preparing to enter the decontamination tent.'Sunderland Royal  Hospital chemical incident training exercise.
Carol Amer, a care assistant in the Accident and Emergency Department, preparing to enter the decontamination tent.'Sunderland Royal Hospital chemical incident training exercise.
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DRESSED head to toe in protective gear, hospital workers were ready for action after a chemical spill following a crash on a busy Sunderland road.

Although the incident was a training exercise, the drill was vital experience for staff working at Sunderland Royal Hospital.

Medics took part in a major incident exercise after a “crash” in Wessington Way between a coach and lorry containing chemicals.

The operation was a chance to gauge the hospital’s ability work with the emergency services and deal with real-life incidents.

It was also a chance to dry-run a decontamination tent outside the hospital’s accident and emergency department, where those affected by the spill would be washed down before treatment.

Hospital bosses say a number of lessons were learned from the exercise, which will be included in the ongoing development of the trust’s emergency planning.

The trust recently carried out a larger exercise in Gosforth, Newcastle.

This saw City Hospitals Sunderland working with the police and fire service to make sure a plan is in place to meet any major accident or emergency in the area.