Doctors and medical staff at West Yorkshire hospitals are preparing for the busy winter period – by playing a board game.
But this specially-designed game aims to test the skills and medical knowledge of staff at The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust A&E departments.
Dr Patrick Tung, Consultant in Emergency Medicine, has created a board game which requires ‘players’ to triage patients and keep the flow of the department going whilst testing their knowledge of policies and procedures.
“Our emergency departments are very busy and this increases in the winter months. Our teams have to be able to think on their feet, especially if they are dealing with life threatening injuries,” he said.
“By playing the game it gives them the opportunity to do this in an environment where they can take a more considered approach, in less stressful conditions.
The game has also enabled departments to run more efficiently and given staff an understanding of each other’s roles.
“The ability for everyone, at every level, to learn and develop by taking part in this game is brilliant,” added Patrick. “I’m now getting requests from people who want to be part of it.”
Lizzie Uttley, a final year medical student at Leeds University currently on placement in the Emergency Department at Dewsbury, said: “Normally it’s the nurses who triage the patients, so this has really helped give me an understanding of the difficulties they can face when deciding on the level of the emergency and in which area of the department they should be.”
Winter is traditionally the busiest time of year for hospitals, with poor weather and more illness leading to greater demand.
The game involves dealing with three critically ill patients – one with stab wounds, a baby with a fever, and an unconscious man, as well as the issue of a nurse stuck in traffic. Dr Tung said this was an exaggeration of the number of emergencies which happened typically, but made staff think. “Especially if you add to that patients who have suffered broken bones by falling on the ice or there is an outbreak of norovirus, things which occur as we approach the colder months,” he added.