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Theme 7: Enhancing emergency preparedness through improved exercises and training

This theme will tackle the need to evaluate and develop the emergency response exercises run by Public Health England and other bodies.

Currently, PHE conducts various forms of emergency response exercises using realistic scenarios that are designed to train individuals and develop organisational capacity to respond to emergency events.

However, little is known about the impacts that these complex and expensive training activities have in the short and long term.

The theme represents a collaboration between the Exercises Team from PHE’s Emergency Response Department (led by Riley, with eight years’ experience in leading this team) and the SAIL team at King’s (led by Jaye, the simulation lead for King’s Health Partners).

We will use two projects across the full range of exercises run by PHE to identify:

  • the role of preparatory educational activities in helping people learn from exercises
  • the quality, persistence and practical impact of learning from existing exercises
  • whether the addition of active, facilitated, focussed debriefing facilitates learning following an exercise 
  • whether small, focussed exercises can be used as a proxy for larger, more complex exercises.

Lead researchers

Dr Paul Riley

Senior Scientific Manager in the Emergency Response Department

Public Health England

Dr Peter Jaye

Consultant in Emergency Medicine

Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Trust